Bancroft Global Development, a Washington, D.C.-based “private security company suffered troop losses in Somalia after the Al-Qaeda affiliate in Somalia ambushed a vehicle carrying members of the private military service alongside Somali National Army (SNA) in Wanlaweyn. Shebaab Mujahideen staged an ambush targeting a pickup truck belonging to the private military contractors on a routine surveillance and reconnaissance operation killing those onboard.
An Unspecified number of Bancroft Militia men died alongside Somali army personnel. A Somali army colonel identified as Colonel Omane was killed in the attack in Wanlaweyn, a small town in the coastal southeastern Lower Shebelle region of Somalia, approximately 50 miles northwest of the capital Mogadishu.
Bancroft started its activities in Mogadishu in 2007. The private military company provides a training and leadership services to Burundi and Ugandan army troops serving under AMISOM in Somalia. Intelligence reports shows that Uganda and Burundi have paid Bancroft $7 million since 2010 for counter-insurgency training. Washington refunds the two African countries for their expenses.
The death of Colonel Omane alongside Members of the Bancroft Global Development private military is an indicator that Shabaab Mujahideen is targeting American operators in Somalia. The killing of an American Special Forces Team Member in Lower Juba region of Southern Somalia in June was the first direct aggression and successful decommissioning of American military efforts in Somalia in 2018. It’ll be interesting if Shabaab escalates similar operations.