EYEAFRICA TV: Mogadishu, Somalia: The Somali extremist group al-Shabab carried out the daring attack on a Kenyan base to score some propaganda points, according to Kenya security expert Mustapha Ali.
The group on Sunday staged a daring dawn attack at Kenya’s Manda Bay Airfield in coastal county Lamu, which is adjacent to Camp Simba military base where U.S. forces provide training and counter-terrorism support to East African partners.
Al-Shabab has claimed responsibility for the latest attack in a statement, saying that they had successfully stormed the heavily fortified military base and effectively controlled part of the base.
However, Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) spokesman Paul Njuguna confirmed that the joint forces of the U.S. and Kenya killed five al-Shabab militants in the attack, noting that the terror group is known for “propagating false and misleading information in an attempt to grab headlines and feed their egos.”
Security expert Mustapha Ali also believed the damage caused by the attack was exaggerated for propaganda purpose.
“It’s a daring attack by al-Shabab to, ostensively, score some propaganda points so that it can use that for propaganda purposes in Somalia and around the world,” Ali said Sunday during a TV program.
Before the latest attack, the al-Shabab group also claimed responsibility for a car bombing in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu that killed at least 81 people on Dec. 28 last year.
The national security agency of Somalia, on the other hand, said the attack “was planned by a foreign country”, which was doubted by experts.
“Now you can see that countries and states are starting to accuse one another, and al-Shabab is happy about that. It is a strategy that al-Shabab is using, the more they can pit countries together, the more they can cause countries to blame each other, then the happier al-Shabab is going to be, and the populations are going to ask why are countries not working together,” said Ali.
Al-Shabab militants were forced out of the capital Mogadishu in August 2011 by the Somali army backed by African Union Mission in Somalia, but the militants still hold swathes of rural areas in central and southern regions conducting ambushes and planting land mines.