"He posed a major threat to the region and the international community and was connected to the West Gate Mall attack in Nairobi, Kenya."
The Pentagon said Tahliil Abdishakur's "death will significantly impact al Shabaab's ability to conduct attacks."
A spokesman of the militant group said it "targeted the enemies at a time they were celebrating Christmas."
At least 36 non-Muslim workers were killed, including two being beheaded
Gunmen ordered non-Muslims off a bus Saturday and shot 28 dead. Muslim passengers were spared.
The Somali Islamist militant group al Shabaab, which attacked the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi last September, took credit