Al-Shabab militants, a Islamic extremist group connected to Al-Qaida, attacked a hotel in the capital of Somalia. 10 people are believed to be dead including the Somali ambassador to Switzerland. A suicide bomber started that attack as he detonated explosives outside the gate to the Al-Mukarramah hotel. Following the explosion at least 4 gunman rushing into the hotel killing whoever they came across. It is believed that there were 9 attackers in total with at least 6 of them killed in fights with Somali forces. Some of those in the hotel jumped out of windows to get away from the gunman. The Al-Mukarramah hotel is popular among government officials in Somalia which made it a prime target. The capital of Somalia is frequently attacked by Al-Shabab because it is backed by the west politically. Al-Shabab targets government officials and foreigners because the imposed government is supported by the west. Al-Shabab used to control much of Mogadishu (Somali capital) but was pushed out in 2011 in major part due to the African Union forces. In 2013 Al-Shabab killed 67 people in a mall attack in Kenya. Al-Shabab attacks in the East African region in a fight against the UN and African Union forces. Al-Shabab’s intent is mainly against the Somali Federal Government and the African Union in Somalia. Al-Shabab is opportunist like most other terrorist groups in that it attacks weak government structure. It is not clear what their main goal is like with the Islamic State who wanted to be the face of the Iraq region. It seems to be more about keeping the United Nations and other western countries from having influence on Somalia.
March 27, 2015