Al-Shabaab has deployed “hit squads” in all 16 districts of Mogadishu, Somalia, according to an article at Warqaad.com.
Sheikh Mohamed Abdi Rahman, al-Shabaab’s regional administrator of Banadir region, stated on a pro-al-Shabaab radio station that the group’s special forces will target Transitional Federal Government (TFG) troops and anti-al-Shabaab factions in the capital.
Still A Threat
Al-Shabaab’s visible presence in Mogadishu has declined substantially since it was driven from its bases in August 2011. However, it has only withdrawn to Mogadishu’s suburbs, and it is suspected that its operatives have the capacity to organize at night when TFG troops only patrol the main roads in the capital.
Thus, al-Shabaab remains a threat inside and outside of the capital.
Among other attacks inside Mogadishu, the group deployed a female suicide bomber in April 2012 at the re-opening of the Somali National Theater, almost assassinating Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali and killing at least a dozen civilians. This lead to speculation about whether the TFG has adequate protocols to deal with the threat of al-Shabaab in the capital.
Outside the capital, on May 29, 2012, the group attacked a convey carrying Somalia’s president Sheikh Sharif Ahmed on the main road between Mogadishu and Afgoye.
Commenting after the attack that almost killed the Somali president, Abdi Rahman stated, “They will not pass peacefully the road links between Mogadishu and Afgoye.”