Blinded Victim: God in Al Qaeda Mastermind's Death

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A notorious al-Qaeda operative was killed in Somalia last week, government authorities reported on Saturday.

Fazul Abdullah Mohammed plotted the Aug. 7, 1998 U.S. Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania. The attacks killed 224 people, including 12 Americans.

The Somali government said the terrorist was killed in a shootout with Somali forces at a security checkpoint. Mohammed had been on the run for 13 years. His death was the third major blow to al-Qaeda in six weeks. The worldwide terror group was headed by Osama bin Laden until his death in May.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton confirmed Mohammed's death, calling it a quote "significant blow to al-Qaeda, its extremist allies and its operations in east Africa."

Somali President Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed said Mohammed also posed a grave threat to Somalia, which has been ravaged by two decades of anarchy and conflict. Ahmed congratulated government soldiers for killing Mohammed on Tuesday at a Mogadishu security checkpoint.

"His aim was to commit violence in and outside the country," Ahmed said, showing reporters documents and pictures he said government troops recovered from Mohammed.

One of the survivors, Douglas Sidialo, was blinded by the bombing in Kenya's capital of Nairobi.

"God the creator has delivered Fazul Abdullah Mohammed to his destiny the same way he delivered bin Laden to his destiny," he said. "When you kill by the sword, bullets and bombs, you die through a similar tragedy."

Sidialo, who said he once wanted to skin bin Laden alive, said Sunday he has "moved on" and now would have preferred to see Mohammed captured alive and asked to account for his decisions.

"Any death is not a cause of celebration," he said.

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