Shabab Claim Responsibility for Deadly Assault on Nairobi Hotel-Office Complex
At least 5 Al-Shabaab militants, seemingly demonstrated the deadly resilience of the group, launched an attack against a hotel complex in Nairobi. The 20-hour siege saw 21 people killed (16 Kenyan, 1 British, 1 American, 3 still unknown), aside from the five attackers killed on site. Two accomplices that allegedly supported the attack have been arrested. The attack was the first in the city since the similarly-structured 2013 Westgate mall attack. Another Al-Shabaab attack in 2015 killed 148 at a university in the east of the country. Another attack in 2015 was directed against Kenyan military personnel in Somalia, killing 140. The group has sustained consistent pressure from the US, who has increased their bombing campaign over recent months, conducting 47 total strikes in 2018 and 31 in 2017. In 2019, the US has already conducted 2019 strikes. In the midst of these pressure, however, “Shabab continues to maintain an effective insurgency, controls large rural areas in southern and central Somalia, and continues to threaten Somali cities and towns,” according to the editor of the FDD’s Long War Journal. With this attack, the group has demonstrated their ability to threaten major cities beyond its borders.