People in Power With Minnesota Connections Talk About Dangers of Al-Shabaab

May 05, 2017 06:45 PM

A Navy SEAL was killed in a raid against Al-Shabaab terrorists on Thursday in Somalia, 40 miles from the capital city of Mogadishu.

He was on a clandestine mission with Somali soldiers. The Defense Department is not releasing his name yet.

The random attack that took the Navy SEAL's life is all too common in Somalia, according to experts with Minnesota ties.

RELATED: US Military Member Killed in Somalia on Anti-Extremist Work

"They are able to organize suicide attacks and car bombs and assassinations," said the Somali Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Abdi Aynte.

Aynte, who is from Minnesota, left his life in the U.S. to help his country recover from a 25 year civil war. Aynte said living with violence is a fact of life in Somalia.

Aynte said Al Shabaab terrorists no longer control Mogadishu, but they are constantly carrying out violence in the city of three million people.

Forty miles from the center of Mogadishu, in Barii, in Lower Shabelle, is Al-Shabaab territory. It's also where reportedly there is a U.S. forces training base training Somali soldiers. It's in this rugged territory that a U.S. Navy SEAL was killed and two others were wounded.

The Pentagon said the soldier was on an advise and assist operation working with the Somali National Army looking for Al Shabaab operatives.


Special Operations forces, like the Navy SEALS, have been working with African Union and Somali soldiers in a clandestine mission to attack Al-Shabaab.

"We have the opportunity to further diminish their capacity, weaken their rank and file, because of the constant intelligence we the Somali government and U.S. are sharing to disrupt their communications," Aynte said.

Former deputy commander of U.S. Forces in Africa, Gen. Jon Jensen, was recently in Africa. He's now commanding the National Guard in Minnesota.

He said Al-Shabaab is very dangerous.

"In my travels in Africa, as far south as Malawi, we were talking about Al-Shabaab," he said.

Jensen said Al Shabaab wants to bring down Somalia's government and they want U.S. and other troops out of Africa. Aynte said the U.S. and Somalia agree, public enemy number one for both of them are the Al-Shabaab terrorists.


Farrah Fazal

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