Maybe We'll Have a War in Somalia Now, or Just Keep Quietly Bombing It

Pentagon officials announced over the weekend that they'd executed some kind of an air-strike operation against members of Al-Shabaab, an Islamist militant group in Somalia, because apparently defense planners are really used to multitasking at this point, and it feels weird now to just bomb one thing, you know?

Rear Adm. David Kirby, the Defense Department spokesman, was tight-lipped on details of the operation, beyond its existence. But the New York Times quoted an unnamed official as saying the attack had targeted "a senior Shabaab operative." NBC News sources identified that operative as Ahmed Abdi Godane, the group's leader, described as "operationally savvy and ideologically driven, with aspirations off the charts." He was reportedly attacked with two Hellfire missiles.

Al-Shabaab, which has been loosely connected to Al Qaeda, was behind the Nairobi Westgate mall attack last year in which multiple shooters killed 68 and injured 175 in an extended siege. U.S. and Somali leaders have targeted the group since 2006, when it seized a significant part of Southern Somalia.

Those efforts may have intensified yesterday, when militants from the group attacked a prison in Mogadishu, the capital, with a car bomb and gunfire in an attempt to spring several inmates. Somali officials said 12 people died in that attack, including the entire Al-Shabaab attacking force.

[Photo credit: AP Images]