In Summary
  • The DusitD2 hotel complex attack happened on the third anniversary of the El Adde attack in Somalia, which saw Somali militia overrun an African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) army base on January 15, 2016, killing more than 100 soldiers, according to unofficial figures.

14 Riverside Drive was posh, quiet and serene — until the terrorists arrived at 3pm, hurled grenades into the compound and set three cars ablaze, as they shot their way into the swanky block.

Within minutes, the DusitD2 complex, an urbane upper-class block with offices, a hotel and restaurants, was desecrated by shadowy figures and, by the time of going to press, several people lay dead and scores of others were injured but the attackers had not been identified.

If Al-Shabaab, which controls mostly rural areas in southern Somalia, under a strict interpretation of Sharia law, is responsible for Tuesday's attack, it only proves that the war on terror is far from over.

ACTIVE HOSTILITIES

The DusitD2 hotel complex attack happened on the third anniversary of the El Adde attack in Somalia, which saw Somali militia overrun an African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) army base on January 15, 2016, killing more than 100 soldiers, according to unofficial figures.

It comes at a time that the US has stepped up attacks on the terror group after Donald Trump’s White House allowed the Pentagon to expand its fight against the militants without seeking high-level vetting on Al-Shabaab in "areas of active hostilities" in Somalia. Of late, there have been increased attacks by aircraft, as well as deployment of the first US troops in Somalia since 1993, to "advise and assist" the government troops.

More so, the US Africa Command (Africom) carried out more than 46 confirmed air strikes in Somalia in 2018. But whether this has minimised the terror group's ability to plot attacks remains to be seen — although Al-Shabaab is known to carry out high- profile raids any time it is under severe pressure, according to security sources.

Ever since the El Adde attack, the terror group has been trying to conduct attacks in Nairobi with little success. In February last year, police reported that they had foiled a major attack in Nairobi after they arrested several armed suspects in Merti, Isiolo, as they headed to Nairobi.

The terrorists had hired a room in a hotel opposite Nairobi’s Central Police Station and two people, suspected to be members of an Al-Shabaab cell, were also arrested. It was not clear which buildings had been targeted.

BALL BEARINGS

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