A US Military raid in Somalia killed a key regional leader of the Islamic State group, Bilal al-Sudani. The US Military raid was ordered by President Joe Biden. Bilal al Sudani was killed during a gunfight after US troops descended on a mountainous cave complex in northern Somalia hoping to capture him. Around 10 of Sudani’s Islamic State associates at the scene were killed, but there were no American casualties.
Senior ISIS Leader Bilal al-Sudani killed in US Raid in Somalia- Key Points
- On 25th January 2023, the US military conducted an assault operation in northern Somalia ordered by the president that resulted in the death of several ISIS members, including Bilal al-Sudani.
- Al-Sudani was responsible for fostering the growing presence of ISIS in Africa and for funding the group’s operations worldwide, including in Afghanistan.
- From his mountain base in northern Somalia, Bilal al-Sudani provided and coordinated funding for IS branches, not only in Africa but also Islamic State Khorasan, the arm operating in Afghanistan.
- Ten years ago, before he joined the Islamic State, Bilal al-Sudani was involved in recruiting and training fighters for the extremist al-Shabaab movement in Somalia.
- Sudani had a key operational and financial role with specialized skills which made him an important target for US counterterrorism action.
- The operation had been prepared over months, with US forces rehearsing at a site built to replicate the terrain where Sudani was hiding.
- Biden authorized the strike earlier after consulting with top defense, intelligence, and security officials.
- An intended capture operation was ultimately determined to be the best option to maximize the intelligence value of the operation and increase its precision in challenging terrain.
- According to the officials, the only injury to an American in the raid was that one serviceperson was bitten by a US military service dog.