Following a delay of over two weeks, the Islamic State has officially taken credit for the Christmas day suicide bombing in eastern Congo. The bombing is just the fourth such operation conducted by the Islamic State’s local wing.
The Islamic State has claimed a series of bombings, including suicide bombings, inside Uganda over the past month. This represents a significant shift in the overall threat from the Islamic State’s wing based in the DRC.
The Islamic State’s Central African Province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has seen a rapid expansion in claimed activity in recent months. At the same time, it has tried to exploit the global coronavirus pandemic to recruit individuals.
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.
Today’s claim marks the first time the Islamic State has claimed any activity in Central Africa.
The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) says that 12 Ugandan soldiers were killed in an ambush by Shabaab yesterday. The al Qaeda branch claims the casualties were much higher and a local official told the press that 24 bodies were carried away from the scene.
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.”
The photos show Shabaab’s Sheikh Abu Zubayr Battalion again overrunning an African Union base in Somalia.