Post-strike assessments confirm the two terrorists killed in the Feb. 22 precision airstrikes were an individual associated with the attack on Manda Bay and his wife, who was also a known al-Shabaab member.
The two terrorists were identified as a senior al-Shabaab leader, who was in charge of planning and directing terrorist operations on the Kenya border region, including the recent attack on Manda Bay, and his wife, who also was a witting and active member of al-Shabaab responsible for facilitating a wide range of terrorist activities.
“Since January 5, U.S. Africa Command and our partners have pursued those responsible for the attack on U.S. and Kenyan forces at Manda Bay,” said U.S. Army Gen. Stephen Townsend, commander, U.S. Africa Command. “This strike demonstrates that we will continue to relentlessly pursue those responsible for Manda Bay and those wishing to do harm to Americans and our African partners.”
“Al-Shabaab, an al-Qaeda affiliate, is an evil and remorseless enemy of peace, stability, and freedom in East Africa and threatens the very way of life of people there, as well as Americans and U.S. interest in the region and abroad,” said Townsend.
Al-Shabaab is the largest and most kinetically active al-Qaeda network in the world. In November 2019, after a series of complex attacks targeting Somali bases hosting U.S. forces, al-Shabaab’s leadership publicly identified Americans and U.S. interests worldwide as priority targets. The message mirrored Usama bin Laden’s declaration of war on the U.S. in 1996.