Overview

Also known as:“al Shabaab,” Terrorism Research & Analysis Consortium, accessed February 4, 2015, http://www.trackingterrorism.org/group/al-shabaab.

  • Al Shabab
  • Al-Shabaab
  • Al-Shabaab al-Islaam
  • Al-Shabaab al-Islamiya
  • Al-Shabaab al-Jihaad al Shabaab
  • As-Saḥāb
  • Ash-Shabaab
  • Hizbul Shabaab
  • Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mujahideen (HSM)
  • Harakat Shabaab Al Mujahidin
  • Mujahideen Youth Movement (MYM)
  • Hezb al-Shabaab
  • Hisb'ul Shabaab
  • Hizbul Shabaab
  • Movement of Warrior Youth
  • Mujahidin Al-Shabaab Movement
  • Shabaab
  • The Party of Youth
  • The Popular Resistance Movement in the Land of the Two Migrations (PRM)
  • The Youth
  • Unity of Islamic Youth
  • Youth Wing
  • Muhajiroon brigade (division made up of foreign fighters)

Executive Summary:

Al-Shabab, or “the Youth,” is al-Qaeda’s formal affiliate in East Africa. Established in the late 1990s, the Somali-based terror group seeks to establish a fundamentalist Islamic state in the country that it hopes will ultimately expand to encompass the whole Horn of Africa. Al-Shabab controls much of the southern Somalia region and small pockets in Kenya and Ethiopia along the Somali border. In areas under the group’s control, al-Shabab imposes its strict version of sharia (Islamic law), prohibiting activities like listening to music or shaving one’s beard. The group predominately conducts attacks targeting the Somali government and the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM).

Following the group’s pledge of allegiance to al-Qaeda in 2012, al-Shabab began executing a score of violent attacks in Somalia’s neighboring countries, including the September 2013 Westgate Mall attacks in Nairobi, Kenya, which left 68 people dead and 175 wounded. The group is also responsible for the April 2015 Garissa University attacks, wherein five al-Shabab fighters stormed the university Kenya, killing nearly 150 people in its deadliest attack yet. Since then, the group has continued to attempt and conduct terrorist attacks outside of its stronghold in Somalia. In al-Shabab’s first attempt to attack Western targets, an assailant detonated a concealed laptop bomb on a Daallo Airlines flight leaving Mogadishu for Djibouti City on February 2, 2016. The explosion, which only killed the attacker, was not strong enough to down the plane. Al-Shabab reportedly killed more than 4,200 people in 2016, making it the deadliest Islamic terror group in Africa.

Doctrine:

Al-Shabab’s ideology is typically described as a brand of Salafism and Wahhabism that supports takfir, the excommunication of apostates or unbelievers. Though it has stated many goals in the past, the group fights first and foremost to create a fundamentalist Islamic state in the Horn of AfricaJonathan Masters, “Al-Shabab,” Council on Foreign Relations, last modified September 5, 2014, http://www.cfr.org/somalia/al-shabab/p18650. that would include not only Somalia but also Djibouti, Kenya, and Ethiopia.Abdisaid M. Ali, “The Al-Shabaab Al Mujahidiin: A Profile of the First Somali Terrorist Organization,” Das Institut für Strategie- Politik- Sicherheits- und Wirtschaftsberatung, June 2, 2008, http://kms2.isn.ethz.ch/serviceengine/Files/ESDP/55851/ipublicationdocument_singledocument/1dd66bc5-b0c9-488c-b7e9-d16eeac91018/en/AlShabaab.pdf.

Under al-Shabab’s strict brand of sharia, stonings, amputations, and beheadings are regular punishment for criminals and apostates. The group violently persecutes non-Muslims and clashes frequently with humanitarian and international aid workers.Jonathan Masters and Mohammed Aly Sergie, “Al-Shabab,” Council on Foreign Relations, March 13, 2015, http://www.cfr.org/somalia/al-shabab/p18650. Out of an estimated 6,000-12,000 fighters as of March 2016, only a small handful are believed to be ethnically non-Somali.Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens and Abdihakim Ainte, “The Return of al-Shabaab,” Daily Beast, March 15, 2016, http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/03/15/the-return-of-al-shabaab.html.

The precursor to al-Shabab is Somali rebel group al-Itihad al-Islami (AIAI), which targeted the Siad Barre military regime during the Somali Civil War in the 1990s. After the Barre regime fell, a younger, more hardline group split from the AIAI, seeking to extend AIAI’s mission and establish a “Greater Somalia” ruled under sharia. This group of youths—in Arabic, “al-Shabab”—joined forces with the Islamic Courts Union (ICU) in an attempt to enforce sharia throughout Mogadishu. In December 2006, U.S.-backed Ethiopian forces invaded Somalia and drove the ICU out of the capital. Though the majority of the ICU fled to neighboring countries, al-Shabab retreated southward and began organizing attacks against the Ethiopian forces. In this way, al-Shabab transitioned from a rebel group into a guerrilla movement and began seizing territory in central and southern Somalia.Jonathan Masters and Mohammed Aly Sergie, “Al-Shabab,” Council on Foreign Relations, March 13, 2015, http://www.cfr.org/somalia/al-shabab/p18650. Al-Shabab grew from a few hundred fighters in the 2006 to thousands by 2008, as Islamist-nationalist fighters sought to drive out the Ethiopian occupation.Jonathan Masters and Mohammed Aly Sergie, “Al-Shabab,” Council on Foreign Relations, March 13, 2015, http://www.cfr.org/somalia/al-shabab/p18650. Since the end of the Ethiopian occupation in 2008, al-Shabab has continued to its efforts to establish sharia domestically and attack government representatives and African Mission forces, while also adapting its foreign targets from Ethiopia to Kenya following a brief Kenyan invasion in 2011. Al-Shabab views the AMISOM, as well as the Somalia Federal Government, as its primary enemies since they are purportedly influenced by Western countries.Jonathan Masters and Mohammed Aly Sergie, “Al-Shabab,” Council on Foreign Relations, March 13, 2015, http://www.cfr.org/somalia/al-shabab/p18650.

Al-Shabab formally pledged allegiance to al-Qaeda in 2012, though ties between them existed since 2008, when the American-born al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) cleric Anwar al-Awlaki released a statement praising al-Shabab for fighting against the U.S.-backed Ethiopian invasion. In 2010, AQAP deputy leader Said al-Shihri also released a statement encouraging al-Shabab to work with his group in its fight against the United States.Ty McCormick, U.S. Attacks Reveal Al-Shabab’s Strength, Not Weakness,” Foreign Policy, March 9, 2016, http://foreignpolicy.com/2016/03/09/u-s-attacks-reveal-al-shababs-strength-not-weakness-somalia/. Following the pledge of allegiance, some al-Qaeda fighters who trained at camps in Afghanistan moved to Somalia to train members of al-Shabab. The two groups continue to cooperate closely, on everything from indoctrination and basic infantry skills to advanced explosives and assassination training. Al-Shabab and AQAP partake in the transfer of fighters and weapons between Yemen and Somalia. Al-Shabab fighters have been able to obtain new weapons and develop new tactics from AQAP, including the use of laptop explosives and more destructive car bombs.Ty McCormick, U.S. Attacks Reveal Al-Shabab’s Strength, Not Weakness,” Foreign Policy, March 9, 2016, http://foreignpolicy.com/2016/03/09/u-s-attacks-reveal-al-shababs-strength-not-weakness-somalia/. Al-Qaeda reportedly plays an important role in al-Shabab’s leadership, with one count reporting that foreigners comprise over half of al-Shabab’s executive council and that the group has embraced globalized rhetoric and propaganda.

Analysts cite the early militant Salafi extremist group al-Itihad al-Islami (AIAI, a.k.a. Unity of Islam) as the precursor to al-Shabab and the incubator for many of its leaders. AIAI peaked in the 1990s after the Siad Barre military regime fell and civil war broke out.Jonathan Masters, “Al-Shabab,” Council on Foreign Relations, last modified September 5, 2014, http://www.cfr.org/somalia/al-shabab/p18650. A younger, hardline group split from the elder AIAI, seeking to establish a “Greater Somalia” ruled under sharia. This group of youths joined forces with the Islamic Courts Union (ICU), a group of sharia courts, to serve as a governance alternative once they overtook Mogadishu. The combined group was eventually pushed out by Ethiopia. Much of the ICU fled to the south of Somalia and al-Shabab emerged and continued asymmetrical attacks on Ethiopian targets.

This context is important in understanding a key characteristic of the group—it is not monolithic and is prone to internal fissures over strategy and tactics. These conflicts became particularly significant when whole clans broke from al-Shabab in 2008. Reports highlighted increased leadership conflicts over tactics, clan interests, affiliations with al-Qaeda, and policies toward international aid agencies.Ken Menkhaus, “Al-Shabab’s Capabilities Post-Westgate,” CTC Sentinel 7, no. 2 (February 2014): 4-9, https://www.ctc.usma.edu/v2/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/CTCSentinel-Vol7Iss2.pdf.

Ahmed Abdi Godane eventually triumphed over internal opposition with a series of purges in 2011 and a particularly bloody internal battle in June 2013. One of the implications of Godane’s victory is that the core group’s doctrine and affiliation seem to have been settled. Though al-Shabab has always had a Salafist jihadist orientation, the group’s leadership was once heterogeneous, including nationalist and politically pragmatic figures like Hassan Dahir Aweys and Mukhtar Roobow. The al-Shabab that triumphed arose from the extreme fringe, steeped in the takfiri ethos that legitimizes the killing of other Muslims and a recommitment to global jihad and restoration of the Caliphate.Matt Bryden, “The Reinvention of Al-Shabaab: A Strategy of Choice or Necessity,” Center for Strategic & International Studies, February 2014, http://csis.org/files/publication/140221_Bryden_ReinventionOfAlShabaab_Web.pdf.

Godane, no longer faced with internal opposition to aligning with al-Qaeda, officially pledged al-Shabab’s allegiance to that group in 2012. Afterwards, some al-Qaeda fighters who trained at camps in Afghanistan moved to Somalia to train members of al-Shabab. The two groups continue to cooperate closely on everything from indoctrination and basic infantry skills to advanced explosives and assassination training. Al-Qaeda reportedly plays an important role in al-Shabab’s leadership, with one count reporting that foreigners comprise over half of al-Shabab’s executive council and that the group has embraced globalized rhetoric and propaganda.Fred Dews, “Al Shabaab: Background on the Somalia-based Terrorist Group that Attacked a Nairobi Mall,” Brookings Institutition, September 23, 2013, http://www.brookings.edu/blogs/brookings-now/posts/2013/09/al-shabaab-somalia-terrorist-nairobi-mall-attack. Out of an estimated 3,000 to 5,000 fighters, 200 to 300 are non-Somali, with a number coming from the Somali diaspora.Fred Dews, “Al Shabaab: Background on the Somalia-based Terrorist Group that Attacked a Nairobi Mall,” Brookings Institutition, September 23, 2013, http://www.brookings.edu/blogs/brookings-now/posts/2013/09/al-shabaab-somalia-terrorist-nairobi-mall-attack.

In 2013, Kenyan human rights lawyer Al Amin Kimathi described al-Shabab’s recruitment process based on information gathered from interviews with detainees:

They are given quotations from the Koran, the Hadiths, but they do not have the benefit of a critical mind to look at it in any other context and they trust the people driving them to this. Advantage is taken of the person’s feeling of desperation and that is dangerous enough to drive them over the top. They are given the feeling that they are a very important person and that martyrdom is something to aspire to - the anger over their deprivation is lowered to a feeling of comfort, to a point where the only thing they aspire to is a collective action. Whether that action leads to their survival or death that doesn’t really matter any more [sic].In prison with al-Shabab: What drives Somali militants?” BBC News, last modified October 4, 2013, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-24379013.

Al-Shabab adheres to a strict brand of sharia, where stonings, amputations, and beheadings are regular punishment for criminals and apostates. The group violently persecutes non-Muslims and clashes continuously with humanitarian and international aid workers.Jonathan Masters, “Al-Shabab,” Council on Foreign Relations, last modified September 5, 2014, http://www.cfr.org/somalia/al-shabab/p18650.

Organizational Structure:

Al-Shabab is a hierarchical organization led by its emir (“prince” or “commander”) Ahmad Umar. Answering to Umar are a set of regional commanders who manage the group’s presence in southern Somalia and Mogadishu, Bay and Bokool, Puntland and Somaliland, and Juba Valley. Abdi O. Shuriye, “Research: Al-shabaab’s Leadership Hierarchy and its Ideology,” Horn Affairs, May 7, 2012, http://hornaffairs.com/en/2012/05/07/research-al-shabaabs-leadership-hierarchy-and-its-ideology/.

Umar has also appointed a Shura council of 10 members who oversee al-Shabab’s regional commanders. The council establishes al-Shabab’s policy, which is expected to be followed by local administrations within the group’s territory.Abdi O. Shuriye, “Research: Al-shabaab’s Leadership Hierarchy and its Ideology,” Horn Affairs, May 7, 2012, http://hornaffairs.com/en/2012/05/07/research-al-shabaabs-leadership-hierarchy-and-its-ideology/;
“Al Shabaab Leadership Profiles,” AEI Critical Threats, accessed September 13, 2016, http://www.criticalthreats.org/somalia/al-shabaab-leadership.
Aiding the Shura council are junior leaders who are in charge of al-Shabab’s media branch, law enforcement, and military operations. The group’s media branch, al-Kataib (The Brigade), is responsible for producing video recruitment and propaganda content which is then disseminated for international audiences.“Mapping Militant Organizations: Al Shabaab,” Stanford University, accessed 9/12/2016, http://web.stanford.edu/group/mappingmilitants/cgi-bin/groups/view/61;
Abdi O. Shuriye, “Research: Al-shabaab’s Leadership Hierarchy and its Ideology,” Horn Affairs, May 7, 2012, http://hornaffairs.com/en/2012/05/07/research-al-shabaabs-leadership-hierarchy-and-its-ideology/.

The leader of al-Shabab’s military operations, previously Abdullahi Haji Da’ud,Bill Roggio, “US military targets senior Shabaab commander in Somalia,” Long War Journal, June 1, 2016, http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2016/06/us-military-targets-senior-shabaab-commander-in-somalia.php. oversees two separate branches, the Jaysh Al-‘Usr (army of hardship) and the Jaysh Al-Hisbah (army of morality). Led by regional military leaders, the Jaysh Al-‘Usr serves as the group’s major external military apparatus. The Jaysh Al-Hisbah functions as the group’s religious police force, enforcing sharia in areas of al-Shabab’s control.Abdi O. Shuriye, “Research: Al-shabaab’s Leadership Hierarchy and its Ideology,” Horn Affairs, May 7, 2012, http://hornaffairs.com/en/2012/05/07/research-al-shabaabs-leadership-hierarchy-and-its-ideology/.

Financing:

Al-Shabab has had several sources of income throughout its history, including varying degrees of support from the Somali diaspora, locals, sponsors, and sustained dawn (proselytizing).

Domestically, al-Shabab drew significant revenue from racketeering after seizing the southern port city of Kismayo in 2008. The charcoal trade was essential to the city’s trade and the group was able to receive proceeds from exporting charcoal, totaling an estimated $35-50 million annually.Jonathan Masters and Mohammed Aly Sergie, “Al-Shabab,” Council on Foreign Relations, last modified March 13, 2015, http://www.cfr.org/somalia/al-shabab/p18650. Although AMISOM was able to take back Kismayo in October 2012, the United Nations has reported that al-Shabab’s illicit charcoal trade has continued in areas under the group’s control, such as Barawe, and estimates that profits from this city alone amount to millions of dollars monthly.“Letter dates 12 July 2013 from the Chair of the Security Council Committee pursuant to resolutions 751 (1992) ad 1907 (2009) concerning Somalis and Eritrea addressed to the President of the Security Council,” United Nations Security Council, July 12, 2014, http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=S/2013/413. The United Nations banned charcoal exports from Somalia in 2012. In October 2014, as part of an effort to target al-Shabab’s funding, the U.N. Security Council authorized the inspection of ships suspected of carrying Somali charcoal.Edith M. Lederer, “UN authorizes ship inspections for Somali charcoal,” Associated Press, October 24, 2014, http://bigstory.ap.org/article/e8fe2a9961754c3b80c00f68c550dc6e/un-authorizes-ship-inspections-somali-charcoal.

According to the United Nations, sugar imports grew in late 2012, in connection with the increased production of charcoal, and thereafter increased for transport over the Kenyan border.“Letter dates 12 July 2013 from the Chair of the Security Council Committee pursuant to resolutions 751 (1992) ad 1907 (2009) concerning Somalis and Eritrea addressed to the President of the Security Council,” United Nations, July 12, 2014, http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=S/2013/413. This cyclical trade, with charcoal exports in return for sugar imports that are eventually sold in Kenya for a lower price, is one way the group has sustained itself, despite losing control of the Kismayo port. Al-Shabab is also able to facilitate cash flows within Somalia through the rise of mobile money transfer companies subject to less scrutiny.“Somalia: Al-Shabaab—It will be a Long War,” International Crisis Group, June 26, 2014, http://www.crisisgroup.org/~/media/Files/africa/horn-of-africa/somalia/b099-somalia-al-shabaab-it-will-be-a-long-war.pdf. The International Crisis Group also reported in 2014 that al-Shabab copes with a volatile financial environment and intermittent cash flow by investing in gold.“Somalia: Al-Shabaab—It will be a Long War,” International Crisis Group, June 26, 2014, http://www.crisisgroup.org/~/media/Files/africa/horn-of-africa/somalia/b099-somalia-al-shabaab-it-will-be-a-long-war.pdf.

After the June 2013 purge of Godane’s opposition within the leadership, al-Shabab shifted its attention toward “taxation”—specifically, collecting funds through voluntary support, extortion, and partnership with businesses, humanitarian agencies, and other non-governmental organizations that operate in south-central Somalia.Ken Menkhaus, “Al-Shabab’s Capabilities Post-Westgate,” CTC Sentinel 7, no. 2 (February 2014): 4-9, https://www.ctc.usma.edu/v2/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/CTCSentinel-Vol7Iss2.pdf. According to the United Nations, al-Shabab has generated up to $100 million per year, from fees levied at ports of entry, taxes on goods, taxes on domestic produce, “jihad contributions,” checkpoint fees, and extortion for payments of religious obligation.“Report of the Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea pursuant to Security Council resolution 1916,” United Nations Security Council, July 18, 2011, http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=S/2011/433.

Al-Shabab has also reportedly received funding from the governments of Eritrea, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Qatar, and Yemen, the majority of which have denied these claims.Holly Yan, “What is Al-Shabaab, and what does it want?” CNN, April 2, 2015, http://www.cnn.com/2015/04/02/world/africa/al-shabaab-explainer/;
Jonathan Masters and Mohammed Aly Sergie, “Al-Shabab,” Council on Foreign Relations, March 13, 2015, http://www.cfr.org/somalia/al-shabab/p18650.
At the time, Al-Shabab agents have raised funds internationally. For example, in September 2014, prosecutors in Finland charged four people who allegedly collected “thousands of euros” for al-Shabab between 2008 and 2011.“Finland: 4 charged with funding Somali militants,” Associated Press, September 17, 2014, http://bigstory.ap.org/article/finland-4-charged-funding-somali-militants.

Recruitment and Training:

Recruitment:

Al-Shabab’s recruitment efforts take place primarily within Somalia and Kenya, though its online recruitment strategy has targeted the United States as well.“Al-Shabaab Recruitment from Kenyan Universities Alarms Officials,” Jamestown Foundation, January 7, 2016, http://www.jamestown.org/programs/tm/single/?tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=44951&cHash=abb508bc030cbed438bb4b009236f6b5#.V9b_64WcGM8;
African terror group Al Shabaab finds American recruits to aid jihad missions, Fox News, February 4, 2016, http://www.foxnews.com/world/2016/02/04/african-terror-group-al-shabaab-finds-american-recruits-to-aid-jihad-missions.html;
Matt Smith, “Somali jihadists recruit in U.S., Canada, Europe, CNN, September 23, 2013, http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/22/us/kenya-attack-somalis/.

Staying true to its name, which means “The Youth,” al-Shabab seeks to recruit Somali adolescents and young adults.Anneli Botha and Mahdi Abdile, “Radicalisation and al-Shabaab recruitment in Somalia,” Institute for Security Studies, September 2014, 2, 6, http://www.issafrica.org/uploads/Paper266.pdf. Boys as young as 10 years old have been forced into al-Shabab’s ranks.Alex Spillius, “Al-Shabaab militia abducting teenage girls to marry fighters,” Telegraph (London), February 21, 2012, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/somalia/9096315/Al-Shabaab-militia-abducting-teenage-girls-to-marry-fighters.html. In January 2017, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres estimated that more than half of al-Shabab’s fighters may be children. A Somali taskforce recorded the recruitment of 4,213 children—almost all boys—into al-Shabab between April 1, 2010, to July 31, 2016. According to a 2017 U.N. report, children “recruited and used by al-Shabab were victims of or were exposed to other grave violations including killing and maiming during military operations and air strikes targeting al-Shabab, and subjected to arrest and detention by Somalia security forces.”Edith M. Lederer, “UN alarm that most of al-Shabab’s force in Somalia are kids,” Associated Press, January 20, 2017, https://apnews.com/85093315baa644a6bee802b13fc343e5/un-alarm-most-al-shababs-force-somalia-are-kids.

According to Somali officials, al-Shabab needs younger recruits to replace aging fighters. The group has kidnapped children from schools, forcing others to flee al-Shabab-controlled areas to avoid conscription. In early August 2017 alone, more than 100 children fled from al-Shabab-controlled areas of Somalia for the safety of government-controlled areas of the country. Officials have estimated that more than 500 children have fled their homes to escape conscription into al-Shabab.Mohamed Olad Hassan, “Somali Children Flee Al-Shabab Recruitment,” Voice of America, August 7, 2017, https://www.voanews.com/a/somali-children-seek-refuge-al-shabab-coastal-town-adale/3975825.html.

Al-Shabab uses children in combat and reconnaissance roles, according to the U.N.“Somalia,” United Nations Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary General for Children and Armed Conflict, May 15, 2014, https://childrenandarmedconflict.un.org/countries/somalia/. A 14-year-old Somali recruit, interviewed by the Institute for Security Studies in September 2014, said, “[W]hen you join, they give you a mobile phone and every month you get $50. This is what pushes a lot of my friends to join.” Another member recalled how during his recruitment experience “[P]reachers delivered sermons for hours about destiny and the sweetness of the holy war. They distributed leaflets on Islam [and] showed video recording from other jihadist [sic] in the world.”Anneli Botha and Mahdi Abdile, “Radicalisation and al-Shabaab recruitment in Somalia,” Institute for Security Studies, September 2014, 2, 6, http://www.issafrica.org/uploads/Paper266.pdf.

While al-Shabab recruits males, it has also kidnapped Muslim and Christian women in Somalia and Kenya as sex slaves. The group has forced some girls and women to work in brothels while forcing others into marriages with al-Shabab fighters.Charlotte Attwood, “The sex slaves of al-Shabab,” BBC News, May 25, 2017, http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-40022953. Al-Shabab has regularly killed women and girls who refuse forced marriages to al-Shabab fighters.“No Place for Children,” Human Rights Watch, February 20, 2012, https://www.hrw.org/report/2012/02/20/no-place-children/child-recruitment-forced-marriage-and-attacks-schools-somalia.

Al-Shabab has attempted to influence Somali families toward Islamism. The group’s Education and Youth Engagement released its own curriculum in early 2017, focusing only on Quran, math, history, and geography.Ludovica Iaccino, “Al-Shabab Urges Parents to Send Their Children to Islamic Schools to Avoid Western Influences,” Newsweek, April 21, 2017, http://www.newsweek.com/al-shabab-somalia-islamic-schools-militants-al-qaeda-587260. That April, the group released a statement instructing Somali parents to shun public schooling and send their children to Islamic schools. The group warned of “consequences” for parents and teachers who embrace secular education.Mohamed Olad Hassan, “Al-Shabab Warns Against Western Education,” Voice of America, April 20, 2017, https://www.voanews.com/a/al-shabab-warns-against-western-education/3818654.html.

Al-Shabab has a sophisticated public relations arm that “includes a Twitter account and video production abilities.”Tom Watkins, “Al-Shabaab grew amid Somalia’s lawlessness,” CNN, September 2, 2014, http://www.cnn.com/2014/09/02/world/africa/somalia-al-shabaab-explainer/. The group’s use of social media for propaganda has attracted recruits from around the world. Al-Shabab also disseminates recruitment videos dubbed in English and Somali. A video released in 2010 depicts a combatant attempting to recruit young fighters: “So what are you waiting for my brothers, why don’t you leap forth for this act of worship? Join us so that we can together fight the forces of kufr [unbelief]…”Aaron Y. Zelin, “New video from Ḥarakat al-Shabāb al-Mujāhidīn’s media outlet al-Katāi’b: “Message to the Ummah and Inspire The Believers,” Jihadology, November 22, 2010, http://jihadology.net/2010/11/22/new-video-from-%E1%B8%A5arakat-al-shabab-al-mujahidins-media-outlet-al-kataib-message-to-the-ummah-and-inspire-the-believers/.

Another video includes an English-language rap: “[M]ortar by mortar, shell by shell, only going to stop when they go to hell.”Tom Watkins, “Al-Shabaab grew amid Somalia’s lawlessness,” CNN, September 2, 2014, http://www.cnn.com/2014/09/02/world/africa/somalia-al-shabaab-explainer/.

Within Somalia, recruiters infiltrate remote, rural areas and approach potential recruits. There have been accounts of recruiters threatening the lives of Somali Muslim men who initially resist joining the group.Anneli Botha and Mahdi Abdile, “Radicalisation and al-Shabaab recruitment in Somalia,” Institute for Security Studies, September 2014, p. 8, http://www.issafrica.org/uploads/Paper266.pdf.

Recruitment in Somalia

Al-Shabab provides social services to increase its support among Somalis, partaking in infrastructure construction and collecting money to be redistributed to the poor.“Mapping Militant Organizations: Al Shabaab,” Stanford University, accessed September 12, 2016, http://web.stanford.edu/group/mappingmilitants/cgi-bin/groups/view/61. Somali youths are also offered salaries of up to $700 a month for joining the militant group, and promised additional payments if they bring a wife and children. Since 2009, al-Shabab recruiter Sheikh Ahmad Iman Ali has recruited children between the ages of 12 and 16 living in Somalia’s impoverished regions. According to Kenyan authorities, children in those areas reportedly lack basic housing, clothing, and food, which al-Shabab typically provides in exchange for their recruitment.“Al-Shabaab Recruitment from Kenyan Universities Alarms Officials,” Jamestown Foundation, January 7, 2016, http://www.jamestown.org/programs/tm/single/?tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=44951&cHash=abb508bc030cbed438bb4b009236f6b5#.V9b_64WcGM8;
“Polic Warn of Shabaab Recruiters,” Daily Nation, November 1, 2015, http://www.nation.co.ke/news/Police-warn-of-Shabaab-recruiters/-/1056/2939148/-/format/xhtml/-/294nvnz/-/index.html.
According to one report from 2012 the primary reason that former al-Shabab fighters claimed they joined the militant group was for a religious identity, the lack of education and employment, influenced by family or friends, and the need for a collective identity and a sense of belonging.Botha Anneli, Abdile Mahdi, “Radicalisation and al-Shabaab Recruitment in Somalia,” Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers, 12/2014, https://frantic.s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/kua-peacemakers/2014/12/Radicalisation-and-al-Shabaab-recruitment-in-Somalia_1.pdf.

Recruitment in Kenya

Al-Shabab recruiters radicalize young Kenyan Muslims—often converts to Islam— with extremist sermons. Personal accounts reveal that recruiters use psychological manipulation to increase enrollment in the terror group. A disillusioned former recruit said that deceased al-Shabab member and radical Kenyan cleric Aboud Rogo Mohammed “used to tell us: ‘Instead of sitting in the slum doing nothing, it’s better to go to Somalia and fight for your religion, you’ll go straight to heaven.’”Peter Taylor, “On the trail of al-Shabab’s Kenyan recruitment ‘pipeline,’” BBC News, September 28, 2013, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-24263357.

Once the recruits are prepared to join al-Shabab, they travel to remote islands off of Kenya’s coast, which are only a couple hours away from Somalia by boat. From these islands, radical preachers guide them to their final destination, Somalia.Peter Taylor, “On the trail of al-Shabab’s Kenyan recruitment ‘pipeline,’” BBC News, September 28, 2013, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-24263357.

Recruitment in the United States

U.S. Representative Edward Royce (R-CA), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, warned in late 2013 that “al-Shabab has demonstrated a unique ability to recruit young members of the Somali diaspora in the United States….”Guy Taylor, “U.S. youths recruited for Somali terror group al-Shabab, hearing told,” Washington Times, October 3, 2013, http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/oct/3/us-youths-recruited-somali-terror-group-al-shabaab/?page=all.

Americans began traveling to Somalia to join al-Shabab in 2007 when the terror group stepped up its insurgency against Somalia’s transitional government. Most American fighters for al-Shabab have been radicalized in Minneapolis, Minnesota, home to the largest Somali diaspora in the U.S.

The FBI contends that al-Shabab has made an “active and deliberate attempt” to recruit American fighters in person and over the Internet. A 2011 U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security investigation found that al-Shabab recruiters have used mosques and cafes as meeting places to radicalize and recruit.House Homeland Security Committee, Majority Investigative Report: Al Shabaab: Recruitment and Radicalization within the Muslim American Community and the Threat to the Homeland, 112th Congress, July 27, 2011, http://homeland.house.gov/sites/homeland.house.gov/files/Investigative%20report.pdf. Alabama native Omar Hammami appeared in several online videos in which he urged foreigners in English to “live the life of a mujahid.” Al-Shabab has released a host of other online recruitment videos depicting American foreign fighters.

Training

Due to the lack of governance in Somalia, al-Shabab has been able to manage specialized training camps with little domestic interference. In addition to a hand-to-hand combat camp in Ras Kiamboni and suicide bombing camps in Elberde and Mogadishu, al-Shabab has managed a hostage training camp in Eel Arfid.Scott Baldauf and Ali Mohamed, “Somalia’s Al Shabab recruits ‘holy warriors’ with $400 bonus,” Christian Science Monitor, April 15, 2010, http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Africa/2010/0415/Somalia-s-Al-Shabab-recruits-holy-warriors-with-400-bonus. Al-Shabab has also recruited women, although they are reportedly sent to training camps for the sole purpose of being taken as brides.Scott Baldauf and Ali Mohamed, “Somalia’s Al Shabab recruits ‘holy warriors’ with $400 bonus,” Christian Science Monitor, April 15, 2010, http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Africa/2010/0415/Somalia-s-Al-Shabab-recruits-holy-warriors-with-400-bonus.

Core al-Qaeda had an influence on al-Shabab training since before al-Shabab formally pledged allegiance to al-Qaeda in 2012. A 2011 report by the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security found that American recruits were receiving training from senior al-Qaeda operatives, some with ties to al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.House Homeland Security Committee, Majority Investigative Report: Al Shabaab: Recruitment and Radicalization within the Muslim American Community and the Threat to the Homeland, 112th Congress, July 27, 2011, http://homeland.house.gov/sites/homeland.house.gov/files/Investigative%20report.pdf. Also as of 2011, Pakistani-born al-Qaeda operative Abu Musa Mombasa was reported to be al-Shabab’s head of security and training.Rob Wise, “Al Shabaab,” Center for Strategic & International Studies, July 2011, http://csis.org/files/publication/110715_Wise_AlShabaab_AQAM%20Futures%20Case%20Study_WEB.pdf.Under the auspices of core al-Qaeda, the group has increasingly focused on its explosives and suicide-bomber training program.Rob Wise, “Al Shabaab,” Center for Strategic & International Studies, July 2011, http://csis.org/files/publication/110715_Wise_AlShabaab_AQAM%20Futures%20Case%20Study_WEB.pdf.

Today, al-Shabab recruits undergo a six-month training process.Jamal Osman, “Exclusive: inside an al-Shabaab training camp,” Channel 4, December 16, 2013, http://www.channel4.com/news/al-shabaab-somalia-kenya-westgate-al-qaeda. According to the FBI, training includes “reading and interpreting the Koran, physical exercise, and weapons handling.” Such weapons include AK-47 assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades.Ian Duncan, “Accused al-Shabaab fighter came from heart of Baltimore's African-American Muslim community,” Baltimore Sun, January 17, 2015, http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/bs-md-maalik-jones-al-shabbab-20160117-story.html. At one graduation ceremony open to media, 300 trainees became members. The new graduates were able to choose which sector of al-Shabab to join. Graduates can sign up for a combat unit, become bomb-makers, or work for the group’s security network, the Amniyat. Standout recruits have the special opportunity to join the years-long waiting list for the Istishhadyin unit, the group’s suicide brigade.Jamal Osman, “Exclusive: inside an al-Shabaab training camp,” Channel 4, December 16, 2013, http://www.channel4.com/news/al-shabaab-somalia-kenya-westgate-al-qaeda.

In September 2014, the U.S. conducted a drone attack on an al-Shabab training camp south of Mogadishu. The attack killed al-Shabab’s leader at the time, Ahmed Abdi Godane.Associated Press, “Somalia extremist group names new leader,” Fox News, September 6, 2014, http://www.foxnews.com/world/2014/09/06/somalia-islamic-extremist-group-al-shabaab-names-new-leader/. Another al-Shabab training camp was targeted in a U.S. drone strike north of Mogadishu, killing over 150 militants.“US: More than 150 al-Shabab fighters killed in air raid,” Al-Jazeera, March 8, 2016, http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/03/drone-strike-somalia-kills-150-fighters-160307170607675.html.

Key Leaders

  • Ahmed Umar (aka Abu Ubaidah)

    Ahmed Umar (aka Abu Ubaidah)

    Al-Shabab emir (leader)
  • Ahmed Abdi Godane (Mukhtar Abu Zubair)

    Ahmed Abdi Godane (Mukhtar Abu Zubair)

    Emir (commander) - deceased
  • Mukhtar Robow (Abu Mansur)

    Mukhtar Robow (Abu Mansur)

    Deputy emir
  • Ali Mohamed Rage (Ali Dhere)

    Ali Mohamed Rage (Ali Dhere)

    Official Spokesman
  • Abulaziz Abu Muscab

    Abdiasis Abu Musab

    Military operations spokesman
  • Fuad Mohamed Qalaf (Shongole)

    Fuad Mohamed Qalaf (Shongole)

    Senior member
  • Ibrahim Haji Jama Mead (Ibrahim al Afghani)

    Senior member
  • Omar Hammami (Abu Mansour al-Amriki)

    Omar Hammami (Abu Mansour al-Amriki)

    Key leader and member - deceased

History

 

Violent Activities

As al-Shabab lost control of urban centers, its tactics shifted to asymmetrical attacks, with greater reliance on suicide bombs, IEDs, hit-and-runs, political threats, assassinations, and grenade attacks.Ken Menkhaus, “Al-Shabab’s Capabilities Post-Westgate,” CTC Sentinel 7, no. 2 (February 2014): 4-9, https://www.ctc.usma.edu/v2/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/CTCSentinel-Vol7Iss2.pdf. The group’s new tactics emphasized collaboration with its historical enemies in Somalia, resulting in alliances and deals that make it difficult for external actors to dismantle the group.Ken Menkhaus, “Al-Shabab’s Capabilities Post-Westgate,” CTC Sentinel 7, no. 2 (February 2014): 4-9, https://www.ctc.usma.edu/v2/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/CTCSentinel-Vol7Iss2.pdf. Godane’s suppression of internal opposition allowed him to drive al-Shabab towards more indiscriminate modes of violence similar to al-Qaeda’s.

The majority of the group’s attacks are retaliatory against perceived injustices against Muslims and against al-Shabab’s mission in Somalia. Targets includes the U.S. and other Western countries, as well as those states, such as Uganda and Kenya, who have contributed to troops to AMISOM.

As outlined below, al-Shabab has engaged in both guerrilla and terror tactics since its inception.  A key differentiator and contributor to its sustainability as an organization is al-Shabab’s adaptability. This military and political flexibility is assisted by the leadership’s lack of direct accountability to a constituency,International Crisis Group, “Somalia: Al-Shabaab -- It will be a Long War,” Policy Briefing, Africa Briefing No. 99, June 26, 2014, http://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/b099-somalia-al-shabaab-it-will-be-a-long-war.pdf. enabling them to carry out any number of attacks on whatever targets they choose. One of the major developments within the organization has been its tactical shifts and hybridization of violent attacks, combining both suicide bombers and suicide infantry.Matt Bryden, “The Reinvention of Al-Shabaab: A Strategy of Choice or Necessity,” Center for Strategic & International Studies, February 2014, http://csis.org/files/publication/140221_Bryden_ReinventionOfAlShabaab_Web.pdf.. According to Matt Bryden at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Westgate Mall attack was the culmination of successfully tried and tested tactics, techniques and procedures honed back home in Somalia.Matt Bryden, “The Reinvention of Al-Shabaab: A Strategy of Choice or Necessity,” Center for Strategic & International Studies, February 2014, http://csis.org/files/publication/140221_Bryden_ReinventionOfAlShabaab_Web.pdf.. Specifically, al-Shabab understood from past experience that breaching the perimeter of the mall would be necessary to overtake it, so their typical suicide-bombing tactic would not work there. Consequently, the group used hand grenades to penetrate the structure.

Timeline of Violent Activities:

  • October 29, 2008: The first known U.S. suicide bomber for al-Shabab, Shirwa Ahmed, is part of attack in Hargeisa that kills 24 people. Ahmed was a Somali-American from Minnesota who trained with al-Shabab.Jonathan Masters, “Al-Shabab,” Council on Foreign Relations, last modified September 5, 2014, http://www.cfr.org/somalia/al-shabab/p18650.
  • February 2009: Al-Shabab successfully launches the use of explosive vests in a sophisticated attack against African Union (AU) military bases in Mogadishu. They employ a mix of person-borne improvised explosive devices (PBIEDs) and vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs), followed by indirect fire. Similar tactics were used in a September bombing at an AU military base.Matt Bryden, “The Reinvention of Al-Shabaab: A Strategy of Choice or Necessity,” Center for Strategic & International Studies, February 2014, http://csis.org/files/publication/140221_Bryden_ReinventionOfAlShabaab_Web.pdf..
  • June 19, 2009: Somalia National Security Minister Omar Hashi Aden is killed in a large-scale suicide car bomb attack in Beletwyne. Over 30 people are killed in the attack. The group seeks to intensify its strategy to strong-arm the Somali-population, focusing on high-target assassinations and clan elders.United Nations Security Council, “List of Individuals and Entities Subject to the Measures Imposed by Paragraphs 1, 3, and 7 of Security Council Resolution 1844,” March 11, 2014, http://www.un.org/sc/committees/751/pdf/1844_cons_list.pdf.
  • September 17, 2009: Two VBIEDs penetrate the security perimeter of an AMISOM Force Headquarters, killing 17 peacekeepers, including the deputy force commander.Matt Bryden, “The Reinvention of Al-Shabaab: A Strategy of Choice or Necessity,” Center for Strategic & International Studies, February 2014, http://csis.org/files/publication/140221_Bryden_ReinventionOfAlShabaab_Web.pdf..
  • July 11, 2010: Al-Shabab claims responsibility for several near-simultaneous bombings that kill dozens of people in sports bars in Uganda. The three coordinated blasts, which detonate just seven minutes apart, kill 76 people watching the World Cup in Kampala. In prison with al-Shabab: What drives Somali militants?” BBC News, last modified October 4, 2013, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-24379013. A fourth bomb left at a discotheque failed to go off. This is the group’s first attack on foreign soil. The group’s spokesman proclaims, “We are sending a message to every country who is willing to send troops to Somalia that they will face attacks on their territory.”Jonathan Masters, “Al-Shabab,” Council on Foreign Relations, last modified September 5, 2014, http://www.cfr.org/somalia/al-shabab/p18650. This attack brought together several of the elements from the 2009 bombings—near simultaneous attacks, employing PBIEDs, VBIEDs, and mobile-phone trigger.
  • August 24, 2012: Al-Shabab attempts a complex attack, targeting the Muna Hotel in Mogadishu. Al-Shabab gunmen, disguised as government security personnel, lay siege to the building and a two-hour gun battle ensues before one of the assailants detonates an explosive vest. The attack kills 32 people, including several members of parliament. Although the attack was deemed successful by al-Shabab, the group did not attempt another operation of such complexity until two years later, when they attempted to kill Somalia’s newly elected president at Mogadishu’s Jazeera Hotel.Matt Bryden, “The Reinvention of Al-Shabaab: A Strategy of Choice or Necessity,” Center for Strategic & International Studies, February 2014, http://csis.org/files/publication/140221_Bryden_ReinventionOfAlShabaab_Web.pdf..
  • March 28, 2013: Al-Shabab detonates a car bomb aimed at Somali intelligence chief Kahlif Ahmed Ereg near the National Theater in Mogadishu. The bomb kills ten civilians and injures 15.“Chapter 2. Country Reports: Africa Overview,” Country Reports on Terrorism 2013, U.S. Department of State, April 30, 2014, http://www.state.gov/j/ct/rls/crt/2013/224820.htm.
  • April 14, 2013: Al-Shabab attacks the Supreme Court using a VBIED to breach the main entrance. Gunmen, some wearing explosive vests, then enter the building to carry out a killing spree. All of the attackers were reportedly killed and more than 35 people perished in the attack.Matt Bryden, “The Reinvention of Al-Shabaab: A Strategy of Choice or Necessity,” Center for Strategic & International Studies, February 2014, http://csis.org/files/publication/140221_Bryden_ReinventionOfAlShabaab_Web.pdf..
  • June 19, 2013: Al-Shabab attacks the U.N. compound in Mogadishu. The attack follows a similar pattern as the Supreme Court plans, with a VBIED exploding at the main entrance, allowing a small team of gunmen to enter. A total of 22 people are killed, including four U.N. international personnel, four local security guards, and all attackers.Matt Bryden, “The Reinvention of Al-Shabaab: A Strategy of Choice or Necessity,” Center for Strategic & International Studies, February 2014, http://csis.org/files/publication/140221_Bryden_ReinventionOfAlShabaab_Web.pdf..
  • June 2013: al-Shabab’s bloodiest internal battle ever destabilizes the group, leading to a major purge. The purge is thought to have removed 200 members. Top leaders who opposed Godane meet varying fates, with Ibrahim al-Afghani and Maa’lim Hashi executed, Mukhtar Robow escaping, and Hasan Dahir Aweys fleeing but being captured by government militias and handed over to Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government.Ken Menkhaus, “Al-Shabab’s Capabilities Post-Westgate,” CTC Sentinel 7, no. 2 (February 2014): 4-9, https://www.ctc.usma.edu/v2/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/CTCSentinel-Vol7Iss2.pdf. Godane consolidates control over the weakened, smaller group and implements a hardline strategy and tactics.
  • July 12, 2013: An AMISOM convoy, en route to Mogadishu International Airport, is struck by al-Shabab. The group publicly admits they had tried to target U.S. intelligence officers.“Chapter 2. Country Reports: Africa Overview,” Country Reports on Terrorism 2013, U.S. Department of State, April 30, 2014, http://www.state.gov/j/ct/rls/crt/2013/224820.htm.
  • July 27, 2013: Al-Shabab attacks the Turkish embassy housing complex in Mogadishu using a car bomb and small weapons, killing eight and injuring 13.“Chapter 2. Country Reports: Africa Overview,” Country Reports on Terrorism 2013, U.S. Department of State, April 30, 2014, http://www.state.gov/j/ct/rls/crt/2013/224820.htm.
  • September 3 and 4, 2013: Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud’s convoy is attacked by a roadside bomb as he travels to Merka, Lower Shabelle. No casualties are reported, though one Somali soldier is injured in the attack.“Chapter 2. Country Reports: Africa Overview,” Country Reports on Terrorism 2013, U.S. Department of State, April 30, 2014, http://www.state.gov/j/ct/rls/crt/2013/224820.htm.
  • September 7, 2013: 18 civilians are killed at the popular Villa Restaurant in Mogadishu. Al-Shabab employs a two-part VBIED and suicide attack.“Chapter 2. Country Reports: Africa Overview,” Country Reports on Terrorism 2013, U.S. Department of State, April 30, 2014, http://www.state.gov/j/ct/rls/crt/2013/224820.htm.
  • September 12 and November 5, 2013: Al-Shabab twice targets the convoy of Interim Juba Administration President Ahmed Madobe with a car bomb outside of Kismayo’s airport. President Madobe is slightly injured in the first attack. Civilians are killed in both attacks.“Chapter 2. Country Reports: Africa Overview,” Country Reports on Terrorism 2013, U.S. Department of State, April 30, 2014, http://www.state.gov/j/ct/rls/crt/2013/224820.htm.
  • September 21 - 24, 2013: Al-Shabab militants, including a Norwegian citizen of Somali origin and three Somali nationals, raid Westgate Shopping Centre in Nairobi. In the deadliest attack in Kenya in 15 years, the attackers kill 67 people over four days. The victims include six Kenyan security personnel and wound more than 200 people.Matt Bryden, “The Reinvention of Al-Shabaab: A Strategy of Choice or Necessity,” Center for Strategic & International Studies, February 2014, http://csis.org/files/publication/140221_Bryden_ReinventionOfAlShabaab_Web.pdf..
  • November 8, 2013: The group attempts to detonate a sophisticated IED embedded in a laptop at a popular hotel in Mogadishu, Maka al Mukarama that is frequented by high-level government and security officials. The attack kills six and injures 15. A secondary VBIED detonates in the parking lot.“Chapter 2. Country Reports: Africa Overview,” Country Reports on Terrorism 2013, U.S. Department of State, April 30, 2014, http://www.state.gov/j/ct/rls/crt/2013/224820.htm.
  • November 19, 2013: Al-Shabab insurgents launch a complex attack against the central police station in Beledweyne, killing 24 Somali police officers and one Djiboutian AMISOM soldier, and injuring several others.United Nations Security Council, “Report of the Secretary-General on Somalia,” S/2014/140, March 3, 2014, http://unsom.unmissions.org/Portals/UNSOM/SG%20Report%20March%202014.pdf.
  • December 5, 2013: A suicide car bomber hits a convoy of the Puntland security forces in central Boosaaso, killing three police officers and four civilians, while injuring several others.United Nations Security Council, “Report of the Secretary-General on Somalia,” S/2014/140, March 3, 2014, http://unsom.unmissions.org/Portals/UNSOM/SG%20Report%20March%202014.pdf.
  • January 1, 2014: Al-Shabab claims responsibility for a suicide car bombing that kills at least 12 people and injured several others at the Jazeera Hotel.United Nations Security Council, “Report of the Secretary-General on Somalia,” S/2014/140, March 3, 2014, http://unsom.unmissions.org/Portals/UNSOM/SG%20Report%20March%202014.pdf.
  • January 15, 2014: Al-Shabab attempts to launch an attack on Somali National Army positions, but proves unsuccessful.United Nations Security Council, “Report of the Secretary-General on Somalia,” S/2014/140, March 3, 2014, http://unsom.unmissions.org/Portals/UNSOM/SG%20Report%20March%202014.pdf.
  • January 21, 2014: Two roadside explosions kill three civilians and injure 13. A few days later, on January 26th, the Puntland Government announces that it recovered ammunition, explosive devices and other equipment following an assault on the group’s base in Galgala near the Golis Mountain range.United Nations Security Council, “Report of the Secretary-General on Somalia,” S/2014/140, March 3, 2014, http://unsom.unmissions.org/Portals/UNSOM/SG%20Report%20March%202014.pdf.
  • February 13, 2014: A U.N. convoy is hit by a suicide car bomber en-route to the Mogadishu International Airport, killing several Somali bystanders.United Nations Security Council, “Report of the Secretary-General on Somalia,” S/2014/140, March 3, 2014, http://unsom.unmissions.org/Portals/UNSOM/SG%20Report%20March%202014.pdf.
  • February 21, 2014: Following a series of suicide bombings over a few weeks, al-Shabab attacks Somalia’s presidential palace with a combination of car bombs and engages in a gun battle with palace guards. 14 people are left dead, including five Somali officials and soldiers and nine attackers. The interior minister confirms that two government officials are among the dead.“Al-Shabab attacks Somali presidential palace,” Al Jazeera, February 22, 2014, http://www.aljazeera.com/news/africa/2014/02/somali-presidential-hq-attacked-al-shabab-201422112586270319.html.
  • September 8, 2014: A suicide bomber attacks Somalia’s Lower Shabelle region, killing 12 civilians and wounding two soldiers. Later, a second suicide attacker rams his car into the convoy escorting Somalian intelligence commander Abdifatah Shaweye to the scene of the first attack. Shaweye is lightly wounded. No further casualties are reported.Abdi Guled, “12 civilians killed in Somalia attack, say police,” Associated Press, September 8, 2014, http://bigstory.ap.org/article/5-civilians-killed-somalia-bombing-say-police.
  • October 12, 2014: A car bomb explodes outside a café in Mogadishu, killing 11 and wounding eight. Al-Shabab is suspected.Abdi Guled, “Car bomb in Somalia’s capital kills 11,” Associated Press, October 12, 2014, http://bigstory.ap.org/article/55b8bab4b8e4484ba373c1d45309fe8f/car-bomb-somalias-capital-kills-least-7.
  • October 15, 2014: A car bomb explodes near the presidential palace in Mogadishu, Somalia, killing five and wounding seven, mostly children. Al-Shabab is suspected.Abdi Guled, “Car bomb in Somali capital kills 5, mostly kids,” Associated Press, October 15, 2014, http://bigstory.ap.org/article/7da0bdd1147542ec90b5f9ca1bb7d072/car-bomb-somali-capital-kills-5-mostly-kids.
  • November 17, 2014: Al-Shabab militants open fire on the car of a 60-year old Somali-American in Mogadishu. Separately, militants shoot and kill a freelance journalist in central Somalia.Abdi Guled, “Somali-American who helped Mogadishu govt killed,” Associated Press, November 19, 2014, http://bigstory.ap.org/article/768422c036ad463d98479ba3ce922bb6/somali-american-who-helped-mogadishu-govt-killed.
  • November 22, 2014: After hijacking a bus heading to Nairobi, Kenya, al-Shabab massacres 28 civilians, having separated Muslims from non-Muslims by challenging the non-Somali passengers to recite the shahada, the Islamic declaration of faith. Nineteen men and nine women are murdered, shot at close range.Tom Odula, “Somalia’s al-Shabab kills 28 non-Muslims in Kenya,” Washington Post, November 22, 2014, http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/somalias-al-shabab-kills-28-non-muslims-in-kenya/2014/11/22/d7571d5c-7272-11e4-ad12-3734c461eab6_story.html.
  • December 2, 2014: After identifying non-Muslim workers at a quarry in Kenya, al-Shabab massacres 36 people, most of whom are reportedly “lined up, and shot in the head, at close range” while others are beheaded.“Al-Shabab massacres non-Muslims at Kenya quarry,” BBC News, last modified December 2, 2014, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-30288137.
  • December 3, 2014: Al-Shabab carries out a car bomb attack on a U.N. convoy near Mogadishu airport, killing four Somalis, including a policeman and a contractor, and wounding 13 others.Feisal Omar, “Al-Shabaab car bomb kills four Somalis in U.N. convoy,” Reuters, December 3, 2014, http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/12/03/somalia-blast-idUSL6N0TN0L220141203.
  • December 5, 2014: Al-Shabab suicide bombers kill up to seven people and wound dozens more in a restaurant in the northwest town of Baidoa in Somalia.Feisal Omar, “Suicide bombers kill up to seven in Somali town,” Reuters, December 5, 2014, http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/12/05/us-somalia-blast-idUSKCN0JJ1WT20141205.
  • December 12, 2014: Al-Shabab kidnaps and beheads Quran teacher Mohamed Hussein near the central Somali city of Bulo Berde. Hussein apparently refused to obey al-Shabab’s order to leave his village. His headless corpse is later found dumped close to his home.Omar Nor, “Al-Shabaab blamed for five beheadings,” CNN, December 15, 2014, http://www.cnn.com/2014/12/15/world/africa/somalia-violence/.
  • December 15, 2014: Al-Shabab attacks a military base in southern Somalia, killing at least 10 soldiers.Abdi Sheikh, Feisal Omar, et al, “Islamist rebels kill 10 Somali soldiers in attack on base,” Reuters, December 15, 2014, http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/12/15/somalia-attacks-idUSL1N0TZ09520141215.
  • December 25, 2014: Eight al-Shabab militants storm an African Union (AU) building and kill three Ugandan peacekeepers and a civilian contractor. Al-Shabab claims that it killed 14 peacekeepers, explaining that it “targeted the enemies at a time they were celebrating Christmas…”Abdi Sheikh and Feisal Omar, “Islamist gunmen attack African Union base in Somalia,” Reuters, December 25, 2014, http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/12/27/us-somalia-security-idUSKBN0K503C20141227.
  • December 26, 2014: In claiming responsibility for the African Union attack on December 25, al-Shabab state that it is in retaliation for a U.S. strike that killed its leader, Ahmed Godane.Omar Nor, Mohammed Tawfeeq, and Susanna Capelouto, “Al-Shabaab: Attack on base was revenge for U.S. airstrike,” CNN, December 26, 2014, http://www.cnn.com/2014/12/26/world/africa/somalia-violence/.
  • January 2, 2015: Al-Shabab confirms it was responsible for killing at least seven Somali soldiers in an attack on a military base outside Baidoa.Feisal Omar and Abdi Sheikh, “At least seven killed in al Shabaab attack at Somali military base,” Reuters, January 2, 2015, http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/01/02/us-somalia-attacks-idUSKBN0KB0ET20150102.
  • January 4, 2015: Al-Shabab detonates a car bomb that kills four civilians and injures seven more in the Somali capital of Mogadishu.Abdi Sheikh, “Car bomb targeting Somali security forces kills four civilians,” Reuters, January 4, 2015, http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/01/04/us-somalia-blast-idUSKBN0KD0E420150104.
  • March 12, 2015: Al-Shabab militants attack government administration offices in Baidoa, Somalia.Omar Nor, “Al-Shabaab launches deadly attack on government offices in Baidoa,” CNN, March 12, 2015, http://www.cnn.com/2015/03/12/africa/somalia-violence/.
  • April 20, 2015: Al-Shabab bombs U.N. workers in Garowe, Somalia, killing nine.“Al-Shabaab bombs UN workers in Somalia,” Guardian (London), April 20, 2015, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/apr/20/al-shabaab-suspected-of-bomb-attack-on-un-workers-in-somalia.
  • May 22, 2015: Al-Shabab fighters attack the village of Yumbis in Kenya until security forces drive them out.Reuters, “Somalia's al Shabaab fighters attack village in Kenya,” Yahoo News, May 22, 2015, http://news.yahoo.com/al-shabaab-attacks-village-kenyas-garissa-063920870.html.
  • July 7, 2015: Al-Shabab kills more than a dozen in an an near the Kenyan-Somali border weeks before Obama's visit to Kenya.“Al-Shabaab kills more than a dozen in Kenya attack weeks before Obama visit,” Guardian (London), July 7, 2015, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jul/07/al-shabaab-kills-more-than-a-dozen-in-kenya-attack-weeks-before-obama-visit.
  • July 15, 2015: Five al-Shabab militants launch coordinated attacks on a stadium housing peacekeepers, as well as two hotels, in Mogadishu.Robyn Kriel, “Al-Shabaab says it is responsible for three Somalia attacks,” CNN, July 15, 2015, http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/10/africa/somalia-al-shabaab-attacks/.
  • September 3, 2015: Al-Shabab launches an attack in southern Somalia against a remote African Union outpost that kills 37 in total, including 25 Somali and 12 Ugandan soldiers.Robyn Kriel and Briana Duggan, “Al-Shabaab attack in Somalia kills dozens of AU troops,” CNN, September 3, 2015, http://www.cnn.com/2015/09/03/africa/somalia-al-shabaab-attack/.
  • November 1, 2015: Al-Shabab attacks the Sahafi Hotel in Mogadishu, killing at least 6 and injuring 10. The siege ends when the five perpetrators are killed by Somali security forces.“Al-Shabaab extremists attack hotel in Mogadishu, killing at least 6,” CBC News, November 1, 2015, http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/al-shabaab-extremists-attack-hotel-in-mogadishu-killing-at-least-6-1.3298891.
  • January 15, 2016: Al-Shabab launches attack against an African Union military base, killing dozens of Kenyan soldiers. Kenyan soldiers abandon the camp 11 days later.Tony Oladipo, “What happened when al-Shabab attacked a Kenyan base in Somalia?” BBC News, January 21, 2016, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-35364593;
    “Kenyan troops abandon Somali camp to al Shabaab militants,” Reuters, January 26, 2016, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-kenya-somalia-idUSKCN0V41R2.
  • January 21, 2016: Al-Shabab claims responsibility for an attack on a beachfront restaurant in Mogadishu, killing at least 26. The terrorist attack—involving suicide bombers and gunmen—lasts for eight hours before Somali security forces are able to restore security.Morgan Winsor, “Somalia Lido Beach Attack: Mogadishu Resident Loses Close Friends In Al-Shabab Violence,” International Business Times, January 25, 2016, http://www.ibtimes.com/somalia-lido-beach-attack-mogadishu-resident-loses-close-friends-al-shabab-violence-2276408.
  • January 31, 2016: Al-Shabab militants kill three men in a village in Kenya’s coastal Lamu county.Alphonce Gari, “Suspected al Shabaab militia kill three in fresh Lamu attack,” Star (Nairobi), January 31, 2016, http://www.the-star.co.ke/news/2016/01/31/suspected-al-shabaab-militia-kill-three-in-fresh-lamu-attack_c1286235.
  • January 31, 2016: Al-Shabab militants kill three men in a village in Kenya’s coastal Lamu county.
  • February 2, 2016: A suicide bomber detonates an improvised explosive device on a Daallo airbus flight from Mogadishu to Djibouti, leaving no casualties. Al-Shabab claims responsibility for the attack.“Foreign Travel Advice: Somalia,” U.K. Government, accessed September 8, 2016, https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/somalia/terrorism; Robyn Kriel and Susanna Capelouto, “Al-Shabaab claims responsibility for Somalia in-flight jet blast,” CNN, February 13, 2016, http://www.cnn.com/2016/02/13/africa/somalia-plane-bomb-al-shabaab/.
  • February 26, 2016: Purported al-Shabab gunmen and a suicide car bomber attack Mogadishu’s SYL hotel, leaving at least 14 people dead and others wounded.“Terror attack at Somali hotel leaves at least 14 daed, including 9 civilians,” Fox News, February 26, 2016, http://www.foxnews.com/world/2016/02/26/terrorists-storm-hotel-in-somali-capital-extent-damage-unclear.html.
  • April 11, 2016: A car bomb detonates outside the Mogadishu mayor’s office, killing five people and wounding five more. Al-Shabab claims responsibility.Feisal Omar and Abdirahaman Hussein, “Mogadishu car bomb kills five at local government HQ,” Reuters, April 11, 2016, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-somalia-blast-idUSKCN0X8109.
  • April 12, 2016: Suspected al-Shabab fighters attempt and fail to assassinate the District Commissioner of Beled Hawo in Somalia’s southern Gedo region, wounding three of his guards.“Five Arrested in Balad Hawo town for car bomb explosion,” Shabelle News, April 13, 2016, http://www.shabellenews.com/2016/04/five-arrested-in-balad-hawo-town-for-car-bomb-explosion/.
  • April 14, 2016: Suspected al-Shabab militants attempt to assassinate a Somali member of parliament in the town of Balad Hawo near the Kenyan border using explosive devices, injuring four people.“Four people injured in bomb attacks on residential house of Federal MP in Balad Hawo town,” Goobjoog News, April 15, 2016, http://goobjoog.com/english/?p=27775.
  • April 17, 2016: Suspected al-Shabab militants conduct a drive-by shooting in Mogadishu, killing a woman working for the U.N. High Commission on Refugees office and wounding at least one more.“One killed and two others injured in drive-by shooting in Mogadishu,” Goobjoog News, April 17, 2016, http://goobjoog.com/english/?p=27855;
    “Gunmen kill cleaning lady working for UN office,” Shabelle News, April 17, 2016, http://www.shabellenews.com/2016/04/gunmen-kill-woman-working-for-mogadishu-municipality/.
  • April 19, 2016: Al-Shabab abducts between 10 and 12 children from a school in central Somalia’s Harardheere district.“Al-Shabaab Militants Kidnap 10 School Children in Central Somalia,” Somali Updates, April 22, 2016, http://somaliupdate.com/articles/8477/Al-Shabaab-Militants-Kidnap-10-School-Children-in-Central-Somalia.
  • April 21: 2016: Al-Shabab militants attack an AMISOM convoy in Somalia’s Baay region, killing six Ethiopian soldiers. “Roadside bomb targets Ethiopian army convoy, 6 soldiers killed,” Shabellenews, April 21, 2016, http://www.shabellenews.com/2016/04/roadside-bomb-targets-ethiopian-army-convoy-6-soldiers-killed/.
  • April 27, 2016: Suspected Al-Shabab fighters seize the town of Janale in Lower Shabelle region from Somali and African Union troops. According to residents, Somali and African Union troops allegedly withdraw from the town for an “unknown reason,” allowing al-Shabab to take control without resistance.“Gulf of Aden Security Review – April 27, 2016,” AEI Critical Threats, April 27, 2016, http://www.criticalthreats.org/gulf-aden-security-review/gulf-aden-security-review-april-27-2016?mini=calendar-view/2016-04.
  • June 25, 2016: Militants detonate a car bomb outside of a hotel in central Mogadishu and storm the building, killing at least 15 people, including a Somali Cabinet minister, and wounding at least 34 more. Al-Shabab claims responsibility.Omar Nor and Ray Sanchez, “Gunmen storm hotel in Mogadishu; 15 killed, police say,” CNN, June 25, 2016, http://www.cnn.com/2016/06/25/africa/mogadishu-hotel-explosion-gunfire/;
    Abdi Sheikh and Feisal Omar, “Somali Islamist militants attack hotel in Mogadishu,” Reuters, June 26, 2016, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-somalia-blast-idUSKCN0ZB0KC.
  • July 26, 2016: Two suicide bombers detonate car bombs near AMISOM’s headquarters at an airport in Mogadishu, killing 13 people. Al-Shabab claims responsibility.“Somalia attack: Twin car bombs explode by Mogadishu airport,” BBC News, July 26, 2016, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-36892048.
  • August 25, 2016: Two militants detonate a car bomb and open fire at the Banadir Beach Restaurant near Lido beach in Mogadishu, killing 10 people. Al-Shabab claims responsibility.“At least seven dead in al-Shabaab attack on Mogadishu restaurant,” Telegraph (London), August 26, 2016, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/08/26/at-least-seven-dead-in-gunmen-attack-on-mogadishu-restaurant-cla/;
    Abdi Sheikh and Feisal Omar, “Car bomb outside Somali President’s Palace kills at least 10,” Reuters, August 30, 2016, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-somalia-blast-idUSKCN1150TV.
  • August 29, 2016: Suspected al-Shabab fighters attack AMISOM military housing outside Mogadishu, killing at least one soldier.Abdi Sheikh and Feisal Omar, “Car bomb outside Somali President’s Palace kills at least 10,” Reuters, August 30, 2016, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-somalia-blast-idUSKCN1150TV.
  • August 30, 2016: A car bomb is detonated outside the Presidential Palace and two hotels reportedly frequented by government officials in Mogadishu, killing 22 people and wounding 50 others. Al-Shabab claims responsibility.Feisal Omar, “Death toll from Shabaabattack on Mogadishu hotels rises to 22 – police,” Reuters, August 31, 2016, http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/death-toll-from-shabaab-attack-on-mogadishu-hotels-rises-to-22-police/ar-AAii7zd?li=AA4Zpp&ocid=spartandhp.

Designations

Designations by the U.S. Government:

October 23, 2002: The Department of State designates Jemaah Islamiyah as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (under Executive Order 13224). “Country Reports on Terrorism 2011,” U.S. Department of State, July 31, 2012, http://www.state.gov/j/ct/rls/crt/2011/195553.htm. February 26, 2008: The Department of State designates Al-Shabab as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (under section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act).Department of State, Public Notice, “In the Matter of the Designation of al-Shabaab, aka al-Shabab, aka Shabaab, aka the Youth, aka Mujahidin Al-Shabaab Movement, aka Mujahideen Youth Movement, aka Mujahidin YouthMovement, aka MYM, aka Harakat Shabab al-Mujahidin, aka Hizbul Shabaab, aka Hisb’ul Shabaab, aka al-Shabaab al-Islamiya, aka Youth Wing, aka al-Shabaab al-Islaam, aka al-Shabaabal-Jihaad, aka the Unity of Islamic Youth, as a Foreign Terrorist Organization pursuant to Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as Amended, Public Notice 6136,” Federal Register 73, no. 53 (March 18, 2008): 14550, http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2008-03-18/pdf/E8-5444.pdf.
February 26, 2008: The Department of State designates Al-Shabab as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (under Executive Order 13224). Department of State, Public Notice, “In the Matter of the Designation of al-Shabaab, aka al-Shabab, aka Shabaab, aka the Youth, aka Mujahidin Al-Shabaab Movement, aka Mujahideen Youth Movement, aka Mujahidin YouthMovement, aka MYM, aka Harakat Shabab al-Mujahidin, aka Hizbul Shabaab, aka Hisb’ul Shabaab, aka al-Shabaab al-Islamiya, aka Youth Wing, aka al-Shabaab al-Islaam, aka al-Shabaabal-Jihaad, aka the Unity of Islamic Youth, as a Foreign Terrorist Organization pursuant to Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as Amended, Public Notice 6136,” Federal Register 73, no. 53 (March 18, 2008): 14550, http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2008-03-18/pdf/E8-5444.pdf. February 26, 2008: The Department of State designates Ahmed Abdi Aw-Mohamed Ahmed Abdi Aw-Mohamed Godane (Mukhtar Abu Zubair) as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (under section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act).“Ahmed Abdi Aw-Mohamed,” National Counterterrorism Center Counterterrorism 2014 Calendar, accessed February 4, 2015, http://www.nctc.gov/site/profiles/aw_mohamed.html.
February 26, 2008: The Department of State designates Mukhtar Robow as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (under section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act). “Mukhtar Robow,” National Counterterrorism Center Counterterrorism 2014 Calendar, accessed February 4, 2015, http://www.nctc.gov/site/profiles/robow.html. February 29, 2008: The Department of State designates Ahmed Abdi Aw-Mohamed Godane (Mukhtar Abu Zubair) as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (under Executive Order 13224). “Ahmed Abdi Aw-Mohamed,” National Counterterrorism Center Counterterrorism 2014 Calendar, accessed February 4, 2015, http://www.nctc.gov/site/profiles/aw_mohamed.html.
February 29, 2008: The Department of State designates Mukhtar Robow as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (under Executive Order 13224).“Mukhtar Robow,” National Counterterrorism Center Counterterrorism 2014 Calendar, accessed February 4, 2015, http://www.nctc.gov/site/profiles/robow.html. February 29, 2008: The Department of the Treasury designates Ahmed Abdi Aw-Mohamed Godane (Mukhtar Abu Zubair) as a Global Terrorist (under Executive Order 13536). “Mukhtar Robow,” National Counterterrorism Center Counterterrorism 2014 Calendar, accessed February 4, 2015, http://www.nctc.gov/site/profiles/robow.html.
July 29, 2011: The Department of the Treasury designates Omar Hammami as a Global Terrorist (under Executive Order 13536).“Hammami Press Release,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, July 29, 2011, http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/Programs/Documents/20110729_Somalia.pdf. July 29, 2011: The Department of the Treasury designates Hassan Mahat Omar as a Global Terrorist (under Executive Order 13536).“Hammami Press Release,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, July 29, 2011, http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/Programs/Documents/20110729_Somalia.pdf.

Designations by Foreign Governments and Organizations:

Australia listed Al-Shabaab as a Terrorist Organization on August 22, 2009.“Al-Shabaab,” Australian National Security, accessed February 4, 2015, http://www.nationalsecurity.gov.au/Listedterroristorganisations/Pages/JemaahIslamiyahJI.aspx. Canada listed the Al-Shabaab as a Terrorist Entity on April 5, 2014.“Currently Listed Entities,” Public Safety Canada, last modified March 24, 2014, http://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/cnt/ntnl-scrt/cntr-trrrsm/lstd-ntts/crrnt-lstd-ntts-eng.aspx#2009.
United Kingdom—listed listed the Al-Shabaab as a Terrorist Entity on February 10 2010.“Lists Associated with Resolution 1373,” New Zealand Police, http://www.police.govt.nz/advice/personal-community/counterterrorism/designated-entities/lists-associated-with-resolution-1373. Norway listed Al-Shabab as a Sanctioned Group.“Arms Embargo,” Norwegian Police Security Service, accessed February 4, 2015, http://www.pst.no/blogg/vapenembargo/.
The United Nations Security Council Committee listed Al-Shabaab as an Insurgent Group for actions against international peacekeeping operations and obstruction of humanitarian assistance to Somalia on September 24, 2014.“List of Individuals and Entities Subject to the Measures Imposed by Paragraphs 1, 3, and 7 of Security Council Resolution 1844,” United Nations Security Council, March 11, 2014, http://www.un.org/sc/committees/751/pdf/1844_cons_list.pdf.  

Associations

Ties to Entities Designated by the U.S. or Foreign Governments:

Al-Shabab publicly praised al-Qaeda between 2006 and 2008, condemning U.S. oppression of Muslims worldwide. In 2010, the group announced that it sought to “connect the horn of Africa jihad to the one led by al-Qaeda.”Jonathan Masters, “Al-Shabab,” Council on Foreign Relations, last modified September 5, 2014, http://www.cfr.org/somalia/al-shabab/p18650. Al-Shabab officially announced its union with al-Qaeda in February 2012. Following Godane’s death in September 2014, the group and its new leader reaffirmed the alignment.Reuters, “Al-Shabaab pledge allegiance to new leader,” Al Arabiya, September 8, 2014, http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/2014/09/08/Somalia-s-al-Shabaab-pledge-allegiance-to-new-leader.html.

Ties to Other Entities:

Al-Shabab has an affiliated network, including al-Hijra (aka Muslim Youth Center or MYC) in Kenya.Fredrick Nzes, “Al-Hijra: Al-Shabab’s Affiliate in Keyna,” CTC Sentinel 7, no. 2 (May 2014): 24-26, https://www.ctc.usma.edu/v2/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/CTCSentinel-Vol7Iss5.pdf. After the Westgate mall attack in September 2013, evidence emerged that al-Hijra assisted al-Shabab militants in executing the attacks. Al-Hijra, formerly known as the Muslim Youth Center (MYC), is a group of primarily Kenyan Somali and non-Somali Muslim followers of al-Shabab in East Africa.Fredrick Nzes, “Al-Hijra: Al-Shabab’s Affiliate in Keyna,” CTC Sentinel 7, no. 2 (May 2014): 24-26, https://www.ctc.usma.edu/v2/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/CTCSentinel-Vol7Iss5.pdf.

Media Coverage

  • Arab and African Media

    Arab news outlets have reported on the two-decades-long conflict within the failed state of Somalia and the contagion it has caused in east Africa...
  • Western Media

    Western news outlets focus on U.S. military efforts to stop the group due to its ties to al-Qaeda, including the U.S.’s role in striking al-...

Rhetoric

View All

Muhammed Abdullahi Hassan a.k.a. Mujahid Miski, Tweet, April 28, 2015

“Don’t buy into the Martin story. This man never gave u freedom. Just mental slavery. #BaltimoreRiots #YouNeedShariah.” (Tweet)“ISIS Fighters, Supporters Hijack #BaltimoreRiots Twitter Hashtag, Discuss Race Issues, Urge Attacks On Policemen,” Middle East Media Research Institute, April 28, 2015, http://www.memri.org/report/en/0/0/0/0/0/0/8541.htm#_edn13.

Muhammed Abdullahi Hassan a.k.a. Mujahid Miski, Tweet, April 28, 2015

“One individual is able to put a whole nation onto it’s [sic] knees.” (Tweet)Brian Ross, Rhonda Schwartz, Randy Kreider, and James Gordon Meek, “The American Terror Recruiter’s Link to Texas Shooting,” ABC News, May 5, 2015, http://abcnews.go.com/US/american-terror-recruiters-link-texas-shooting/story?id=30827653.

Muhammed Abdullahi Hassan a.k.a. Mujahid Miski, Tweet, April 23, 2015

“If only we had men like these brothers in the #States, our beloved Muhammad would not have been drawn.” (Tweet) Tim Lister, “The cheerleaders and the freelancers: the new actors in international terrorism,” CNN, May 7, 2015, http://www.cnn.com/2015/05/07/world/cheerleader-freelancer-terror/.

Muhammed Abdullahi Hassan a.k.a. Mujahid Miski, Tweet, April 23, 2015

“The brothers from the Charlie Hebdo attack did their part. It’s time for brothers in the #US to do their part.” (Tweet) Brian Ross, Rhonda Schwartz, Randy Kreider, and James Gordon Meek, “The American Terror Recruiter’s Link to Texas Shooting,” ABC News, May 5, 2015, http://abcnews.go.com/US/american-terror-recruiters-link-texas-shooting/story?id=30827653.

Muhammed Abdullahi Hassan a.k.a. Mujahid Miski, Tweet, April 2015

“Where are the warriors of this Ummah [community]?” (Tweet) Brian Ross, Rhonda Schwartz, Randy Kreider, and James Gordon Meek, “The American Terror Recruiter’s Link to Texas Shooting,” ABC News, May 5, 2015, http://abcnews.go.com/US/american-terror-recruiters-link-texas-shooting/story?id=30827653.

Muhammed Abdullahi Hassan a.k.a. Mujahid Miski, Tweet, April 2015

“Ask yourselves what caused the riots. Its [sic] because of the oppression of Democracy. Its time u accept #Shariah #BaltimoreRiots#YouNeedShariah.” (Tweet) “Extremists Use #BaltimoreRiots To Spread Propaganda, Recruit New Members,” Counter Extremism Project, https://storify.com/CEP/isis-extremists-user-baltimoreriots-to-spread-prop?utm_content=buffer8c50b&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer.

Muhammed Abdullahi Hassan a.k.a. Mujahid Miski, Tweet, April 2015

“Some people consider broken windows more valuable than broken necks. Fight for your rights. Accept #Shariah #BaltimoreRiots#YouNeedShariah” (Tweet) “Extremists Use #BaltimoreRiots To Spread Propaganda, Recruit New Members,” Counter Extremism Project, https://storify.com/CEP/isis-extremists-user-baltimoreriots-to-spread-prop?utm_content=buffer8c50b&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer.

Al-Shabab statement on Charlie Hebdo and Kosher deli attacks, January 21, 2015

“We encourage all Muslims, specifically the sons of Tawheed living in Europe, to follow in the footsteps of their brothers… We...thank our brothers, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, who have been—and continue to be—the pioneers of external operations that target the heart of the Crusader enemies…”Feisal Omar, “Somali Islamist militants praise strikes at 'heart of Crusader',” Reuters, January 21, 2015, http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/01/21/us-somalia-france-attacks-idUSKBN0KU1KC20150121.

Pages

Pages

  • Page
  • 1
  • of 5

Pages