Al-Shabab attacks an African Union base at El-Ade in southwestern Somalia. A spokesman for Al-Shabab claims that the attack killed more than 63 Kenyan soldiers. A Kenyan military official stated that the rebels attacked Somali soldiers, but that Kenyan soldiers had helped to resist the attack.
Police say at least ten are dead due to a suspected suicide bomber crashing into a restaurant in central Mogadishu. Al Shabaab claims responsibility.
The death toll is sure to rise. A policeman opened fire to stop the car bomb but it was all in vain. The policeman died and the car bomb rammed into the gate in the busy restaurant…These are mostly civilians who were having lunch at the restaurant
Al-Shabab militants kill 147 people in an attack at Garissa University in north-eastern Kenya. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta:
This is a moment for everyone throughout the country to be vigilant as we continue to confront and defeat our enemies.
Al-Shabab claims it is responsible for the killings of 28 people on a bus traveling towards Nairobi. The bus was stopped in Mandera county near the Somali border and gunmen boarded it, ordering passengers to read from the Qu’ran to separate Muslim and non-Muslim passengers, and shooting those who couldn’t read the text. Passenger on the bus:
When we got down, passengers were separated according to Somali and non-Somalis. The non-Somalis were ordered to read some verses of the holy Koran, and those who failed to read were ordered to lie down. One by one they were shot in the head at point blank range.
Pope Francis says that conflicts around the globe represent a third World War. During a Mass held at Italy’s largest war memorial, a Fascist-era monument where 100,000 soldiers who died in World War One are buried, the pontiff appears to be referring to the recent conflicts in Iraq, Syria, Gaza, Ukraine and Africa. The homily:
Humanity needs to weep and this is the time to weep … War is madness. Even today, after the second failure of another world war, perhaps one can speak of a third war, one fought piecemeal, with crimes, massacres, destruction … War is irrational; its only plan is to bring destruction: it seeks to grow by destroying. Greed, intolerance, the lust for power. These motives underlie the decision to go to war and they are too often justified by an ideology.
Al-Shabab names Omar its new leader after confirming Godane has been killed by U.S. airstrikes. Somalia goes on high alert as the killing and leadership change are confirmed. Security Minister Khalif Ahmed Ereg:
The remaining elements of al-Shabab are planning to carry out desperate attacks against school, medical, and government facilities. The government’s troops are ready to prevent such attacks.
The Pentagon confirms that U.S. airstrikes in Somalia earlier in the week killed al-Shabab leader Godane. Colonel Steve Warren:
I think this will degrade their morale and hopefully it will also cause some internal strife as they try to determine who their next leader will be. Of course, whoever their next leader is will immediately need to worry about his safety as well.
Godane is killed as U.S. forces fire Hellfire missiles and laser-guided munitions onto an al-Shabab encampment and a vehicle. The Pentagon says several other militants were killed but it is confident there were no civilian casualties. The military declines to discuss whether it cooperated with the Somali government on the raid.
Security officials in Mogadishu convene Somali media directors and owners to issue directives on coverage of al-Shabab. They warn against interviewing and broadcasting any news related to the militant group and ask broadcasters to contact the internal security spokesman on all national security matters. The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) Secretary-General Mohamed Ibrahim:
Al-Shabab related information cannot be broadcast, does this mean that al-Shabab cannot be interviewed? Does this mean that also all the al-Shabab information will not be broadcast? And the other order – which is related to the security operations – also there is need for explanation.
He says the government is concerned about hidden messages being broadcast:
He told us they were very concerned with direct quotation that al-Shabab is giving to the local media. They said it was terrorizing the public.
The Red Cross reports that on July 5, 2014, 22 people were killed in Hindi in Lamu county and Gamba in Tana River. Al Qaeda-linked al-Shabab militants from Somalia are claiming responsibility for the attacks. Police say 13 people were killed in Hindi, and in Gamba nine others were killed and one person is missing.
University of Texas student Rahatul Ashikim Khan, 23, of Round Rock, Tx., pleads guilty to charges of supporting terrorism after investigators say he had been recruiting jihadi fighters through an online chat room under the user name AuthenticTauheed19. He faces up to 15 years in prison. No sentencing date has been set. A statement by U.S. Attorney Robert Pitman:
Rahatul Khan’s admissions during this morning’s guilty plea should serve as a sobering reminder that we need to remain vigilant in our efforts to detect and root out terrorism, even in our own back yard
A separate Florida case appears to share ties to a complaint against Round Rock, Tx., native Rahatul Ashikim Khan. The Florida case alleges that possible co-conspirators had been funding three groups, designated by the U.S. as terrorist organizations, that have operated in Iraq, Syria and Somalia. The Texas complaint alleges that between March 2011 and January 2012, Khan worked with others to assist a confidential informant who claimed to want to move to Somalia and join al-Shabaab. His co-conspirators are unidentified but two have been charged in the Florida case with supporting foreign terrorist organizations.