Al-Ittihad al-Islami (AIAI) was formed in the 1980s and reached its peak in the early 1990s following the collapse of the Siad Barre regime. Its aims to establish an Islamic regime in Somalia and operates primarily in the country, with a presence in the Ogaden region of Ethiopia, Kenya, and possibly Djibouti. Some elements associated with AIAI maintain ties to Al-Qaeda.
The AIAI is believed to be responsible for a series of bomb attacks in public places in Addis Ababa in 1996 and 1997, as well as the kidnapping of several relief workers in 1998. Since 2003, there have been several kidnappings and murders of relief workers in Somalia and Somaliland which were attributed to the AIAI.
The operational activities of the AIAI have been reduced in the last few years, and the group is operating these days as a loose network of cells, factions, and individuals without central control or coordination. Some members are allegedly in contact with Al-Qaeda figures from the East African cell, possibly providing them with shelter and other logistical support.
Back to Terror Groups