Mohamoud Abdi Aden is the second Kenyan-Somali the U.S. State Department has placed a $10 million bounty on in the last week. Shabaab now has five leaders with $10 million bounties, the most for any Sunni jihadist group.
The U.S. has now placed a $10 million bounty on Maalim Ayman, the leader of Shabaab’s military wing in Kenya. Maalim Ayman now joins the ranks of other high-profile Sunni jihadis around the world demanding a similar price tag.
Since resuming military activity inside Somalia earlier this year, the Biden Administration has ramped up the pace of airstrikes in the Horn of Africa country in recent weeks. Since June 3, the US has conducted at least six airstrikes against Shabaab, al Qaeda’s branch in East Africa.
Shabaab again highlights operations from its urban assassination unit in Mogadishu. In doing so, it places these killings in the context of the wider global jihad.
Shabaab, al Qaeda’s branch in East Africa, continues to conduct a high operational tempo inside northeastern Kenya.
The governor of Kenya’s Mandera County recently stated that Shabaab is controlling “over 50 percent’ of northern Kenya and “more than 60 percent” of Mandera. Kenyan authorities have quickly scrambled to contradict these claims.
Shabaab killed several military officials in a suicide bombing today in Galkayo. This is just the latest in a renewed assassination campaign that has targeted a wide range of high profile Somali leaders this year.
The Al Qaeda branch claims its men enacted “heavy losses” to AMISOM and Kenyan troops in southern Somalia. African Union troops and the Somali government have stated otherwise, however.
AFRICOM has stepped up its air campaign against Shabaab since the beginning of the year, targeting the group 33 times.
U.S. Africa Command said it killed the Shabaab commander was “in charge of planning and directing terrorist operations” along the Kenyan border, including the raid on the Manda Bay Airfield. Three Americans were killed in that attack.
One U.S. service member and two Defense Department contractors were killed during a raid by Shabaab on the Manda Bay Airfield in Kenya earlier today. U.S. AFRICOM accused the al-Qaeda arm of exaggerating the effects of its operation, which is true. But the jihadists still managed to infiltrate an airfield used by the U.S. and its allies to combat the group.
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.
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 jihadist group continues to launch large-scale attacks inside Kenyan territory.
Shabaab has managed to launch 418 attacks of different types during the six-month timeframe in support of its persistent and ongoing insurgency against Somalia’s weak central government and allied African Union forces.
Shabaab continues to claim deadly attacks on Kenyan Defense Forces inside Kenya despite military operations against it.
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.
Two busy markets in southern Somalia were targeted by deadly explosions this week, which left at least 14 people dead and many others wounded.
Shabaab has claimed a number of attacks in recent days across southern Somalia, including briefly recapturing the strategic town of Balad just north of Mogadishu.
Over the past three weeks, dozens of people in Kenya have been killed by Shabaab in assaults and improvised explosive device attacks.
In a newly released video, Shabaab spokesman Sheikh Ali Mahmoud Rage addresses graduates of a training camp for foreign fighters. “Many” of the graduates are from Kenya and, Rage says, they should form an “army that will conquer Kenya so that we may return to our families and relatives in a state of honor and glory.”
Shabaab, al Qaeda’s branch in Somalia, has released a video of a Kenyan soldier who was captured during a Jan. 15, 2016 raid on an AMISOM base in El Adde. The UN found that approximately 150 Kenyan soldiers were killed in the attack and another 11 were taken hostage. The jihadists’ attack in El Adde was “the largest military defeat in Kenyan history,” according to the UN.
Shabaab’s deadly raid on a Kenyan Defense Forces base in southern Somalia last week comes just over a year after a similar assault left at least 100 Kenyan soldiers dead.
Shabaab continues to demonstrate its deadliness in both Kenya and Somalia.
Shabaab’s leader in Kenya warns jihadists will turn the country’s flag red with “the blood that we will spill in Kenya.”
Over the past two weeks, African Union forces withdrew from the southern Somali towns of Marka, El Ade, and Badhadhe. Al Qaeda’s branch in Somalia quickly reoccupied the towns.
The video, which was focused on the legality of providing protection and killing the non-believers, features two undated ambushes on Kenyan security forces. Additionally, the video also calls for attacks on Israelis.
Despite being pushed out of several of its urban and rural strongholds, the Al Qaeda branch continues to prove its potency in the capture of the African Union base.
Shabaab, al Qaeda’s official branch in Somalia and East Africa, continues to be a capable insurgent and terrorist group in the region.
The US State Department today announced a reward of up to $6 million for information leading to the whereabouts of Shabaab’s emir, Abu Ubaidah Ahmad Umar, who is loyal to al Qaeda head Ayman al Zawahiri. Five other Shabaab leaders now have rewards targeting them as well.