Two statements, which were released by al Qaeda’s general command and al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, were addressed to Shabaab yesterday in a coordinated messaging campaign.
Shabaab, just days after launching assaults on US and Italian troops, has now also claimed two IEDs on a US-trained Somali special forces unit.
No casualties were reported in either attack, however.
The camp is at least the second one ran by the Islamic State in Somalia’s northern Puntland region.
Shabaab’s “Then Fight the Leaders of Disbelief” video series features clips of various al Qaeda figures from the past and present. Shabaab argues that Somali hotels are legitimate targets because they serve as “heavily fortified bases” for the government and its allies.
Shabaab, al Qaeda’s branch in Somalia, claims it tried to assassinate James Swan, a US diplomat and the UN Special Envoy to Somalia.
The defeat of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria was neither final nor decisive, and policymakers should heed the War on Terror’s lessons to ensure the West doesn’t squander this advantage and enable ISIS, or its copycats and successor groups, to rally.
AFRICOM has stepped up its targeting of the Islamic State, and continues to pursue its efforts to “degrade” al Qaeda’s branch in Somalia. Unfortunately, the defeat of the two terror groups is not in the cards.