Top Al-Shabaab figure killed in drone strike, Pentagon says

Members of Al-Shabaab surrender to forces of the African Union Mission in Somalia in 2012.

Story highlights

  • Adan Garar, connected to the 2013 Westgate mall attack in Kenya, was riding in a vehicle that was struck from the air
  • He was killed in southwestern Somalia, the U.S. military said

(CNN)A key Al-Shabaab operative, who was connected to the Westgate mall attack in Kenya, was killed recently by a U.S. drone strike, the Pentagon announced Wednesday.

Adan Garar, a member of Al-Shabaab's intelligence and security wing, was killed Thursday in southwestern Somalia as he traveled in a vehicle, according to Pentagon news release.
    Garar was responsible for "coordinating the terror group's external operations, which target U.S. persons and other Western interests in order to further al Qaeda's goals and objectives," the Pentagon said in the statement.
    In September, Al-Shabaab leader Ahmed Abdi Godane was also killed in a U.S. airstrike near Barawe city.
    Al-Shabaab has been blamed and taken responsibility for attacks on city streets, at markets, at prisons and a U.N. compound in Mogadishu.
    It's most high-profile attack came in 2013 at Nairobi's upscale Westgate mall, when terrorists casually walked into the building, pulled out weapons and began gunning down shoppers. The gunmen were accused of torturing some hostages before killing them.
    As many as 67 people died in the siege.