Senior Somali ISIS leader, Bilal al-Sudani, killed in US raid –

A senior Islamic State leader in Somalia, Bilal al-Sudani, was killed Wednesday night in a military raid by U.S. special operations forces on a cave complex in northern Somalia, U.S. officials said Thursday.

Al-Sudani was killed in the firefight along with 10 other fighters, while there were no U.S. casualties in the raid, according to a statement from a Defense Ministry official.

In a separate statement, U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said: “On January 25, on the order of the President, U.S. forces conducted a raid in northern Somalia that killed several ISIS members, including Bilal al-Sudani. die.”

“Al-Sudani is responsible for promoting ISIS in Africa and funds the organization’s operations around the world, including in Afghanistan,” the statement said.

“From his mountain base in northern Somalia, he provided and coordinated funding for IS affiliates, not only in Africa but also the Islamic State of Khorasan group operating in Afghanistan.

“Ten years ago, before joining ISIS, Sultani was involved in recruiting and training fighters for the extremist al-Shabaab movement in Somalia.

Also read:Somalia appoints al-Shabaab co-founder as religion minister

“Sudani plays a key operational and financial role, and his expertise makes him an important target for U.S. counterterrorism operations,” Austin added.

Defense officials also said the operation had been in preparation for months, with U.S. forces rehearsing at a location that replicated the terrain where the Sudanese hid.

“President Biden authorized the attack earlier this week after consulting with senior defense, intelligence and security officials.

“Finalizing the intended capture operation is the best option for maximizing the intelligence value of the operation and improving its accuracy in challenging terrain.

“However, the reaction of hostile forces to the operation resulted in his death,” the official said.

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