first published on June 8, 2017 by Sean
Graphic Content Warning: The grim realities of prolonged insurgency become abundantly clear after this recent al-Shabaab release. Beginning as an almost comically theatric jihadist propaganda video – it ultimately ends in an all-too-real series of brutal assassinations on the streets of Mogadishu.
The interminable Somali antagonist group “al-Shabaab” has released a disturbing propaganda video detailing the preparation for, and carrying-out of, a series of assassinations against unsuspecting targets in and around the capital of Mogadishu. The east African Islamist’s claim to have killed several off-duty government security, intelligence, and military personnel in the video. It additionally makes the significant but unconfirmed claim of the elimination of a US intelligence asset during these operations.
Filmed initially in a purported al-Shabaab training camp, the militants perform repetitive but semi-theatric dry rehearsals of various assassination and kidnapping techniques. Practicing their dismounted skills and eventually moving on to motorcycles, they cover a host of possible scenarios for use in urban terrain.
After a few minutes of this melodramatic and propagandized training, the video takes a thoroughly brutal turn as the GoPro donning assassins are sent onto the streets of Mogadishu and begin tracking their prey.
One by one the unsuspecting Somali government personnel are carefully stalked by the al-Shabaab hitmen (beginning around the 2:50 mark). Selecting the most vulnerable and defenseless moments, the militants casually stroll up to or behind their targets and unceremoniously execute them.
The video then concludes with several targeted IED strikes outside of Mogadishu against likely African-Union forces. Including a final assassination via roadside bomb of two more Somali government officials.
Note: This video has been altered from its original version. It has been edited and condensed to reduce its propaganda value and sermonizing jihadist content.
Graphic Content Warning: This video contains graphic content that may be unsuitable for some viewers.