Global terror group, Al Qaeda, has released and subsequently published through the Al-Khataib Media Channel a sequel of its leader, Sheikh Ayman Mohammed Rabie al-Zawahiri lecture’s series on East Africa and its branch in the region, Harakat Shabaab Mujahideen Movement (HSM). In the latest media, which comes just before the anniversary of the 7th August 1998 bombings in Nairobi, and a month before the September 11th terror attack in United States, al-Zawahiri nostalgically recounts and discusses decades of historical jihad in the region into present day, a psychological warfare tactic meant to inspire an escalation. The focus on Shabaab is meant to inspire and deploy fighters to attack Western interests in East Africa besides escalate ongoing terror activities.
It will be difficult to contest the fact Al-Shabaab terror group will attack a Western target in East Africa in coming days, they warned they’d do so in 2017, argues S.I CT lead analyst David Goldman. Most Intelligence officers in counter terrorism operations may have already forgot about the threat issued by Al-Shabaab to the United States in July 2017, “Your military’s invasion of Somalia will continue to destabilize your country. When we do strike, your government will not be able to protect you”. When we put this together with the anniversary of the 7th August 1998 bombing targeting U.S Interests in Tanzania and Kenya, this new Al-Qaeda video only confirm’s that the terrorists have something up their sleeve, and we must do all it takes to stop them. We must also, not forget, that, since the Westgate Mall attack on September 21st 2013, Shabaab has not conducted another large scale terror attack targeting Western interests in East Africa, an indicator they’ve been planning one, and Al-Qaeda is desperate it be executed now.
Kenya is symbolic due to its geopolitical power, but a remote conflict area like Burundi will give such an event desired traction. We’ve already seen an increase in sally’s against American troops in Somalia and very saddening deaths. American, British, and other pro-Western embassies must be on the lookout. Hotels flocked by diplomats and United Nations staffers must exercise extra caution. The U.S strategy in Somalia is to suppress the terror group through sustained military operations putting to bed the debate within Shura council whether the United States and its allies should be included in Shabaab’s terrorism operations or jihad.
In late May 2018, S.I analysts reviewed media published Al-Khataib and found out Harakat Shabaab Mujahideen Movement was taking up a new role in global jihad. According to the report, Abu Ubaydah Ahmad Umar Al-Shabaab leader re-swore fealty to al Qaeda’s senior leadership and emphasized his group’s (Harakat Al-Shabaab Mujahineed Movement) adherence to al Qaeda’s ideals. In what seems to be a response to Ubaidah’s fealty and bowing down prostrate, Sheikh Ayman Mohammed Rabie al-Zawahiri explains that Shabaab gave bayah to bin Laden and al Qaeda years before it was told away to the world.
Sheikh Ayman Mohammed Rabie al-Zawahiri compels Harakat Shabaab Mujahideen Movement fighters and Muslims in East Africa to establish a “Foundation for Islam and Jihad,” to Integrate into Global War, a typical call to action tactic. According to S.I, this is a call to action and activation of Al-Qaeda cells in the region. There numerous cells. S.I has tracked cells in Central Africa, Mozambique, Burundi, and Tanzania. While Tanzania tops with most Shabaab adherents, Kenya comes second due to its proximity with Somalia. Al-Qaeda’s anti West agenda seems is the sequel’s agenda, that operatives must attack Western targets in East Africa and at the same time escalate ongoing terrorist activities.