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Updated Jun 18, 2024, 10:21am EDT

US believes ISIS is growing in Africa as leader targeted in airstrike on Somalia

FBI Director Christopher Wray.
Nathan Howard/Reuters
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The global leader of ISIS may have been killed in a United States’ airstrike in Somalia last month, according to US officials.

Abdulqadir Mumin was believed to have quietly taken on the mantle of worldwide ISIS commander in 2023. US officials initially said the attack killed three militants, but now admit Mumin was the target: He was responsible for several deadly attacks throughout Somalia. ISIS still has thousands of fighters in the Middle East, but the group views Africa as a region of potential growth, hence basing its leader there.

The comments came as FBI director Christopher Wray made a rare trip to Africa this week, visiting Nigeria and Kenya to discuss the threat of ISIS, al-Qaida, and al-Shabab in the region, all of which consider Africa “very fertile ground.”

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