Wednesday May 2, 2018
MOGADISHU (HOL) - Al-Shabab, a terrorist group based in Somalia is still maintaining its position to be the deadliest terror group in the African continent, according to a U.S based think tank said.
Despite losing many towns to allied forces, the militant group carried out an average of killing 13 people per day in last year, with five attacks each day in a period of one year.
In a report, the Washington-based, Africa Centre for Strategic Studies ranked Al-Shabab as the most dangerous terror group in Africa.
The group which emerged in 2007 has killed 4834 people in Somalia from March last year, the number stands at 49% of the combined 10,535 people killed across African continent by terror groups including Al-Shabaab, Boko Haram, Islamic State (ISIS), and al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).
Prof. Mohamed Mursal Ali, security expert and lecturer at Mount Kenya University who spoke to Hiiraan Online has supported the report by the think tank saying the militants still pose a security threat to Somalia and its neighbouring countries.
" Al-Shabab is the first terror group formed in East Africa thus, they received the sympathy of many of East African young people whom they brained washed," said Ali, "So the group has deep root in the region. Therefore their security threat on Somalia cannot be eliminated by military action but need to be dealt with public awareness."
He underscored that the group will keep on their attacks against civilians in Somalia as well as neighbouring countries till the leaders of the region address Al-Shabab's recruiting mission in and outside of Somalia.
Al-Shabab is an offshoot of the Islamic Courts Union (ICU) which was disintegrated by Ethiopia's troops who invaded Somalia in 2006.
Over time, attacks by militant Islamists against civilians in the horn of African nation were rising gradually bit by bit, just a few in 2006 to full blown after African Union sent its troops to Somalia help the government in peace restoration in 2007.
The group carried out deadly IED attacks in the capital including hotels, graduation ceremonies, government institutions and markets.
The Al-Shabab militant group also attacked several countries backing Somali government among them are Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia.
In 2010, the militants killed 74 people in Kampala, Uganda's capital city after twin Al-Shabab suicide blasts targeted football fans watching the World Cup final between the Netherlands and Spain at a restaurant and a rugby club.
A year later, Kenya had sent troops to Somalia following a string of abductions by Al-Shabab fighters inside the East African nation.
The terror vowed to carry out retaliatory attacks against Kenyan government over its decision to deploy its troops in Somalia.
In 2013 the militants attacked Westgate shopping complex in Nairobi, where they caused more than 60 civilian deaths and left hundreds injured.
Two years later, Al-Shabaab staged a deadlier attack in Garissa town after Somali and Kenyan members of the group stormed the campus of Kenya’s Garissa University and killed 147 students.
Ten years down the line, the militants are still struggling for survival as US military and allied force (Somali and Amisom troops) are ramping up operations to annihilate Al-Shabab from Somalia.
Ahmed Mohamed Adan