Tag: Al-Shabaab

Killing of al-Shabaab Leader Throws Future of Militant Group into Question

On September 1, the leader of the Somalia-based extremist group al-Shabaab, Ahmed Abdi Godane, was killed in a US-led drone strike in an al-Shabaab stronghold in Somalia’s Lower Shabelle region. The drone strike coincided with an ongoing military offensive launched August 25 by both the African Union Mission to Somalia and the Somali government forces. The long-term implications of impact of Godane’s death are difficult to assess.

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Djibouti: Al-Shabaab’s Latest Front

On 24 May, Al-Shabaab carried out their first attack in Djibouti, though the tiny African country has long been a natural target. The Ethiopian security forces have so far been adept at detecting al-Shabaab plots. But the group’s ability to carry out an attack in a place like Djibouti – an isolated country of less than a million with a strong Western military presence – will make their job all the more difficult.

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Al-Shabaab’s New Face in Kenya?

Terrorists in Kenya have tended to be sympathetic to al-Shabaab’s ideology but unlikely to have direct ties to the group. However this appears to be changing. A “new, shadowy” Kenyan radical group made up almost exclusively of ethnic Somalis, a group to which the Pangani suicide bombers had belonged, seems to have emerged. Does Al-Shabab have anything to do with this new group? This question will be explored in this article.

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Primacy of Puntland

About a week ago, the Reuters news agency reported on the movement of al-Shabaab militants from the south of the country to the semi-autonomous region of Puntland in the north. Given that embattled Shabaab fighters have been fleeing the onslaught of troops in the south, the timing of the article probably had more to do with a visit by the EU Special Envoy to Puntland’s capital of Garowe than any spike in the trend.

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