Embassy bombing suspect targeted in strike

March 4, 2008 2:03:32 PM PST
A U.S. missile strike in Somalia on Monday targeted a Kenyan suspected in the 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in africa. The Navy was going after Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan when it launched at least two Tomahawk missiles from a submarine off the coast of the East African nation, a Pentagon and FBI official said.

"Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan is on the FBI's "seeking information list" and is wanted by the FBI for questioning in connection with the 2002 attacks at the Paradise Hotel and the unsuccessful surface to air missile attack against an Israeli airliner in Kenya," said FBI spokesman Richard Kolko.

The list consists of subjects the FBI would like to talk to, while the Most Wanted Terrorist list is suspects who have been indicted.

"He is also thought to be an associate of al-Qaida member Harun Fazul, who was indicted for the 1998 embassy bombings," Kolko said. He referred to the August 1998 simultaneous bombings of the embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania in which more than 200 people were killed.

Kolko said he could not confirm if Nabhan was hit in the strike and referred questions to the Defense Department. The Pentagon official said he did not know if the attack succeeded. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the record.

U.S. officials had said Monday that the missile attack was aimed at a "known al-Qaida terrorist" but declined to name him.

Officials have said for several years that ungoverned areas of Africa are a breeding ground for terrorist groups.

Hundreds of people shouted anti-American slogans Tuesday in Dobley, the southern Somali town that was hit in Monday's attack.

Dobley is just miles from Kenya, where border agents tightened controls.

Meanwhile, congressional auditors said Tuesday that the United States needs a comprehensive new strategy for Somalia.

The report by the Government Accountability Office said a number of challenges have limited existing U.S. and international efforts to stabilize the country, which has lacked a functioning central government since 1991.

It noted that an African Union peacekeeping mission has been hampered by a shortage of troops amid an insurgency; humanitarian and development assistance to Somalia has been limited because poor security keeps aid from the most vulnerable; international food aid has not reduced the country's acute malnutrition rates, and much of the assistance promised to Somalia is conditioned on political progress that has not been achieved.


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