Hassan Ali Dhoore, a senior leader of the Somali al-Shabaab Islamist group, was killed by a U.S. drone strike on Thursday.
Dhoore was involved in two attacks in Mogadishu more than a year ago in which several Americans were killed. The first was the deadly Christmas Day 2014 attack at the Mogadishu airport, and the second was a March 2015 attack at the Maka al-Mukarramah hotel in the city. U.S. citizens were among those killed in both attacks.
On 5 March a U.S. air strike killed more than a 100 al-Shabaab fighters in one of the group’s training facilities.
The Daily Mail reports that the strike which killed Dhoore and two other al-Shabaab officers took place about twenty south of Jilib in southern Somalia, not far from the Kenyan border.
The Pentagon press secretary, Peter Cook, said that al-Shabaab was “part of al-Qaeda,” thus placing the attacks in Somalia under the umbrella of the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF).
In a 2012 video, al-Shabaab leaders announced the merger of al-Shabaab and al-Qaeda.
Cook said Dhore played a “direct role” in a December 2014 attack on the Mogadishu airport that killed three African Union troops and a U.S. citizen, and said he was “directly responsible” for a March 2015 attack on a Mogadishu hotel that killed fifteen.
Cook also said that Dhore was “believed to have been plotting attacks targeting U.S. citizens in Mogadishu.”