Somalia: ‘Al Shabaab plotting to attack gathering places’

Published: April 25, 2015

Somalia: ‘Al Shabaab plotting to attack gathering places’Somalia authorities have revealed a plot by the radical Islamist group al-Shabaab to carry out a massive attack in different locations in the capital, Mogadishu.
Mohamed Yusuf Osman, Spokesman of the internal security ministry told reporters on Saturday that gathered intelligence reports indicate that the al-Qaeda-linked militant insurgents are preparing to attack gathering places.
‘’ Our intelligence has received reports indicating that the terrorists are planning to attack gathering places such as mosques, schools and health centres,’’ he said.
Following recent attacks, he stressed that the extremists’ next move will be launching assaults on mosques.
Security experts have said the ultimate goal of the militants was to destabilize the security of the capital, which is recovering from over two decades of war and mass destruction.
While some analysts wonder if the shock factor of the attacks – al-Shabaab attacks on hotels, restaurants and university– is aimed at forcing the government into negotiations by sending a message that it can continue to up the terror quotient.
Since the beginning of this year, al-Shabaab has changed its violent campaign to attacking soft targets, causing mass casualties.
Last week, US state of department designated al-Shabaab Chief Ahmed Diiriye a global terrorist.
Al Shabaab emerged out of an insurgency fighting against Ethiopia, when its troops entered Somalia in a 2006 US-backed invasion to topple the Islamic Courts Union that was in control of the Somali capital, Mogadishu.
The rebels still control many rural areas in Somalia where it imposes strict Shariah law, including stoning to death women accused of adultery and amputating the hands of accused thieves.
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