A top insurgent leader in Somalia whom U.S. officials have accused of having ties to al-Qaeda was killed in a U.S. airstrike early Thursday, according to the Islamist group he led.
The attack in the town of Dusa Marreb in central Somalia leveled a house belonging to the reclusive leader, Aden Hashi Ayro, who was inside at the time with at least one of his top commanders, according to his followers.
A spokesman for U.S. Central Command confirmed that the United States had attacked “a known al-Qaeda operative and militia leader” in the vicinity of Dusa Marreb, about 300 miles northeast of Mogadishu, the Somali capital.
A U.S. military official said five Tomahawk cruise missiles were launched against the village from a U.S. naval vessel. The official would not confirm the type of vessel or its home base but said ships from the Navy’s 5th Fleet, based in Bahrain, “routinely operate in the Horn of Africa area.”
The group that Ayro headed issued a statement calling him a “martyr.”
“We are here informing the Enemy of God” that Ayro’s “trained and educated colleagues are currently in operation. They are committed to the continuation of the Holy War,” said Mukhtar Robow, a spokesman for al-Shabab, the military arm of the Islamic Courts movement that has gained ground recently against Somalia’s weak transitional government and the Ethiopian troops backing it.
The United States recently designated al-Shabab a terrorist organization.
Reports varied on the number of people killed. Abdi Warsame, a headmaster in the area, said he counted 16 bodies strewn around a crater where Ayro’s house used to be, on the western outskirts of town… [emphasis added]
Inserted from <Washington Post>
Considering that one Tomahawk cruise missile costs US taxpayers about $600,000, we have paid $3 million to get one rather bush-league terrorist, and that doesn’t account for all the support cost of locating the terrorist and having a ship in position to take him out.
In addition, I have read estimated ranging from fifteen to thirty people killed in the blast, including women and children. I bet their surviving relatives will be superb PR for the US.
We certainly could have accomplished this mission far less expensively and with far less collateral damage, assuming that the guy was actually a terrorist, and just someone the Bush/McConJob war machine does not like. On that note, guess who else is on the terrorist watch list:
Nobel Peace Prize winner and international symbol of freedom Nelson Mandela is flagged on U.S. terrorist watch lists and needs special permission to visit the USA. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice calls the situation “embarrassing,” and some members of Congress vow to fix it.
The requirement applies to former South African leader Mandela and other members of South Africa’s governing African National Congress (ANC), the once-banned anti-Apartheid organization. In the 1970s and ’80s, the ANC was officially designated a terrorist group by the country’s ruling white minority. Other countries, including the United States, followed suit… [emphasis added]
Inserted from <USA Today>
How many cruise missiles would Bush and McConJob like to use to take him out?