On Thursday, a top Islamic State official named Bilal-al-Sudani was killed in a US counterterrorism operation in northern Somalia. Lloyd Austin, the US defense secretary, has stated that no civilians or service members were killed during the operation.

US counterterrorism forces on Thursday eliminated a top Islamic State leader in northern Somalia. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has stated that no US personnel or civilians were harmed during the operation.

Here are five facts about Bilal al-Sudani:

  1. According to the United States, Al-Sudani was instrumental in establishing ISIS’s foothold in Africa and providing the organization’s financial backing for its global activities.
  2. The White House stated in a press release that al-Sudani had a history of terrorism in Somalia. In 2012, he was blacklisted by the US Treasury Department for his participation in the violent al-Shabaab movement in Somalia before he even joined ISIS.
  3. Before joining the Islamic State, Sudani spent ten years recruiting and training fighters for al-Shabaab.
  4. According to the White House, Sudani played a crucial role in operations and finances and possessed unique abilities, making him a prime target for American anti-terrorism efforts.
  5. In the past, he had a mountain stronghold in northern Somalia from which he supplied and coordinated funds for Islamic State affiliates.