Al-Shabaab claimed the attack three days later, announcing in a statement that the target had been "French crusaders" responsible for the "persecution" of Muslims in the Central African Republic (CAR).
Two days prior to the attack, the two bombers – later identified as Musa Roble Hirad and Hodan Mohamed Isse – entered Djibouti via Loyada, the only land border crossing with Somaliland, assisted by a Djiboutian border officer. They had spent at least 20 days in the capital Hargeisa where they likely received local assistance, according to Muse Bihi, the chairman of Somaliland's ruling Kulmiye party.
There are strong indications that the attack was planned and financed in Somaliland, possibly even with the assistance of government officials. The Somaliland connection will certainly worry the Ethiopians, as the autonomous region has long been the eastern flank of Ethiopia's regional security strategy of isolating itself from Somalia's instability.