If the last several months haven’t been hard enough, the tragedies continue to add up. Saturday morning a truck bomb targeted the packed streets near several government buildings in Mogadishu. The powerful blast was linked to the Al-Qaeda linked Al-Shabab by government officials, but the infamous terror group has yet to comment.
Al-Shabab has threatened to step up terror attacks in the wake of new commitments by the Trump administration and the newly elected president of Somali president to target the terror group.
The blast is responsible for the death of 276 people with an additional 300 injured. However, the death toll is sure to rise given the shortage of medical supplies and blood. Several countries have already pledged aid to the small Horn of Africa country.
Unfortunately for the small nation, decades of conflict and war has left many of the terror groups with little regard to the safety of the population.
So many times, the saying after tragedies are that “Our thoughts and prayers are with you.” Given the recent events in Niger and the continued cowardly acts perpetrated by these terrorist organizations, the United States responded by saying “Such cowardly attacks reinvigorate the commitment of the United States to assist our Somali and African Union partners to combat the scourge of terrorism.” So basically, no thoughts and prayers, instead the United States promises to reinvigorate the practice of putting warheads on foreheads.
The U.S. has already stepped up drone strikes in support of the African Union forces in the country trying to establish some semblance of peace and organization amidst the chaos that Al-Shabab has tried to cultivate.
While Al-Shabab has not claimed responsibility (yet), it doesn’t seem to be a coincidence that the attack came two days after the head of US African Command met with the newly elected President of Somalia. Terrorist groups have stepped up their game in targeting high level figures in the U.S. chain of command, recently targeting Secretary of Defense Mattis as well.