US-Somalia mission detains suspected al-Shabab associate

Al Qaeda-linked al-Shabab recruits walk down a street in the Deniile district of the Somali capital of Mogadishu after their graduation March 5, 2012.

MOGADISHU, Somalia — The U.S. military says a mission in Somalia has detained a suspected associate of the al-Shabab extremist group who once lived in the United States.

A U.S. Africa Command spokeswoman said Wednesday that Abdirizak Tahlil is accused of “facilitating the use of improvised explosive devices in Somalia” and is detained by Somalia’s government.

The Trump administration recently approved stepped-up military efforts against al-Shabab, which is Africa’s deadliest Islamic extremist group.

Spokeswoman Jennifer Dyrcz says the mission that captured Tahlil was led by Somalia’s military with “limited tactical advisory support” from U.S. forces on Sunday morning.

Dyrcz says Tahlil reportedly was granted status as a lawful U.S. permanent resident and lived in the United States between 2006 and 2009.

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