Al-Shabaab Claims U.S. Kills in Somalia After Obama Steps Up Secret Aid
PJM was not able to get a hold of anyone in the intelligence community this evening to confirm or deny the terror group's claim. There has been no public mention of the claim or of the attack by the administration.
Somali media have been publishing the claim of Schroen's death, but it hasn't been in U.S. media.
Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter, though, became the highest-ranking Pentagon official to ever visit Uganda in a trip there today to meet with "senior government and military leaders to affirm the growing security partnership between the United States and Uganda." His schedule was clear of events over the weekend and on Monday until the trip to the other country mentioned in Al-Shabaab's claims was announced.
"This visit was an opportunity to discuss a range of regional security challenges with Ugandan partners, including addressing conflict in Somalia, the Sudans, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, and ending the threat to civilians and to regional stability posed by Joseph Kony and the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA)," the Pentagon said.
"While in Uganda, Deputy Secretary Carter conducted a phone call with President Yoweri Museveni, who was traveling outside Kampala, and met with State Minister for Foreign Affairs Henry Okello, Chief of Defence Forces Edward Katumba Wamala, Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence Brigadier General Charles Bakahumura, and Chief of Staff of Ugandan Land Forces Brigadier General Leopold Kyanda. The deputy also met with U.S. personnel supporting the Ugandan military's effort to remove leaders of the LRA from the battlefield and a separate contingent of U.S. forces providing specialized counterterrorism training to Ugandan forces who will deploy as part of the African Union Mission in Somalia."
President Obama told Congress in the "consolidated" version of last month's report on U.S. activities consistent with the War Powers Resolution that "in Somalia, the U.S. military has worked to counter the terrorist threat posed by al-Qa'ida and associated elements of al-Shabaab."
A June report by the U.N. Monitoring Group for Somalia and Eritrea charged that the Obama administration has expanded its secret war in Somalia in such a way that could violate the arms embargo.
"A large part of the assistance provided to the Somali security forces involved in counter-insurgency and anti-terrorism operations at the federal and regional levels has not been reported. According to multiple diplomatic and military sources, the Governments of the United States and the United Kingdom are increasingly involved in directly supporting intelligence services in 'Somaliland', 'Puntland' and Mogadishu, at times in violation of resolutions 733 (1992) and 1425 (2002)," the report states.
"From August 2012 to March 2013, the Monitoring Group identified 84 civilian flights operated to Mogadishu and 'Puntland' by the United States-based air companies Prescott Support Co. and RAM Air Services, which are connected to United States support to 'Puntland' and Mogadishu intelligence services, 54 in comparison to 65 flights counted in the same period of the previous mandate of the Monitoring Group, indicating an increase in United States support."