Mogadishu Mayor Warns of More Al Shabaab Terror Attacks

Mogadishu Mayor Yusuf Hussein Madale on the right at a recent function in the capital. PHOTO: SONNA

Somalia’s capital faces more terror attacks due to the city’s growing Al Shabaab sleeper cells, warns the Mogadishu Mayor.

Mayor Yusuf Hussein Madale said the militant group was planning attacks against the population by using the influx of people fleeing drought and conflict from the southern and central regions to the capital.

“The terror group family members have arrived in Mogadishu, these are our people but we don’t want the group members hiding behind the families. We want neighbors to be aware of such elements and report them to the authorities. If you are not after them, they are after you,” said Madale who is also the governor of Banadir region.

According to humanitarian organizations, Mogadishu is home to more than 500,000 internally displaced persons.

Al Shabaab members, according to Madale, intend to sneak more sleeper cells into the city and plan attacks.

“There is an ongoing offensive in the southern and central regions. You know Mogadishu hosts people and it’s also a place where people can hide. And every day, there is a report of a car full of explosives in the city. The people of Mogadishu cannot continue to live in fear.”

Last month, Al Shabaab carried out two car bombing attacks killing over 130 people and injuring 300. There have been more terror attacks in the city in recent weeks that have targeted soldiers, government buildings, and citizens.

In August, the government forces and allied clan militias launched an operation in Central Somalia to seize more villages and towns under the control of the militants. The military operation’s success in capturing dozens of villages previously controlled by armed militants emboldened the Federal forces to intensify their armed pursuit.