US forces kill top ISIS leader Bilal al-Sudani, 10 militants in Somalia

U.S. President Joe Biden

U.S President Joe Biden

Bilal al-Sudani, a senior leader of Islamic State, ISIS, global network has been killed alongside 10 operatives of the terror group in an operation by U.S forces in northern Somalia.

The operation against the terror group which was authorized by US President Joe Biden took place on Thursday in a mountainous cave complex in northern Somalia.

Bilal al-Sudani is alleged to be focal to expansion ISIS network across Africa and has also been linked to the cells of the terror group in Afghanistan, from his hideout in Somalia, US officials say.

Confirming the killing of the ISIS leader on Thursday, U.S Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, said, “On January 25, on orders from the President, the U.S. military conducted an assault operation in northern Somalia that resulted in the death of a number of ISIS members, including Bilal-al-Sudani, an ISIS leader in Somalia and a key facilitator for ISIS’s global network. Al-Sudani was responsible for fostering the growing presence of ISIS in Africa and for funding the group’s operations worldwide, including in Afghanistan.”

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“No civilians were harmed as a result of this operation. We are grateful to our extraordinary service members as well as our intelligence community and other interagency partners for their support to this successful counterterrorism operation.”

Al-Sudani was sanctioned by the US treasury in 2012 for helping foreign fighters travel to an al-Shabaab training camp and facilitating financing, according to a US first official.

He was described by the US Treasury as a U.S -designated ISIS leader in Somalia involved in helping ISIS supporters in South Africa become better organized and recruit new members “through large-scale operations in areas where government control is limited.”

“ISIS branches in Africa rely on local fundraising schemes such as theft, extortion of local populations, and kidnapping for ransom, as well as financial support from the ISIS hierarchy.”

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