MOGADISHU—A senior terrorist commander in Somalia’s al Shabaab group with a $5 million bounty on his head was killed in an American airstrike on Tuesday, Feb. 22, according to Somalia state media, in a blow to the militants’ Islamist insurgency.
According to a Somalia state radio report late on Saturday, Bashir Mohamed Mahamoud was the head of al Shabaab’s operations. He was killed in the airstrike in the Sakow district of the Jubba region in Somalia’s south.
Mahamoud sometimes used the alias Bashir Qoorgaab.
“AFRICOM forces killed in an airstrike Bashir Mohamed (qoorgaab), the operation head as well an executive member of al Shabaab,” the state radio reported, using an acronym for the U.S. military’s Africa Command.
“Post-strike assessments confirm the two terrorists killed in Feb. 22 precision airstrikes were an individual associated with the attack on Manda Bay and his wife, who was also a known al-Shabaab member,” U.S. Africa Command said in a statement on Feb. 25.
Bashir Mohamad was a senior leader of al Shabaab who had been “in charge of planning and directing terrorist operations on the Kenya border region,” Africa Command wrote, adding that he was involved in an attack on Kenya’s Manda Bay base on Jan.5.
The terrorist group launched an attack on Manda Bay and killed a U.S. service member and contractor. U.S. and Kenyan forces were ultimately able to push the terrorists back.
“Since Jan. 5, U.S. Africa Command and our partners have pursued those responsible for the attack on U.S. and Kenyan forces at Manda Bay,” said U.S. Army Gen. Stephen Townsend in a statement.
“This strike demonstrates that we will continue to relentlessly pursue those responsible for Manda Bay and those wishing to do harm to Americans and our African partners,” Townsend added.
The radio report said Mahamoud had also been responsible for a series of attacks on Somalia’s national army military bases among other attacks.
Somalia’s information minister Mohamed Abdi Hayir Mareye did not respond to a Reuters’ call for comment. Al Shabaab could not be reached for comment.
Epoch Times staff contributed to this report.