France says its military has killed a terrorist known as Abu Walid.
The Islamic State Leader is believed to be the mastermind of the ambush and killing of four U.S. servicemen in Niger in 2017.
One of those was Army Sgt. La David Johnson of Miami Gardens, whose death rocked South Florida and the widow and children he left behind.
Local 10 News first met Johnson back in 2013 before his military service when he’d ride on his one-wheeled bike to work for fun.
Friends and family said he was smart and resourceful, which lead him to become a vehicle mechanic in the army on a specialized unit.
The Pentagon revealed that on a harrowing day in 2017, Johnson fired back at more than 100 ISIS members as they ambushed his team.
And even after becoming separated, he fought until the very end.
French President Emmanuel Macron called the death of Abu Walid a “major success.”
In South Florida, U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson, reacted to the news in a statement, saying:
“I was extremely pleased by reports that French forces have killed Adnan Abou Walid al-Sahrawi, leader of the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISIS-GS), in a drone strike. This notorious terrorist was responsible for brutal and often fatal attacks on countless individuals, including my constituent Sgt. LaDavid Johnson, who was one of the four American servicemen killed during an ambush he led in Niger in October 2017.
“While his assassination does not make up for the many lives lost at his direction, it is an important step in the fight against terrorism. I hope this news brings some measure of comfort to the families who lost loved ones during his reign of terror and sends a strong warning to other ISIS leaders.
“Merci beaucoup to the members of the French forces for ridding the world of this monster.”
Wilson, who received national attention for questioning Donald Trump’s administration over how the president spoke to Johnson’s widow, questioned why troops were in Niger in the first place.