The jihadist group has long targeted hotels in Mogadishu, as they are popular with governmental and African Union officials and foreigners.
In a video released earlier this month, an Islamic State defector known as Antar al Kindi claims to expose the group’s “lies.” Al Kindi apologizes to Ayman al Zawahiri and other al Qaeda leaders. The video is part of an ongoing propaganda battle between the Islamic State and al Qaeda.
The League of the Righteous, which has threatened Americans in Iraq and also carried out several kidnappings, is the prime suspect. The Shiite militia has denied any involvement in the abduction of the three Americans.
Despite contradictory claims made by Kenya, the photo report appears to confirm a large number of Kenyan troops were killed in the attack.
Tariq Mahmoud Ahmed Al Sawah, an Egyptian held at Guantanamo since 2002, has been transferred to the Government of Bosnia. Despite compiling a lengthy dossier as an expert bomb maker on behalf of al Qaeda, US officials recommended that he be transferred. Al Sawah became a prolific source on al Qaeda and other detainees during his time in custody, and Joint Task Force – Guantanamo (JTF-GTMO) concluded that his fellow jihadists may seek retribution if he tried to rejoin their ranks.
The 13th edition of the Islamic State’s Dabiq magazine is filled with anti-al Qaeda and anti-Taliban arguments. Previous editions of Dabiq included similar attempts to undermine al Qaeda’s and the Taliban’s jihadist credentials.
The attack was claimed by Khalifa Umar Mansour, the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan’s leader for Peshawar and Darra Adam Khel, who is also responsible for attacking a military school in Peshawar in 2014 and an airbase near the same city in 2015.
An American citizen, Amin al Baroudi, pleaded guilty to violating US sanctions by providing “tactical equipment” to Ahrar al Sham, which is allied with al Qaeda’s arm in Syria.