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.
While the claim cannot be confirmed, the German jihadist is wanted by the Kenyan government for his roles in several attacks in the country.
Shabaab, al Qaeda’s official branch in East Africa, has issued a statement claiming responsibility for a failed airliner bombing on Feb. 2. The group portrays the bombing as part of its ongoing war with “Western and apostate intelligence” services, but doesn’t explain how its adversaries in the CIA and other spy agencies were specifically targeted.
The Department of Justice announced today that an American named Maalik Alim Jones has been charged with supporting Shabaab, al Qaeda’s regional branch in East Africa. Jones was allegedly a member of Shabaab’s Jaysh Ayman unit, which is responsible for launching attacks against Kenyan forces.
An American who fought for Shabaab in Somalia has reportedly surrendered to African Union forces. He turned himself in after swearing allegiance to Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, the head of the Islamic State. Shabaab’s leaders, who remain loyal to al Qaeda emir Ayman al Zawahiri, have been purging defectors.
The State Department announced today that two senior Shabaab officials, including the group’s emir or leader, have been added to the US government’s list of designated terrorists.