On 28 December 2019, a truck bomb exploded in the Somali capital city of Mogadishu, reportedly killing more than 80 people. Al Shabaab claimed the attack, which is believed to be the deadliest to hit Somalia in over two years (ACLED, 10 January 2020; Al Jazeera, 30 December 2019). A week later, on 5 January 2020, the militants launched a predawn assault on an airbase in Kenya used by both Kenyan and American forces, killing one US soldier and two private contractors (The Washington Post, 5 January 2020). Despite a record number of American airstrikes targeting the group in 2019 (The Washington Post, 15 January 2020), Al Shabaab appears to be ramping up its operations. Since the US escalated its air campaign in 2017, Al Shabaab has perpetrated almost 900 civilian targeting events in Somalia, resulting in estimates of nearly 2,000 fatalities.

ACLED tracks political violence in Somalia and Kenya in real-time, with data updated each week. Access the latest data through our Data Export Tool and Curated Data Files. For more information on ACLED methodology, see our General Guides and Methodology pages.

Find recent analysis of Al Shabaab activity in Somalia and Kenya below, as well as an interactive dashboard displaying ACLED data on political violence involving Al Shabaab from 1 January 2010 to 4 January 2020.


Resilience: Al Shabaab Remains a Serious Threat – 11 February 2019

Not with a Whimper but with a Bang: Al Shabaab’s Resilience and International Efforts Against the Rebels – 27 January 2019

Continued Conflict: Updates on Iraq, Sri Lanka, and Somalia – 7 December 2018

Same Tune, New Key: Al Shabaab Adapts in the Face of Increased Military Pressure – 17 November 2018