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Immediate Release

Statement from Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook on Airstrike in Somalia

In cooperation with the Federal Government of Somalia, on Thursday, March 31, the U.S. military conducted an airstrike in Somalia against Hassan Ali Dhoore, a senior leader of al-Shabaab, who is part of al-Qa'ida. While we are still assessing the results of this operation, removing Dhoore from the battlefield would be a significant blow to al-Shabaab's operational planning and ability to conduct attacks against the government of the Federal Republic of Somalia, its citizens, U.S. partners in the region, and against Americans abroad.

In addition to being part of al-Qa'ida, Hassan Ali Dhoore was a member of al-Shabaab's Amniyat (security and intelligence) wing and was heavily involved in high profile attack planning in Mogadishu. He had planned and overseen attacks resulting in the death of at least three U.S. citizens.

Dhoore played a direct role in the December 25, 2014 attack on Mogadishu International Airport, resulting in the death of several African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) personnel and one U.S. citizen. Dhoore was also directly responsible for the March 27, 2015 attack on the Maka al-Mukarram Hotel in Mogadishu, resulting in the deaths of 15 people, including one Somali-American national. Hassan was believed to have been plotting attacks targeting U.S. citizens in Mogadishu.

We will provide additional information as and when appropriate.