Mastermind of 1998 US embassies bombings killed in Somalia

15:22, June 12, 2011      

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Somali government forces who carried out the operation to kill Fazul Abdullah Mohammed stand near the vehicle Fazul and a Somali accomplice drove in Mogadishu, capital of Somalia, June 8, 2011. Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, the mastermind of the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, is believed to have been killed in Somalia, authorities said on Saturday. (Xinhua/Stringer)

The mastermind of the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania is believed to have been killed in Somalia, authorities said on Saturday.

Kenyan authorities are cross-checking the identities of the two of the terror suspects killed in Mogadishu on Wednesday. One of them is believed to be the head of Al Qaeda in East Africa, Comoros-born Fazul Abdullah Mohammed.

Kenyan police chief Mathew Iteere told a local television station that he received information from authorities in Somalia that there were two terrorists who were killed in Mogadishu roadblock and one of the identities was given as "Fazul Mohammed."

Iteere said he was working with security officers in Somalia to have a comprehensive report, especially after the transitional government of Somalia confirmed that its forces gunned Mohammed down at a roadblock on Wednesday.

The police chief said security experts are conducting DNA tests to confirm the identity of two terrorists who were killed in the lawless Somali capital by Somali government forces.

Mohammed, a high-ranking leader of Al Qaeda in Somalia, likes to wear baseball caps, tends to dress casually, and is very good with computers. He is one of the masterminds of the 1998 terror attacks against U.S. embassies in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Mohammed who speaks French, Swahili, Arabic, English and Comoran, took part in the planning and execution of the 1998 bombings that killed hundreds of people and injured thousands others.

The Al Qaeda East Africa leader was indicted on Sept. 17, 1998 in the Southern District of New York for his alleged involvement in the bombings on Aug. 7, 1998. He should be considered armed and dangerous.

The Rewards For Justice Program, U.S. Department of State, was offering a reward of up to 5 million U.S. dollars for information leading directly to the apprehension and/or conviction of Mohammed.

The elusive terrorist, who was on the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) watch list of most wanted terrorists, is believed to have taken over the leadership of Al Qaeda's branch in Somalia, Al Shabaab, from where he directed world attacks and African terror operations.

Mohammed had said he was appointed by Osama bin Laden and praised his predecessor, Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan, who was killed during a U.S. special operations raid in southern Somalia in 2009.

Mohammed had also said that Al Qaeda and Al Shabaab would take the fight to neighboring countries.

In August 2008, he supposedly escaped a police dragnet in Kenya' s coastal town of Malindi but two of his aides were arrested.

He was said to have sneaked into Kenya from Somalia a few days earlier seeking treatment for kidney problems.

The police confiscated two of his passports and a laptop among other belongings. The operation took place only days before the 10th anniversary of 1998 U.S. embassies bombings.

Mohammed, one of Africa's most wanted terror suspects, used to travel between Mogadishu in Somalia, his safe haven, to Kenya and back.

On May 1, U.S. forces killed Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden during a secret operation in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad. It was considered a major blow to the organization, which is also behind the Sept. 11 terror attack which left some 3,000 people dead.

Source: Xinhua
 
 
     
 
 
 
     
 
 
 
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