Depending on what one means by “al-Qaeda,” perhaps. If this official means a leader in the core unit of al-Qaeda issued it, that would be unlikely; if by “al-Qaeda” the official means Islamists with the same ideologies, who may nonetheless have no formal connection with al-Qaeda, bingo. It’s most likely from al-Shabaab.
“Somalia bombings have markings of Al-Qaeda: US official,” from AFP, October 30:
NAIROBI (AFP) “” The deadly coordinated suicide car bomb attacks against key targets in two Somali breakaway states Wednesday have the markings of Al-Qaeda, Jendayi Frazer, US assistant secretary of state for Africa, told reporters in Nairobi.
“Nobody has claimed responsibility for the attacks, but they have the markings of Al-Qaeda,” she said after attending a summit on Somalia in the Kenyan capital.
“We believe that these senseless attacks highlight the determination of violent extremists to undermine peace and stability throughout Somalia and the Horn of Africa.”
Interesting comment considering Somalia and the Horn of Africa have been in turmoil and clan-wars well before the world heard of al-Qaeda, and have not experienced “peace and stability” for decades.
Frazer said Washington will continue to support regional efforts to combat terrorism.
“There is a serious terrorist threat in the Horn of Africa, concentrated in Somalia, Somaliland and Puntland and we have to address it as a region,” she said.
Frazer called for action against Eritrea for hosting Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys, an influential Somali cleric listed as a terrorist by Washington and who has rejected recent peace talks and ceasefires.
“What I can say is Aweys is sitting in Eritrea… he is in the UN and US terror list. Eritrea is giving a safe haven to a terrorist, we need to act accordingly,” she said.
Meanwhile, any number of influential Somali clerics are harbored safely in Somalia itself — not to mention the Islamist movement “al-Shabaab” (the “Youth”).
“He is not for peace in Somalia, he is not for good governance in Somalia, he is making terrorism threats, we need to treat him accordingly,” she told AFP.