Al Shababb, Somalia’s largest Islamic terrorist organization, launched an attack on a military base in Kenya used by U.S. forces during the early morning hours on Sunday.
A military source told Reuters, “They have attacked Manda airstrip in Lamu, which is just next to the military camp that hosts military personnel from many countries including Kenya and the U.S. We are informed that fighting is still ongoing.”
The U.S. military said in statement, “U.S. Africa Command acknowledges there was an attack at Manda Bay Airfield, Kenya and is monitoring the situation. Al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for the incident. As facts and details emerge, we will provide an update.”
U.S. Africa Command acknowledges there was an attack at Manda Bay Airfield, Kenya and is monitoring the situation. Al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for the incident. As facts and details emerge, we will provide an update.
— US AFRICOM (@USAfricaCommand) January 5, 2020
Reuters’ source said that the terrorists were trying to get to the military base by going through the airstrip.
The report from Reuters also included the following statement from the terrorist organization:
An elite group of soldiers from Harakat Al-Shabaab Al Mujahideen’s ‘Martyrdom Brigade’ launched a daring dawn raid on a U.S. naval base known as ‘Camp Simba’ in Lamu County, Kenya. … the base is home to hundreds of U.S.military personnel and Kenyan soldiers and serves as one of the many launch pads for the American crusade against Islam in the region.
The attacks comes as U.S. forces are on high alert for possible attacks after President Donald Trump authorized an airstrike late last week that killed Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force, which is a designated terrorist organization.
An Iranian official indicated that it was considering some 35 different U.S. targets to strike in response to the U.S. killing its top terrorist leader.
Trump responded via Twitter late on Saturday night, writing, “Iran is talking very boldly about targeting certain USA assets as revenge for our ridding the world of their terrorist leader who had just killed an American, & badly wounded many others, not to mention all of the people he had killed over his lifetime, including recently hundreds of Iranian protesters.”
“He was already attacking our Embassy, and preparing for additional hits in other locations. Iran has been nothing but problems for many years,” Trump continued. “Let this serve as a WARNING that if Iran strikes any Americans, or American assets, we have targeted 52 Iranian sites (representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago), some at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture, and those targets, and Iran itself, WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD. The USA wants no more threats!”
The U.S. State Department reported in October 2019 that the most recent terrorism statistics available indicated that Al-Shabaab was the third deadliest terrorist organization in 2018 as it conducted 535 attacks in Somalia and Kenya that resulted in the 2,062 deaths and 1,278 injuries.
The fact that the terrorist group, according to Reuters, had accepted responsibility for the attack appears to be out of the ordinary given how Al-Shabaab reportedly operates. The State Department said that Al-Shabaab has “a known policy of not claiming responsibility for incidents outside Somalia even though they are active in neighboring countries.”
The State Department further noted that of the 306 assassinations that happened in 40 countries around the world in 2018, Somalia accounted for 60 of them and Al-Shabaab was responsible for 51. Al-Shabaab also deployed the use of IEDs more frequently than any other terrorist organization.
The Counter Extremism Project reported that Al-Shabaab has reportedly received funding from the government of Iran.
Journalists posted the following videos and images of the purported attack on Twitter:
Al-Shabaab has attacked a US military base in Lamu, Kenya.
No news on casualties etc as gunfire exchange continues pic.twitter.com/6KPPRUoacK
— Samira Sawlani (@samirasawlani) January 5, 2020
BREAKING: Reports from Kenya say Al-Shabaab militants have launched a dawn attack on Kenya military base in Lamu County. A suicide car bomb reportedly breached the entry to Camp Simba, Manda Bay. The explosion sent plume of dark smoke into the sky, photos purportedly show. pic.twitter.com/OxL8H1Qvgs
— Harun Maruf (@HarunMaruf) January 5, 2020
JUST IN – Alshabab Fighters claim responsibility – A Military Base in Manda Bay ,Lamu was attacked this morning . Gunshots can still be heard . pic.twitter.com/YI19ZvxeNG
— Hussein Mohammed (@huseinmoha) January 5, 2020
BREAKING: Al-Shabaab militants attack U.S./Kenyan military base in Lamu; reports of casualties pic.twitter.com/WMhDwo3MDS
— BNO News (@BNONews) January 5, 2020
This is a breaking news story, refresh the page for updates.