Neil Prakash, an Australian recruiter for the Islamic State group (also called ISIS), was arrested somewhere in the Middle East after surviving drone attacks by the FBI, the New York Times reported Thursday. "The Australian Government has been advised by the United States Government that Australian citizen and member of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, another acronym for ISIS), Neil Christopher Prakash, was killed by a US airstrike in Mosul, Iraq, on 29 April 2016," the statement said. "Neil Prakash was a prominent ISIL member and a senior terrorist recruiter and attack facilitator. In 2015, authorities alleged Prakash was communicating with a group of Melbourne men plotting an Anzac Day terrorist attack.
Amid Syria's five-year-old civil war and Iraq's push to expel the Islamic State group from its major cities, President Barack Obama has quietly reneged on promises of "no boots on the ground" in recent years. A campaign involving private contractors, drone strikes and up to 300 U.S. Special Operations troops against the al Qaeda offshoot group al-Shabab has been escalating there over the past year, the New York Times reported Sunday, citing "senior American military officials." Somalia, along with Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, isn't alone when it comes to American military involvement. On Thursday, Oct. 13, the U.S. engaged in direct military action with Somalia's neighbor, Yemen, entering into a civil war there between the Yemeni government and Iranian-backed Houthi rebels.