Operational Success in Somalia

1 May 2008: A U.S. led, pre-dawn missile strike killed al Qaeda’s top commander in Somalia today. Aden Hashi AYRO, a commander in the al-Sabab terrorist organization, the armed wing of the Council of Islamic Courts, was killed when at least four Tomahawk cruise missiles struck a series of single family residences inside of a compound in Dusamareeb.

Doug Hagmann, director of the Northeast Intelligence Network, reported during the first hour of Coast to Coast AM with George Noory tonight that the death of AYRO is being described as an “unqualified success” by a number of U.S. military and intelligence leaders. His death is being mourned by various terrorist groups, including leaders within al Shabab. Mukhtar ROBOW, a spokesman for al-Shabab, issued a statement calling AYRO a martyr. ROBOW also stated that the Council of Islamic Courts is committed to “the continuation of Holy War,” and the implementation of Sharia law in Somalia.

According to intelligence sources, AYRO was trained by al Qaeda in Afghanistan in the 1990’s, where he fought with the Taliban against the Northern Alliance. In 2003, he returned to Somalia where he joined al Shabab, quickly moving up the ranks to become a key commander of this terrorist organization established by Osama bin Laden. Intelligence sources have named this group as being responsible for the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

Also on the “short list” of Muslim terrorists believed to be operating in Somalia:

Fazul Abdullah MOHAMMED: A $5 million reward for his capture – on the FBI’s most wanted list of terrorists. Indicted by the U.S. indicted for his role in the 1998 bombings of the embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that killed 240 people. He was born in Comoros, is believed to be 32-34 years old, is an expert in disguise, forgery and bomb-making, and carries numerous passports. He also speaks five languages.

Abu Talha AL-SUDANI: A Sudanese explosives expert, Al-Sudani is believed to be the leader of east Africa’s al Qaeda cell. According to intelligence officials, he was trained by Hezbollah in 1993, and orchestrated the 2002 bombing of an Israeli-owned hotel in Kenya that killed 15.

Saleh Ali Saleh NABHAN: Also wanted in the 2002 hotel bombing in Kenya, NABHAN, 27, is also responsible for the (failed) missile attack on an Israeli passenger airliner leaving Mombassa airport.

Sheikh Hassan Dahir AWEYS: The eldest of the terrorists, AWEYS, who is in his late 60s or early 70s, is listed as one of the “189 people or entities the United States ‘linked to terrorism’ after 9/11. He is a former Somali prison service colonel, and was most recently the leader of Somali Islamic Courts Council (SICC).

Sheikh Hassan TURKI: According to intelligence sources, TURKI is the head of the Somali wing of al-Takfir wal-Hijra, the international Islamic terrorist group.