Westgate Mall mastermind killed and other regional updates from Global Risk Awareness
Somalia: US drone strike eliminates al-Shabaab mastermind behind Westgate Mall attack
A United-States drone strike targeted senior Al-Shabaab commander Adan Garaar’s vehicle, killing him as well as two other militants, in southern Somalia’s Abaq Xaluul, located just outside of the southwestern town of Bardhere during evening hours local time on 12 March. Garaar was believed to be the mastermind behind the major terrorist attack on Nairobi, Kenya’s Westgate mall, in which al-Shabaaab gunmen killed at least 67 people and injured another 175, in a four day siege that spanned from 21-24 September 2013.
Syria: Kurds request that US-led coalition airstrikes target ISIS in northeast
Kurdish fighters called on the US-led coalition to conduct airstrikes and target Islamic State (ISIS) positions in northeastern Syria, where the Kurds remain engaged in fierce battles with ISIS fighters. The request for aerial assistance came only days after both Kurds and ISIS suffered dozens of casualties. Meanwhile, the UK-base Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) indicated in a new report that the Syrian regime had tortured at least 12,751 people, including 108 children, since the start of the revolution in 2011. Additionally, the organisation noted that at least another 20,000 Syrians – who were all reportedly arrested by regime forces – remain unaccounted for.
Iraq: Deadly bombing attacks strike Baghdad, nearby area
At least seven people were killed in two separate bombing attacks that targeted civilians during afternoon hours local time; in the first attack, unidentified militants placed an improvised explosives-device near a market, killing four people and injuring seven, approximately 20 kilometers (four miles) south of Baghdad while the second attack struck near an in ice cream shop in the capital city’s western district of Ghazaliyah.
In areas surrounding Tikirt, Iraqi forces continued making gains, launching dozens of rockets and mortars at the ISIS-controlled city centre. Sources indicated the Iraqi military’s campaign to retake the city continued to be slowed down by the high number of IEDs planted across Tikrit by ISIS cadres. Despite that 50% of the city has been retaken by Iraqi forces, reports indicated there may be as many as 10,000 explosive devices remaining.
These reports come from Global Risk Awareness, a world leading Cyber Intelligence company.