Statement by Pentagon Press Secretary George Little on U.S. Operations in Somalia
Late Friday night, U.S. military personnel conducted a targeted operation against Abdikadir Mohamed Abdikadir, known as "Ikrima", a Kenyan of Somali origin.
Ikrima is a top commander in the terrorist group al-Shabaab, an al-Qa'ida affiliate. Ikrima is closely associated with now-deceased al-Qa'ida operatives Harun Fazul and Saleh Nabhan, who played roles in the 1998 bombing of the United States embassy in Nairobi, Kenya and in the 2002 attacks on a hotel and airline in Mombassa, Kenya that resulted in the deaths of Kenyan and Israeli citizens, including children.
The goal of the operation was to capture Ikrima under legal authorities granted to the Department of Defense by the Authorization to Use Military Force (2001) against al-Qa'ida and its associated forces.
While the operation did not result in Ikrima's capture, U.S. military personnel conducted the operation with unparalleled precision and demonstrated that the United States can put direct pressure on al-Shabaab leadership at any time of our choosing.
Working in partnership with the government of the Federal Republic of Somalia, the United States military will continue to confront the threat posed by al-Shabaab. The United States military has unmatched capabilities and could rely on any of them to disrupt terrorist networks and plots.