It's not surprising that the Navy SEAL raid in Somalia Oct. 4 was
called off soon after it began, according to a senior military official.
Wednesday, October 09, 2013
seaside hamlet where the target, Abdikadir Mohamed Abdikadir, also
known as "Ikrima," teemed with civilians. Pressing the raid further, the
official said, would have put innocent people at risk.
official, who has been briefed about the raid, provided details of the
operation on the raid on condition of anonymity because they were not
authorized to make them public. The Pentagon acknowledges that the
raid's goal was to snatch Ikrima, a top commander of al-Shabab, the
terrorist group responsible for the massacre at the Westgate mall in
Nairobi last month.
The safety of the SEALs was equally important,
the official said. It doesn't take long for angry, armed mobs to form
in Somalia. The lessons of "Black Hawk Down" clearly inform Pentagon
planning and execution of raids.
It's 20 years to the month when a raid to capture another militant
leader in Somalia went awry. Angry, armed militants poured into the
streets of Mogadishu after the downing of two Black Hawk helicopters
used to ferry troops to the fight. The battle claimed the lives of 18
U.S. troops and hundreds of Somalis.
No SEALs were hurt in the raid on Saturday, the official said.
Pentagon is targeting al-Shabab as an affiliate of al-Qaeda and has
linked it to the bombing of the U.S. embassy in Kenya in 1998 and deadly
attacks on an airliner and hotel in Kenya in 2002.
free but the raid no doubt rattled him, the official said. He has to
be concerned about informants in his inner circle. He also has to worry
that he's on the SEALs' list, not exactly a prescription for a long,
"U.S. military personnel conducted the operation with
unparalleled precision and demonstrated that the United States can put
direct pressure on al-Shabab leadership at any time of our choosing,"
Pentagon press secretary George Little said in a statement.
official also pointed out that U.S. special operators were successful
this weekend in Libya, nabbing Abu Anas al-Libi, another al Qaeda
operative. No U.S. troops were hurt in that raid, either.
.500 in complicated, high-risk operations with no casualties is a pretty
good average, the official said. It will get you into Cooperstown.