On Dec. 25, the Islamic State released a video promoting its fighters in Somalia and inciting attacks in the West. The group’s propagandists referred to the cadre as the Islamic State’s Somali “province.”
The raid shows that while Shabaab is largely focused in central and southern Somalia, it continues to be a threat in the north as well.
The bombing was the first claimed attack in months for the Islamic State forces inside Somalia.
The al Qaeda branch claimed a massive IED attack on a military convoy in Puntland, as well as shelling a military base in southern Somalia that also reportedly hosts US troops.
It is the Islamic State’s first major operation in Puntland since it captured the town of Qandala last October.
This marks the first time the fledgling Islamic State branch has claimed control over a town in Somalia.