The Al-Qaeda branch in Somalia, Harakat Shabaab Mujahideen movement (HSM), is sustaining terrorism campaigns against the government of Kenya. The terror group has adopted Kinetic warfare to target and destroy Kenyan security forces transport vehicles, communication systems, and border police stations stretched along the border with the federal republic of Somalia.
While the kinetic operations are mainly non-combat, the group is employing lethal remote controlled improvised explosive devices (RCIED) as ideal weaponry to target Kenya Government. The RCIED have successfully destroyed police vehicles besides several army infantry vehicles. Interestingly, the terrorists continue to film these events and filing them for production of psychological warfare material.
Combat aligned attacks against the Government of Kenya have been limited to ambushes targeting mobile patrol units using existing military supply routes (MSR) and ungraded all weather roads. Police patrols using the Japanese Toyota Land cruiser pickup and Chinese made Army and General Service Unit (GSU) transport trucks have been either ambushed or destroyed using the new grade RCIED. In an event in the lower NEP, 8 police officers were injured when their vehicle was ambushed as they escorted a road grander to Sangailu in Ijara, Lower Garissa County in NEP.
The sally against Kenyan Government Security forces in the North Eastern Prefecture is an early warning for the approaching wet season in the country. A Significant number of the terror group combatants entered the lower NEP region during Ramadhan period (approximately 108), and 86 combatants earlier 2018 through coastal cut-lines, the Boni Forest through its border segment, and through areas south of Kolbio. Put together, the number of Al-Qaeda combatants operating in Lower NEP could reach 400 and their plans is to launch an insurgency that’ll reverse gains made in the area besides re-establish Hijra routes and cells.