Officials investigating the attack have revealed that the Somalia bomber was a former soldier in the Somalia’s army whose hometown was raided in a US-led operation, leading to the killing of 10 civilians, including 3 kids aged between six and 10. Investigators believe that the truck bomb attack, which took more than 300 lives in the center of Mogadishu, could be a revenge for the mishandled US-led operation in the bomber’s hometown.
The Somalia bombing has been one of the worst attacks in the recent few years anywhere in the world.
Al-Shabaab hasn’t stepped forward to take the responsibility of the attack but one of the detained members of the cell told one security official that their group was responsible for the attack.
The investigation is also looking into other connections between the attack and the bomber.
As for the details of the attacks are concerned, they are becoming clearer now. According to officials, it involved two different vehicles – a larger truck carrying around 250kg of military-grade explosives and a Toyota Noah minivan. The target for both vehicles was the airport compound in Mogadishu where reside the headquarters of the 22000-strong African Union peacekeeping force, Amison, and most embassies.
The smaller vehicle was used to open the heavily-guarded Medina Gate entrance. The minivan was stopped at a checkpoint hundreds of meters short of its target; the driver was detained and the bomb was detonated safely away from the population.
According to the officials, the driver of the minivan was a veteran who was also involved in other attacks in Mogadishu, including the Jazeera Hotel attack in 2010 which led to the killing of 8 people.
The bigger truck was detonated a kilometer before the target at a busy crossroad. The explosion resulted in the nearby fuel truck catching fire and forming a fireball. The driver of the truck was identified to be a person who joined the army in 2010 but later defected his post to join Al-Shabaab.
According to a United Nations study, “a majority of cases, state action appears to be the primary factor finally pushing individuals into violent extremism in Africa”. The study surveyed more than 500 former members of militant organizations, asking them the reasons for their rebellion, 71% pointed to “killing of a family member or friend”, “government action”, or “arrest of a family member or friend” as the reason why they joined the militant groups.