U.S. Military Kills Senior ISIS Leader in Somalia

January 27, 2023


Pentagon officials said the U.S. military killed a senior leader of the Islamic State terrorist group, or ISIS, and ten other ISIS fighters in Somalia Wednesday night.

U.S. officials said Bilal al-Sudani was a key operative and facilitator of ISIS’ global network. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a statement that al-Sudani was “responsible for fostering the growing presence of ISIS in Africa and funding the group’s operations worldwide, including in Afghanistan.”

Austin confirmed the kill. “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,” he said.

In 2012, al-Sudani was sanctioned by the Treasury Department for taking part in the financing of foreign fighters to travel to a training camp of al-Shabab, the militant group in Somalia.

President Joe Biden ordered Wednesday night’s operation in Somalia after Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley recommended it.

U.S. forces, according to one official, were prepared to capture al-Sudani but the “hostile force’s response” in Somalia instead resulted in his death.

No civilians were wounded or killed in the Somalia operation, according to U.S. officials.

The operation, which followed months of planning, took place in Somalia’s mountainous northern region and yielded some intelligence, according to officials who did not go into detail. 

Read more exclusive news from Political IQ.

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