WASHINGTON — Helicopter-borne U.S. Special Forces attacked and killed a top Al Qaeda-linked suspect in southern Somalia early Monday, U.S. officials said.
Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan, a 30-year-old Kenyan sought in the 2002 bombing of an Israeli-owned resort in Kenya and an unsuccessful attempt that year to shoot down an Israeli airliner, was among four men killed in the attack, officials said.
U.S. troops fired from the air at a vehicle in which the men were traveling.
At least four helicopters participated in the raid, launched from a nearby U.S. naval vessel, a senior military official said.
At least one of the helicopters landed and troops retrieved the bodies.
"You want to go in there, do this fast, and get out before you're detected," the official said.
Officials said Nabhan was the target of the raid, which the Associated Press reported took place in a village near Baraawe.
The region is under the control of the Shabab militia, which is fighting to overthrow the U.S.-backed Somali government and install strict Islamic law.