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IN LATE JANUARY, the U.S. military conducted an operation in a cave complex located in northern Somalia that resulted in the death of Bilal al-Sudani, a key operative and facilitator for the Islamic State. The raid provides further evidence that Africa has become the “epicenter” for Islamic State activity in particular and for the global Sunni jihadist movement more broadly. Certainly, counterterrorism has been downgraded as a U.S. national security priority. Yet, the use of American military personnel in a risky ground-based operation reflects al-Sudani’s importance as well as the United


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