Somalia: Al-Shabab co-founder killed in joint strike, authorities say


Somalia says that an air strike killed Abdullahi Nadir, who was next in line for leadership of the Islamist militant group. President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has declared a “total war” against the group.

The strike was launched on October 1 by the Somali army and international partner forces. It killed Abdullahi Nadir, also known as Abdullahi Yare, near the town of Haramka, Somalia’s information ministry said.

Nadir had a $3 million (€3.1 million) bounty on his head by the United States.

What do we know about Abdullahi Nadir?

“This leader… was the head preacher of the group and one of the most notorious members of the Shabab group,” the ministry statement said.

“He was former head of the Shura council and the group’s director for finances,” the ministry said. The Shura council is a consultation group within al-Shabab.

According to the ministry, Nadir was a co-founder of the group and was next in line for leadership. Al-Shabab’s current leader, Ahmed Diriye, is sick.

“His elimination is like a thorn removed from Somalia as a nation,” the ministry declared.

Recently elected President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud vowed to wage a “total war” to root out the militant group following a string of deadly attacks, including a 30-hour siege on a hotel in Mogadishu that killed 21 people.

Somalia’s military is supported by US forces and an African Union peacekeeping mission. The information ministry statement did not specify which international partners were involved in the strike that killed Abdullahi Nadir.

sdi/kb (AP, AFP, Reuters)