SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – The killing of Al-Shabaab leader, Ahmed Godane was announced on Friday by Pentagon press secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby, who declared it a “major symbolic and operational loss”. Godane was a co-founder of the terrorist group, which has carried out bombings and suicide attacks in the east African country and elsewhere.
He publicly claimed responsibility for last September’s attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, saying it was revenge for Kenyan and Western involvement in Somalia. Abdi Ayante, director of the Heritage Institute for Policy Studies in the Somali capital of Mogadishu, said Godane’s death would be “a game changer” for al-Shabaab and would likely bring about a struggle for power.
He said fragmentation was also possible in the absence of a leader with Godane’s experience and ruthless attitude towards dissenters. A separate statement from White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said the operation that killed Godane was the result of “years of painstaking work by our intelligence, military and law enforcement professionals”.