The year 2020 had started with al-Shabab increasingly on the defensive but still very active offensively, as it had been subjected to a concerted effort by the allies conducting raids into the group’s strongholds. By the first quarter of the year, the group had lost its main gateways into the capital and the places through which it used to collect taxes and adjudicate its affairs there. By the second quarter, while it managed to maintain its urban operations, it failed to match its previous successes in conducting complex and S/VBIED attacks. In order to mitigate that loss, it switched to IED attacks. Furthermore, it has used its limited SVBIED attacks to support military operations or to attempt to assassinate high profile threats, which suggests that it still has the capability but lacks opportunity and worthwhile targets.

AS Attacks in Past 18 Months

Map showing every incident, where it occurred, and source:

This report was authored by Mohamed Mubarak. You can follow Mohamed on Twitter @somalianalyst and subscribe to his substack at

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