Rep. Donald Payne said Tuesday that he believes the mortar shells launched in his direction in Mogadishu on Monday were launched by radical group hoping to undermine the Somalia's new government.

Payne, a New Jersey Democrat, came under fire on Monday when he was departing Mogadishu's airport. He was in the country to discuss piracy with President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed following the rescue of a U.S. cargo ship captain held hostage by Somali pirates.

Payne told MSNBC Tuesday that he believes the group behind the mortar shells likely opposes the country's new government.

"There is no question that there is a group that does not want to see this new, two month old government succeed," Payne said. "They are probably influenced by radicals outside of Somalia."

Payne added that the mortar shells were likely an attempt to deter U.S. and other country's from working with the new Somali government that currently only controls a fraction of the country.

"I assume the the mortar shelling was sort of an act of desperation trying to ward off any kind of visit, corraboration or engagement of the U.S. the [European Union] or other countries."

Payne was not injured and said that he didn't even know the attack occured until his plane he landed.

"To be honest," he said. "We were unaware of it until we reached Nairobi, Kenya."

jeremy.jacobs@thehill.com