US Drone Strike in Somalia Kills Al Qaida Leader
by Mark Ivy
Much like former President George W. Bush promised, the United States will go after Al Qaida terrorists no matter where ever they may be found, news is out from Somalia today of a US drone attack that killed an Al Qaida leader.
Killed was a British citizen who was an Al Qaida official working with Somalian insurgents.
Somalia has been without a formal, centralized government for 21 years. The nation has become infamous for its citizens that have turned to piracy in the Arabian Sea and along the eastern coast of Africa.
A U.S. drone strike killed a British al-Qaida official fighting alongside insurgents in Somalia, officials said.
Three missiles fired from an unmanned aerial vehicle hit Bilal al-Berjawi's car on the outskirts of Mogadishu, according to a statement from the insurgent al-Kataib media foundation late Saturday. Berjawi was a Lebanese and British citizen who grew up in West London and fought in Afghanistan before going to Somalia in 2006.
"The martyr received what he wished for and what he went out for, as we consider of him and Allah knows him best, when, in the afternoon today, brother Bilal al-Berjawi was exposed to bombing in an outskirt of Mogadishu from a drone that is believed to be American," the statement said. "He was martyred immediately."
The strike was confirmed by a U.S. official in Washington. The official asked for anonymity because the official is not authorized to speak to the media.
"Good riddance, and (I) hope al-Shabab leadership will come to their senses and cease the hostility in Somalia," said Omar Jamal, the first secretary in the Somali mission to the U.N., in an emailed statement.
The use of drones by the US military and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has come under increasing controversy within the US and throughout the world. Drone attacks have been the subject of deteriorating relations with Pakistan.
For many in the US, the use of drones to take out two American citizens last year who were working closely, overtly with and in leadership positions of Al Qaida in Yemen. The killings sparked protests and calls for a criminal investigation into violation of constitutional law.
Most recently US drones made headlines when Iran captured one that was doing surveillance along the Iran-Afghanistan border.
From the Cornfield, the use of drones is becoming ever more prevalent. Drones are a means of attacking enemy combatants without having to expose US personnel to danger.