C/O Futures Terrorism Research Note Series Lisa J. Campbell 29 November 2022
On 1 October 2022, Abdullahi Nadir, a senior leader and co-founder of Al-Shabaab, was killed in an airstrike conducted by U.S. forces. The attack was planned and coordinated among the Somali government and international partners. Nadir’s killing came in the midst of a renewed, concentrated military effort against Al-Shabaab, lead by Somalia President Mohamud. Mohamud was elected in May 2022 and since then has re-ignited the war against Al- Shabaab with the assistance of the U.S., Turkey, African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS), and local clan militias. Nadir’s death is significant—he was reportedly second-in- command to the current Emir of Al-Shabaab and had a U.S. $3 million bounty on his head since 2012. The efforts of President Mohamud have already yielded the deaths of several Al-Shabaab leaders and key personnel as well as the regaining of some territory and stifling of some of Al- Shabaab’s communications and outreach. In the midst of these successes, Al-Shabaab has stepped up its attacks in number and lethality, primarily with suicide bombings on soft targets. Retaliation Hassan Sheikh for the death of Nadir is expected, and may usher in a period of greater conflict intensity.