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The government of Somalia announced over the weekend that Abdullahi Nadir, a Somali Islamist extremist and one of the co-founders of the Al Shabaab terror group, had been killed following a joint operation with international partners.

 

The government of Somalia announced over the weekend that Abdullahi Nadir, a Somali Islamist extremist and one of the co-founders of the Al Shabaab terror group, had been killed following a joint operation with international partners. 

The announcement, made by Somalia’s Information Ministry, came late on Sunday night, reporting that the strike had taken place the previous day. The statement indicated that Nadir had been the terror group’s highest judicial official and its de facto second-in-command and was being prepared to succeed its ailing leader, Ahmed Diriye. 

“The government is grateful to the Somali people and international friends whose cooperation facilitated the killing of this leader,” the statement read, without elaborating on who had cooperated in the mission. The statement described Nadir as a “thorn” and an “enemy of the Somali nation.”

Al Shabaab was formed in the mid-2000s as a wing of the Islamic Courts Union (ICU), an Islamist umbrella organization that briefly governed Mogadishu, the Somali capital. The group continued to operate after the ICU’s collapse, carrying out a series of highly destructive suicide bombings and other terror attacks against the country’s transitional government. The group is perhaps best known outside of Somalia for its attack on the Westgate Shopping Mall in neighboring Kenya in 2013, which it claimed had been launched in retaliation for Kenya’s participation in the international coalition against it.

Al Shabaab is loosely affiliated with Al Qaeda and swore allegiance to its former leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, although it has continued to operate independently and some of its members sided instead with the Islamic State (ISIS) following its emergence in 2014. By Trevor Filseth, The National Interest

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