The Daily Beast reports: As the self-proclaimed Islamic State trumpets its global terrorist campaign, U.S. special operations forces have quietly killed more than three dozen key ISIS operatives blamed for plotting deadly attacks in Europe and beyond.
Defense officials tell The Daily Beast that U.S. special operators have killed 40 “external operations leaders, planners, and facilitators” blamed for instigating, plotting, or funding ISIS’s attacks from Brussels and Paris to Egypt and Africa.
That’s less than half the overall number of ISIS targets that special operators have taken off the battlefield, one official explained, including top leaders like purported ISIS second-in-command Haji Imam, killed in March.
The previously unpublished number provides a rare glimpse into the U.S. counterterrorist mission that is woven into overall coalition efforts to defeat ISIS, and which is credited with crippling ISIS efforts to recruit foreign fighters and carry out more plots like the deadly assault on Paris that killed 130 last fall. [Continue reading…]