WASHINGTON - US Navy SEALs were hunting a top commander of the Islamist Shebab group in a weekend raid in Somalia, a US official revealed Monday, as Washington defended twin operations in African nations as legal.

Abdulkadir Mohamed Abdulkadir, a Kenyan of Somali origin, who is a foreign fighter with Shebab and goes by the alias Ikrima, was the target of Saturday’s assault on the southern Somali port of Barawe, the US official said. The Kenyan is linked with two Qaeda operatives, who played roles in the 1998 bombings of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, the official said. The operatives, named as Fazul Abdullah and Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan, are also believed to have played a role in the 2002 attacks against Israeli targets in Mombasa, Kenya.