Al-Qaeda (in East Africa)

Notable Attacks:

1993: Training Somali National Alliance (SNA) and Al-Itihaad al-Islamyia (AIAI) in combating United Nations Mission in Somalia (UNOSOM) and United Task Force (UNITAF)

1994: Ethiopian military undertook a mop up operation in the Gedo region of Somalia by attacking AIAI bases in the cities of Luuq and Bulo Hawo which precipitated into the Battle of Dolow City. Al-Qaeda once again fought alongside AIAI and the SNA against Ethiopian forces.

1998: Twin bombings of the US embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Nairobi, Kenya.

By the early 90s, veterans of the Afghan-Soviet war and members of Harakat-ul-Mujahideen dispersed to various theaters of jihad. At the time, under the ideological influence of Hassan al-Turabi, Sudan had became a safe haven for Osama bin Laden and members of his organisation who went to Somalia to join forces with the Somali jihadist militia al-Itihaad al-Islamiya (AIAI) with the intention of establishing Al-Qaeda’s own East African branch. This not only became a contributing factor to the diversity of nationalities represented in the Islamist insurgency in Somalia, but came to define Africa’s role in the global jihadi movement.



Al-Itihaad al-Islamiya

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