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.