Al-Qaeda East Africa chief killed

2011-06-11 17:33

Mogadishu - The presumed head of al-Qaeda in east Africa, Fazul Abdullah Muhammad, was killed on Wednesday in Mogadishu, Kenya's police chief said on Saturday, confirming a report from Somali Islamist Shebab rebels.

Fazul Abdullah, 38, is thought to have planned the massive US embassy truck bombings in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam in 1998 and had a $5 million bounty on his head.

"We have received that communication from authorities in Somalia. We have been told that there were two terrorists who were killed in Somalia on Wednesday last week," said Kenyan Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere.

Iteere said the identity of one of the two had "been given as Fazul Muhammad... That is what we have been told by our counterparts in Somalia".

"One of the men that was killed near Mogadishu was Fazul Abdullah, may Allah bless his soul. He is not dead as thousands like him are still in the fight against the enemy of Allah," said a senior al Shebab commander earlier this week on condition of anonymity.

SA passport

Officials with the Somali Transitional Government (TFG) said the men were killed at a roadblock on Tuesday night.

"Our forces fired on two men who refused to stop at a roadblock. They tried to defend themselves when they were surrounded by our men," said a TFG military commander, Abdikarim Yusuf.

"We took their ID documents, one of which was a foreign passport," he said, adding that an investigation was underway.

The incident happened on the northwestern outskirts of the Somali capital, a regional security source said. The two men were driving in a pick-up truck full of medicine, laptops and mobile phones.

The same source said the two appeared to have taken the wrong turning and ended up in an area under TFG control when they were trying to reach a Shebab position.

A Somali source close to the investigation said the man identified as Fazul was in possession of a South African passport in the name of Daniel Robinson and which gave his date of birth as 1971.

The passport, issued April 13 2009, indicated that its bearer left SA for Tanzania on March 19 and was granted a visa there. The Tanzanian visa was the only one in the passport.

Embassy bombings

The man was also in possession of $40 000 in cash, the same Somali source said. He appeared to have come from Lower Juba in southern Somalia where he was heading a group of foreign fighters under the name of "Abu-Abdirahman the Canadian".

Contrary to normal practice when such incidents occur, the bodies of the two men were picked up by the Somali intelligence services and given to US officials for identification.

Fazul Abdullah, who was born in the Comoros islands, joined al-Qaeda in 1991 and was believed to be behind the July 1998 embassy bombings that killed a total of 224 people in the worst atrocity by al-Qaeda until the September 2001 attacks.

From 2002, he was put in charge of al-Qaeda's operations in the whole of east Africa. That same year he planned anti-Israeli attacks in Mombasa that left 15 dead.

On January 8 2007 he survived a US raid that left dozens of people dead at Ras Kamboni in southern Somalia.

  • Wuker - 2011-06-11 17:57

    Why isn't the fact that the most wanted terrorist in Africa had a fake South African passport and has been living in South Africa headline news here? Perhaps the minister of "socalled" state security has been too preoccupied with his wife's conviction for drug running. On second thoughts perhaps we should not surprised Mbeki and Zuma have been rushing around trying to ameliorate things for such struggle heros like Bashir and Gaddaffi.

      Grayman - 2011-06-11 18:06

      @Wuker - It is not surprising that he has a SA passport. In 94 we suddenly became the darlings of the world. A South African passport was clear almost anywhere in the world. Then about 5 years ago there was so much corruption and false passports being handed out that many countries imposed visas on us.

      Goldenk9 - 2011-06-12 10:44

      It does not say that the passport was his here, neither does it tell us that he is the one who left SA for Tanzania. This Daniel Robinson could only have been a victim...

  • Jayden - 2011-06-11 18:04

    I have recently watched a documentary on the bombing of the US Embassy in Nairobi and witnessed all the innocent lives destroyed by this guy, he won't be with 72 virgins in his version of heaven, but more likely in a place where there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

  • eJay - 2011-06-11 18:05

    Will the real Daniel Robinson please stand up?

  • Grayman - 2011-06-11 18:07

    I wonder what his soul is thinking now. He didn't go out in a blaze of glory so no 40 virgins for him!

      Anonymus - 2011-06-11 19:23


  • Eric West - 2011-06-11 18:07

    Fazul was in possession of a South African passport . Anyone surprised?

      Goldenk9 - 2011-06-12 12:33

      It does not say that the passport was his here, neither does it tell us that he is the one who left SA for Tanzania. This Daniel Robinson could only have been a victim...

  • BigMoose - 2011-06-11 18:47

    The voices in my head told me to become a suicide bomber. I told the voices in my head to shut the f*ck up, because I was having a conversation with myself.

  • ZACommentator - 2011-06-11 18:50

    Al Qaeda - really? Hmm, they are a division of the CIA are they not

      Zoooma - 2011-06-11 19:40

      Well you said it so it must be right. The CIA spends all their time and huge resources gathering intelligence on their own operatives, in order to get US military to fight their own people. Guess it makes sense.

      Ingwe - 2011-06-12 07:47

      ZA yawn just more drivel from you

      slg - 2011-06-12 08:34

      Al-Quaida is a division of the CIA? You live in a weird twisted world that makes no sense. Wake up man. You're making a fool of yourself.

  • slg - 2011-06-12 08:35

    It's been a bad, bad couple of months for Al-Quaida.

      Ingwe - 2011-06-12 09:26

      Hi slg I agree, it seems since Bin Laden's death the US have had some good results from their drone strikes. It looks like the intelligence the US got from his compound is starting to pay off. Although this was not a drone strike it was still good news, all I can say is keep the pressure up, take them out one by one.

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