Somalia: After a night-long siege outside of a hotel in Mogadishu controlled by Islamist militants, the dust has settled and Somalian security forces have been victorious–but not without a heft cost. Al-Shabab has claimed responsibility for the attack the left over 50 killed or wounded.
A suicide bomber detonated his vehicle outside the hotel while five Islamic militants raided the inside. They murdered 23 of the patrons. Among the dead were a mother, her three young children and her infant. All were shot in the head, execution-style.
Fox News reports that Capt. Mohamed Hussein reported that three of the attackers were killed while two more were captured alive and are currently held for interrogation.
A report from the Washington Post corroborates the death-toll but adds that an additional 30 were wounded during the exchange of gunfire.
At least one of the attackers opted to detonate a suicide vest rather than fall into the hands of the security forces under Hussein’s command.
The attack comes just two weeks after militants detonated a truck bomb on a Mogadishu street–that deadly explosion killed more than 350 people.
Al-Shabab is known to disguise themselves as military personnel in order to execute their terror plots. This often leads to confusion among the public as to who is a soldier responding to an attack and who is the perpetrator.
Afghanistan & Pakistan: Police in Pakistan reported the disappearance of the deputy governor of Afghanistan’s Kunar province.
Qazi Mohammad Nabi Ahmadi, the deputy governor, was allegedly visiting the city for “treatment” according to a senior officer with the national police that spoke to reporters.
The Pakistani authorities are claiming that they were not even aware that the foreign dignitary was visiting until a member of his family alerted them to the lapse in communication.
A special investigation has been launched into the disappearance.
ISIS: Despite claims by Western powers that ISIS has been defeated, much work remains to be done. The Islamist militants are being pushed further into the Syrian desert, but there’s reason to believe that the militants will establish a network of bases throughout the Badiyat al-Sham region which is replete with places to hide.
Badiyat al-Sham is covered in mountains and caves which offers an endless number of holes for these terrorists to hide out in. The region covers 200,000 square miles and includes parts of Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq in addition to Syria.
Many IS militants are familiar with the region and actually staged attacks from there during the early days of the Caliphate.
Already, the Islamic State has proven to be a nasty animal when cornered, and a number of revenge killings have been launched in cities where citizens have collaborated with the state-backed militants that oppose ISIS.
Fox News spoke with a an Islamic “opposition activist” based in Europe and he had this to say on the matter:
“They love fighting battles in the desert and they will go back to the old ways,” said Omar Abu Laila, a Europe-based opposition activist originally from Syria’s eastern province of Deir el-Zour, which lies in the heart of Badiyat al-Sham.
IS leaders appear to have made contingency plans that involve precisely this — regrouping in the desert and launching attacks, much like IS’ predecessor, al-Qaida in Iraq, did for more than a decade after the U.S.-led 2003 invasion.
Qatar: The Qatari government is concerned about the growing hostility shared by their Arab neighbors who have launched a boycott of Qatari products.
Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt have all expressed discontent with the nation. Saudi Arabia, laughably, has accused the tiny peninsula nation-state of financing terror–a bit of the pot calling the kettle black, really.
The Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, has been speaking out about the risk of this tense, yet peaceful disagreement erupting into widespread violence.
President Donald Trump has offered to mediate between the two sides but it remains unclear if such a meeting will come in time to prevent bloodshed and widespread chaos.