MOGADISHU: Security has been tightened at Mogadishu Presidential Palace over possible terror threat from the Harakat al Shabaab al Mujahideen (HSM) movement.
There was credible intelligence that the Al Qaeda branch in Somalia was planning a major attack in Somali’s capital Mogadishu prompting security apparatus to be on high terror alert.
From Wednesday 2nd August 2015, Security was heightened at the Presidential palace in Mogadishu following the Al Shabaab extremists attack on an African Union troop’s base –Janaale.
The Presidential guards and security forces have double intensified their presence around the Presidential palace increasing the number of patrols and checkpoint in order to foil an possible attempt by the terror group.
The Al Shabaab may also have their plans to attack on Villa Somalia which is a heavily fortified, but neglected compound in the heart of the city where most senior Somali government officials, including the president, have their offices. Some of the government officials also live inside the compound.
The Al Qaeda linked militant group has suffered huge blows from the Somalia National Army backed by the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) troops. Since the time AU troops moved in to Somalia, Al Shabaab has been pushed out of the capital as well as in other key areas.
The militant have on the other hand persisted and started carrying out retaliatory attacks in Somalia and also to East Africa countries such as Kenya and Uganda.
SUMMARY & FORECAST
The militant group has carried a number of assassinations and suicide attacks in which it targeted government and security officers and the extremists have vowed on several occasions that they will continue launching more attacks against the government and the African Union troops in the country who invaded their country.
This is not the first time there have been a terror threat on Presidential palace in Somalia. Last year (2014), Al Shabaab managed to launch two spectacular attacks on the Presidential palace highlighting the group’s ability to penetrate and conduct strikes in areas regarded as most secure in Mogadishu. The militants have again hit an AMISOM base in Janaale.
In the coming days security from Somalia forces as well from AMISOM need to look into their strategies to counter threats posed by the Al Shabaab who seems to have recovered from their recent loses and may be on a retaliatory mission.