Somali Extremists, Al-Shabaab Mujahideen, on Friday 8th June 2018, Killed an American Military Special Forces Team Member, a 26 year Staff Sergeant Alexander. W. Conrad and injured 4 others in Bar-Sanguni, a farming village outside Sanguni, Juba region, Southern Somalia. Bar-Sanguni was once an Italian Army and Intelligence Teams Enclave when Somalia was a colony. The following day a suicide bomber detonated An SVBIED inside a Somali Army base where the joint task force consisting of Kenyan, American, and Somali army personnel were mounting operations in the area were based. Dozens of Somali Army Soldiers died. The terrorists further staged ambushes targeting the JTF forcing them to withdraw from the Bar-Sanguni Forward Operating Base (FOB).
- Violent Extremist and Terrorist organization ‘Al-Qaeda’ affiliate in East Africa, Harakat Al-Shabaab Mujahideen Movement (HSM) demonstrated it has morphed its guerilla strategy again after it conducted what can be described as a complex terrorist attack in Southern Somalia. The attack led to the death of a Special Forces troop forcing President Donald Trump to mourn him. In the seemingly spectacular 8TH June attack, Shebaab used geography, time, and a robust military strategy to achieve their objectives.
- The jihadists demonstrated advanced critical thinking, planning, and coordination capabilities after they changed the course of River Juba, flooded an expansive landmass and surrounding villages forcing both inhabitants mostly farmers and Military Personnel out. Subsequently, they covertly slipped into Sanguni village and township as normal civilians before mounting a preemptive strike targeting the Joint Task Force (JTF) consisting of Somali Army (SNA), American Special Forces cum advisors, and Kenya Special Forces operating a JTF Forward Operating Base (FOB) situated in Bar-Sanguni, 45 kilometers outside the strategic sea port of Kismayo, once their enclave and economic capital. The terrorists subsequently conducted 2 successive attacks forcing the JTF and SNA troops to abandon the base.
- Shebaab’s ability to plan and implement such a plan besides employ geography, time, and consistency as aspects of warfare is an indicator they’ve improved or changed their strategy from a military intelligence perspective. AMISOM and American Forces operating in Somalia must change their strategy too. Large scale attacks targeting the terror group bases and strongholds will be pivotal in weakening the extremists ‘organization’.