Tim Lister and Zain Verjee
June 13, 2011
At midnight last Tuesday, two men were traveling in a black four-wheel drive through the Somali capital, Mogadishu. One was Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, the most wanted terrorist in Africa. Mohammed had survived more than a decade on the run, at least one attempt on his life, and a $5 million price on his head for planning the 1998 attacks on the U.S. embassies in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
But his luck was about to run out in the chaos of Mogadishu, where the frontlines in the battle between the weak transitional government and al Qaeda affiliate al-Shabaab shift almost weekly. His vehicle headed toward a government checkpoint, possibly after taking a wrong turn. According to several accounts it tried to speed through, setting off a firefight with police.