Al-Shabaab in Somalia has recently suffered a significant decline with material and human losses. During the past six months, the terrorist group lost half of the lands it previously controlled, perhaps the most prominent of which is Galmudug region, one of the most important regions in Somalia, according to the Somali army.
The terrorist movement lost large parts in central and southern Somalia. These areas represented important strategic strongholds from which the movement’s elements withdrew after major confrontations with the Somali army and African forces.
Withdrawing from the cities and regions in which the movement enters into confrontations with the other side is one of the most important strategies that the group resorts to in order to preserve part of its elements as a human force.
Plan to survive
In order for the terrorist movement to survive as long as possible, it resorted to several plans, including ambushes and mobile attacks, where ordinary citizens cannot move between cities and areas controlled by government forces without being subjected to ambushes or attacks by Al-Shabaab.
The movement also imposed a complete siege on these cities, which means that the areas that the government considers liberated are for Al-Shabaab traps set for the African and government forces.
The second thing that the movement follows is that it is currently stealing homes and agricultural crops, as well as imposing royalties on the residents of the areas they control.
Due to the financial conditions in Somalia, Al-Shabaab managed to recruit a large number of men and youth to gather information in return for small amounts of money, and through them it was able to escape from many checkpoints and carry out some minor operations.
Because of the restrictions on Al-Shabaab at home and because of its continuous losses, the movement has tended to launch attacks on the external borders since 2018, especially Kenya, where it has intensified its terrorist operations.
Mohamed Hussein, professor of political science at Cairo University, said that due to Al-Shabaab’s internal losses, it has tended to launch attacks abroad, but mainly to pressure the governments of African countries that participate in Somalia in its war on terrorism against it, especially Kenya, which is one of the strongest African countries that participate with Somalia in its war against the movement, so the movement constantly launches terrorist attacks against the country.
Hussein stressed in an exclusive statement to the Reference that the second matter is that the movement wants to preserve its organizational structure, so it continues to expose its internal losses with victories abroad, and it does not want to be considered minor compared to the competing terrorist organizations in Africa, such as ISIS, Boko Haram and al-Qaeda.