Thirteen years after the terrorist bombings that killed over 200 people and injured thousands more at the U.S. embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, the victims of the attacks received a small measure of justice with the death of the man suspected of planning them.
Somali officials said Harun Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, the purported leader of the Al Qaeda terror network in East Africa, recently was killed in a confrontation with police at a checkpoint near Mogadishu. He was found to be carrying multiple identity documents, and announcement of the incident was delayed until he and another suspected terrorist killed with him were positively identified.
He was the third major Al Qaeda figure killed in recent weeks in U.S. efforts to counter the group's campaign of death and destruction, including its former leader Osama bin Laden. The search for others continues.
Aimed as a blow at the United States, the 1998 embassy bombings in fact killed few Americans. The cold-blooded and reckless attacks claimed 224 lives and wounded nearly 5,000 other people, the vast majority native Africans. Terrorism is not surgical in nature, nor does it distinguish among its victims.
Harun Fazul's death is a significant blow to Al Qaeda, its extremists allies in places such as Somalia where he was killed, and its operations in East Africa. It is a just end to a man who brought so much pain and death to so many innocents throughout the region.
Our nation has not forgotten those losses. Nor have we forgotten our pledge to seek justice against those who caused them.