In two days, Shabaab has launched two suicide assaults across southern Somalia. Additionally, it continues to target high-ranking government officials in a renewed assassination campaign.
Al-Qaeda’s senior leadership released a statement praising the jihadists in Mali and elsewhere in Western Africa for confronting the “Crusaders.” Al-Qaeda’s management team encourages them to dismantle the “French and American project” across the region.
Ali Mohamud Rage, a senior Shabaab official, has released a video concerning the group’s assault on the Manda Bay Airfield earlier this week. Three Americans were killed during the attack, which Rage says was “carried out under the guidance and direction” of Ayman al-Zawahiri.
Shabaab, al-Qaeda’s regional branch in East Africa, assaulted the Manda Bay Airfield in Kenya earlier today. The extent of the damage is unclear, but at least some aircraft and equipment was set ablaze.
The Department of Justice has unsealed an updated indictment against Jehad Serwan Mostafa, an American who has long served as a senior figure in Shabaab. The FBI alleges that Mostafa has played a role in Shabaab’s explosives department, among other jobs. In 2011, he served as an emissary for Ayman al-Zawahiri.
Shabaab released a two-page statement saying the Jan. 15 attack at a hotel in Nairobi was conducted in accordance with Ayman al Zawahiri’s “guidelines.” The al Qaeda arm has other reasons for striking inside Kenya as well, including the government’s role in the guerrilla war in Somalia.
The State Department has amended the terrorist designation of Shabaab, al Qaeda’s branch in East Africa, to include Al-Hijra, which has served as Shabaab’s “wing” in Kenya. In the past, according to the UN, Al-Hijra has played a key role in Shabaab’s planning of terrorist attacks.
The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) says that 12 Ugandan soldiers were killed in an ambush by Shabaab yesterday. The al Qaeda branch claims the casualties were much higher and a local official told the press that 24 bodies were carried away from the scene.