U.S. Navy SEALs conducted a predawn raid in Somalia Saturday to go after a senior leader of the terrorist group al-Shabab, CBS News has confirmed.
It was not clear what happened to the unidentified senior leader in the raid.
The raid was carried out in response to last month’s deadly attack on a mall in Nairobi, Kenya, for which al-Shabab has claimed responsibility.
The Defense Department declined to comment to CBS News on the raid.
The strike comes exactly two weeks after al-Shabab militants attacked Nairobi’s Westgate Mall, a four-day terrorist assault that killed at least 67 people in neighboring Kenya.
The leader of al-Shabab, Mukhtar Abu Zubeyr, also known as Ahmed Godane, claimed responsibility for the Nairobi attack and said it was in retaliation for Kenya’s military deployment inside Somalia to prevent a takeover by the militant Islamic Somali group.
In Kenya, a military spokesman released the names of four men implicated in the mall attack.
A resident of Barawe – a seaside town 150 miles south of Mogadishu – told The Associated Press by telephone that heavy gunfire woke up residents before dawn prayers. An al-Shabab fighter who gave his name as Abu Mohamed said “foreign” soldiers attacked a house, prompting militants to rush to the scene to capture a soldier. Mohamed said that effort was not successful.
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