Al Shabaab

FormedDecember 2006
DisbandedGroup is active.
First AttackMarch 26, 2007: A man named Adam Salam Adam used a car bomb to conduct a suicide attack against Ethiopian soldiers in Mogadishu. Al Shabaab claimed responsibility for the bombing, allegedly the city’s first suicide attack. (~73 killed, unknown wounded). [1]
Last AttackOctober 7, 2015: Al Shabaab militants ambushed a car carrying two passengers, killing both. The victims included the nephew of Somalian president Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud. (2 killed, unknown wounded). [2]
UpdatedOctober 31, 2015

Narrative Summary

Al Shabaab, meaning "The Youth" in Arabic, is the largest militant organization fighting to oust the Somalian government. [3] The group seeks to control territory within Somalia in order to establish a society based on its rigid interpretation of Shariah law. Although based in Somalia, Al Shabaab also conducts attacks in neighboring countries, such as Kenya. Al Shabaab emerged as an independent organization around December 2006 after breaking away from the Islamic Courts Union (ICU), for which it had served as the military wing. [4] [5] [6]

Before serving as the ICU’s military wing, Al Shabaab’s origins are somewhat ambiguous. Its first leader was Aden Hashi Ayro, who had earlier joined an Islamist movement called Al Ittihad Al Islamiya (AIAI) in 1991. The AIAI disbanded in 1997, and sometime afterward, Ayro joined what would be called the ICU, a movement within the Somalian court system that sought to establish control over Somalia. Ayro may have led a loose group of AIAI militants before joining the ICU, meaning that Al Shabaab may have existed in some form before serving as the ICU’s military wing. However, Al Shabaab mainly developed as part of the ICU, and Ayro helped recruit and train its fighters. Directed by Ayro, Al Shabaab conducted brutal attacks that drew condemnation from local and international communities as well as much of the ICU leadership, including Hassan Dahir Aweys, another former AIAI member and a top ICU leader who has reportedly served as a spiritual influence for Al Shabaab. Al Shabaab’s early activities allegedly included multiple killings of international workers in Somaliland—the northwestern region of Somalia—between 2003 and 2005 as well as the disinterment of an Italian cemetery in 2005. Additionally, Al Shabaab supported the use of violent retaliation against employees of Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government (TFG) after various ICU members were assassinated in 2005, allegedly by the TFG. [7] [8] [9] [10] 

In mid-2006, the ICU briefly gained control of central and southern Somalia. Ayro argued for connecting the Somalian struggle to a global jihadist agenda, but other ICU leaders wanted to focus on nationalist goals and creating an Islamic state in Somalia. In December 2006, United Nations-backed Ethiopian troops—along with TFG forces and competing warlords—drove the ICU out of Mogadishu. The ICU was completely crushed and formally disbanded on December 27, but Ayro’s Al Shabaab remained active. The Ethiopian invasion of Somalia was a crucial event for Al Shabaab, stoking resentment against a foreign occupying power and allowing Al Shabaab to become the major force for resistance in Somalia after most ICU leaders—including Aweys—fled. After the invasion, Al Shabaab conducted attacks against Ethiopian and TFG forces using bombs, suicide operations, and assassinations. The group especially focused on forcing the Ethiopian troops, who remained in Somalia after the invasion, out of the country. In March 2007, African Union troops from Uganda and Burundi—forming a contingent called AMISOM—also joined the operation to stabilize Somalia, and Al Shabaab attacks targeted those troops as well. [11] [12]  

In September 2007, former ICU leaders and members met with elements of other opposition groups in Asmara, Eritrea in order to form an alliance, reemerging as the Alliance for the Reliberation of Somalia (ARS). Aweys became a top leader of the ARS. [13] [14] However, Al Shabaab refused to attend the meeting in Eritrea and denounced the new group for failing to adopt a global jihadist agenda. [15] Although Al Shabaab focused on attacking Ethiopian and African Union forces, the group also attempted to connect its cause to a broader jihadist movement, especially by attracting foreign fighters and promoting a relationship with Al Qaeda. Al Shabaab and Al Qaeda leaders have enjoyed positive relations, even commending each other in their respective remarks, and Al Shabaab has offered refuge to Al Qaeda members in the region. [16]

Beginning in 2008, Al Shabaab strengthened its relationship with Al Qaeda. In May 2008, Ayro was killed in a U.S. missile strike, and Ahmed Abdi Godane—also called Mukhtar Abu Zubeyr—became Al Shabaab’s top leader. He published a statement that praised Al Qaeda and explicitly shifted toward emphasizing the struggle in Somalia as part of a global jihad. Al Shabaab aligned itself more closely with Al Qaeda in ideology and tactics. It began to target civilians through suicide attacks much more frequently, and the organization’s leadership began to include many Al Qaeda members. Al Shabaab leveraged its relationship with Al Qaeda to attract foreign fighters and monetary donations from Al Qaeda’s supporters. Additionally, Al Shabaab members traveled abroad to train with Al Qaeda. [17] [18]

Also in 2008, Al Shabaab launched a violent campaign in revenge for Ayro’s death, focusing on attacks against U.S. and UN targets in Somalia. Among other attacks during that campaign, Al Shabaab simultaneously executed five suicide attacks against UN and government targets in October 29, 2008. [19] [20] Throughout that year, Al Shabaab continued to use guerrilla and terror tactics against Ethiopian troops, gaining control of most of southern Somalia and some of Mogadishu by early 2009. In the same year, Al Shabaab released a video formally pledging allegiance to Al Qaeda. [21] [22] [23]

In January 2009, Ethiopian forces withdrew from Mogadishu in accordance with a 2008 UN-backed agreement between the TFG and the ARS, which also stipulated the deployment of UN peacekeepers. [24] Al Shabaab claimed that it had succeeded in expelling the Ethiopians from Somalia, and it then focused its attention on forcing other foreign soldiers from the country. Its attacks have especially targeted TFG and AMISOM troops. After the Ethiopian withdrawal, the ICU’s former leader, Sheikh Sharif, became the TFG’s president. Sharif’s ascension provided some stability in the country, and he also vowed to implement Shariah law. With Sharif as president and the departure of Ethiopian troops, Al Shabaab lost some of its basis for popular support, since it had depended on the goal of introducing Shariah law and forcing out the Ethiopians. In an attempt to undermine the TFG, Al Shabaab has established its own governing structures in the territories under its control, providing social services as well as collecting taxes. [25]

In 2009, Aweys returned to Somalia as the leader of Hizbul Islam, a newly formed rival of Al Shabaab. Fighting between the two groups ultimately led to the weakening of Hizbul Islam and its absorption into Al Shabaab in 2010. As a result, Aweys rejoined Al Shabaab. [26] [27] 

In August 2011, Al Shabaab withdrew from Mogadishu, claiming that the move was a tactical retreat; however, the Somalian government claimed that its own troops, together with AMISOM, had forced the group into retreat. Since its expulsion from Mogadishu, Al Shabaab has lost other territory and important economic sources, such as access to seaports. [28]

Despite some signs of eroding popular support and military weakness, Al Shabaab has conducted several high-profile attacks—especially internationally—since 2010. The group’s first attack outside of Somalia occurred on July 11, 2010, when it carried out suicide bombings in Uganda that killed seventy-four people. [29] In 2012, Al Shabaab again gained attention when Al Qaeda formally announced a merger between the two organizations. Although Al Shabaab had pledged allegiance to Al Qaeda before, Al Qaeda only explicitly accepted Al Shabaab in 2012. The move was labeled a “merger” in many media reports, but Al Shabaab and Al Qaeda continue to identify as separate organizations. [30] [31] [32] The following year, Al Shabaab militants attacked Kenya’s Westgate mall, sparking a four-day siege in which at least sixty-eight people were killed. In April 2015, Al Shabaab militants attacked Kenya’s Garissa University College, killing at least 147. Al Shabaab claimed that its attacks in Kenya were meant to force Kenyan troops to withdraw from Somalia. [33] [34] [35]

In 2015, the Islamic State (IS) released a video appealing for Al Shabaab, as East Africa’s most prominent jihadi group, to pledge allegiance to IS. While there have been rumors that Al Shabaab may accept the appeal and switch its allegiance from Al Qaeda to IS, no such pledge has been confirmed. [36] [37] 

Leadership


  1. Hassan Dahir Aweys (Unknown to Unknown): Aweys is sometimes referred to as the spiritual leader of Al Shabaab, but his exact relationship with Al Shabaab is unclear. Aweys led the militant wing of an Islamist movement called Al Ittihad Al Islamiya (AIAI), which disbanded in 1997. He later joined the ICU and became one of its top leaders, and he reportedly authorized Ayro to lead Al Shabaab as the ICU’s militant wing. However, Ayro’s harsh tactics sparked condemnation, and Aweys believed that Ayro was uncontrollable. The two also conflicted because Aweys argued for a focus on nationalist goals rather than global jihad. Aweys fled the country after the Ethiopians invaded in 2006, leaving Ayro to run Al Shabaab without oversight. Aweys became a leader of the Alliance for the Reliberation of Somalia (ARS), which was opposed by Al Shabaab. Aweys later led Hizbul Islam, a rival group to Al Shabaab, but his group’s defeat led to its absorption into Al Shabaab. Aweys reportedly then rejoined Al Shabaab in some capacity. He was arrested by the Somalian government in June 2013, at which time he was widely referred to as an Al Shabaab leader. In 2014, Aweys was transferred from prison to house arrest.[38]
  2. Aden Hashi Ayro (Unknown to May 1, 2008): Ayro was Al Shabaab’s first leader, commanding the organization since its beginnings as the ICU’s military wing in the early 2000s. In 1991, Ayro had joined AIAI, which disbanded in 1997. In the late 1990s, Ayro received training at Al Qaeda camps in Afghanistan and reportedly met with Osama bin Laden. Some time later, Ayro returned to Somalia and joined what would be called the ICU. Ayro may have led a loose group of militants before joining the ICU, meaning that Al Shabaab may have existed in some form before serving as the ICU’s military wing. However, Al Shabaab mainly developed as part of the ICU, and Ayro helped recruit and train its fighters. Directed by Ayro, Al Shabaab conducted brutal attacks that drew condemnation from local and international communities as well as much of the ICU leadership. Ayro argued for connecting the Somalian struggle to a global jihadist agenda. He began shifting Al Shabaab toward that agenda after the group became independent from the ICU, which disbanded in 2006. Ayro was killed in a U.S. strike on May 1, 2008.[39]
  3. Ahmed Abdi Godane (2008 to September 1, 2014): Godane, also called Mukhtar Abu Zubeyr, assumed leadership of Al Shabaab after Aden Hashi Ayro was killed by a U.S. missile strike in 2008. Under his leadership, Al Shabaab strengthened its ties to Al Qaeda, including a pledge of allegiance to Al Qaeda in 2009 and Al Qaeda’s formal acceptance of Al Shabaab’s allegiance in 2012. He was killed in a U.S. air strike on September 1, 2014.[40]
  4. Ahmad Umar (2014 to Present): Umar, also called Abu Ubaidah, was named as Al Shabaab’s new leader in September 2014, shortly after Ahmed Abdi Godane was killed in a U.S. air strike. There is little available information about Umar.[41]

Ideology & Goals

Al Shabaab's primary goal is to topple the Somalian government and establish an Islamic emirate within the country based on a strict interpretation of Shariah law. [42] The group’s first leader, Aden Hashi Ayro, received training in Afghanistan, and he modeled Al Shabaab's principles after those of the Taliban. [43] In the territories under its control, Al Shabaab has carried out such punishments as amputating the hands of thieves and stoning women accused of adultery. The group has also banned such items and activities as music, videos, shaving, and bras. [44] In an effort to rid the country of foreign influences, Al Shabaab shut down the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and banned its broadcasting in 2010, accusing the station of promoting an anti-Muslim colonialist agenda. [45]

Al Shabaab opposes the presence of foreign troops in Somalia, although this opposition became less salient after the Ethiopian withdrawal in 2009. [46] In addition to its goals inside Somalia, Al Shabaab has increasingly adopted a broader orientation in that it has sought to frame the Somalian struggle as part of a global jihadi movement. Al Shabaab has launched international attacks, including in Kenya and Uganda, and it has issued threats against other countries, such as the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada. [47] The group’s close relationship with Al Qaeda, especially beginning in 2008, significantly influenced the broadening of Al Shabaab’s ideology. [48] [49]

Size Estimates

Designated/Listed

Resources

Al Shabaab has allegedly received funds and training from Al Qaeda-linked foreign jihadists. [53] The group has also obtained funds from Somalian diaspora communities, including in the United States. In August 2010, for example, fourteen Americans were indicted for materially supporting and fundraising for Al Shabaab. [54] [55] [56] [57]

Additionally, the U.S. and Somalian governments have accused Eritrea of supporting Al Shabaab through weapons and funding. [58] [59] Eritrea has denied these allegations. Further, the United Nations has claimed that several other countries and groups are providing Al Shabaab with machine guns, missiles, and training, in violation of the 1992 arms embargo imposed on Somalia. The accused countries and groups include Djibouti, Iran, Syria, Libya, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Hezbollah in Lebanon. [60]

Inside Somalia, Al Shabaab has stolen equipment from various organizations. It has looted private media stations, for example, to acquire media equipment and to conduct its own broadcasts. [61] Al Shabaab has also allegedly looted UN compounds in the city of Baidoa, stealing emergency communication equipment as well as furniture and cars. [62] In November 2011, Al Shabaab banned the presence of nongovernmental organizations and other aid groups in Somalia, seizing their offices within its territory. Al Shabaab reportedly seized sixteen NGOs and six UN compounds in eight regions, ordering office personnel to leave and confiscating their equipment. [63]

Before 2012, Al Shabaab militants controlled Kismayo, an important port city from which they received massive profits in charcoal exports. However, in 2012, Al Shabaab was forced out of Kismayo as well as other major cities; consequently, the group lost key sources of revenue. In the territories that it does control, Al Shabaab has collected protection fees and taxes from businesses and other organizations. Other sources of revenue for Al Shabaab have included profits from the ivory and sugar trades. [64]

External Influences

Al Shabaab has allegedly received support from several African and Middle Eastern countries, particularly Eritrea. The U.S. and Somalian governments have accused Eritrea of supporting Al Shabaab through weapons and funding, although Eritrea has denied these allegations. [65] [66] Additionally, the UN has claimed that Djibouti, Iran, Syria, Libya, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Hezbollah in Lebanon are among the countries and organizations providing Al Shabaab with machine guns, missiles, and training. Such support violates the 1992 arms embargo imposed on Somalia. [67]

Geographical Locations

Al Shabaab controls most of Somalia’s southern and central regions. [68]

Between 2011 and 2012, Al Shabaab lost much of its territory, including the port of Kismayo, which provided the group with supplies and significant revenue. However, Al Shabaab has continued to control many rural areas in several regions, including the Juba, Bay, Shabelle, and Bakol regions. Al Shabaab has also become increasingly present in Somalia’s northern regions, along the Golis Mountains and in urban areas of Puntland. [69]

Besides its activities in Somalia, Al Shabaab has conducted attacks in Kenya, Uganda, and Djibouti. The group was also implicated in a failed bombing in Ethiopia. [70] [71]

Targets & Tactics

To further its goals of toppling the Somalian government and expelling foreign troops, Al Shabaab has targeted government officials as well as AMISOM forces. The group has also targeted police, journalists, peace activists, international aid workers, businesses, diplomats, and private citizens. Al Shabaab has engaged in kidnappings and attacks on property, and it has used bombings, shootings, and suicide attacks to conduct its violent activities. Al Shabaab’s use of suicide attacks has risen since 2008, and the increased use of this tactic has been attributed to the group’s close relationship with Al Qaeda. [72] [73] [74]

In the territories under its control, Al Shabaab has carried out punishments such as amputating the hands of thieves and stoning women accused of adultery. The group has also banned items and activities such as music, videos, shaving, and bras. [75] Al Shabaab has allegedly committed rape and extensive acts of violence against women, and it has engaged in forced recruitment of fighters, including children. [76]

In an effort to rid the country of foreign influences, Al Shabaab shut down the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and banned its broadcasting in 2010, accusing the station of promoting an anti-Muslim colonialist agenda. [77] In the same year, Al Shabaab set up the Al Kataib News Channel—in Arabic and English rather than in the Somali language—through which the group has attempted to recruit foreign fighters, threaten nearby countries, and discourage support for AMISOM. [78]

Political Activities

While some members of Al Shabaab have reportedly been open to negotiations with the government, the group as a whole has never engaged in peaceful political activity. [79] Further, Al Shabaab has assassinated peace activists who sought to encourage negotiations and reconciliation. [80]

Major Attacks

  1. March 26, 2007: A man named Adam Salam Adam used a car bomb to conduct a suicide attack against Ethiopian soldiers in Mogadishu. Al Shabaab claimed responsibility for the bombing, allegedly the city’s first suicide attack. (~73 killed, unknown wounded).[81]
  2. October 29, 2008: Al Shabaab conducted five simultaneous suicide car bombings in the cities of Hargeisa and Bosasso, targeting UN and government buildings. (29+ killed, 36+ wounded).[82]
  3. July 11, 2010: Al Shabaab conducted two simultaneous suicide bombings in Kampala, Uganda, at an Ethiopian restaurant and a rugby club. (74+ killed, 85+ wounded).[83]
  4. April 14, 2013: Al Shabaab bombed court buildings in Mogadishu and then conducted an armed assault inside the buildings. On the same day, Al Shabaab bombed a convoy of Turkish aid workers. (30+ killed, unknown wounded).[84]
  5. June 19, 2013: An Al Shabaab suicide bomber detonated a car bomb at the entrance to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) compound in Mogadishu. Al Shabaab fighters then entered the compound, engaging in a gunfight with security forces for over ninety minutes. (22 killed, 20+ wounded).[85]
  6. September 21, 2013: Al Shabaab gunmen attacked the Westgate mall in Nairobi, Kenya, triggering a four-day siege by government forces. (~68 killed, 175 wounded).[86]
  7. February 21, 2014: Al Shabaab attacked Villa Somalia, the presidential palace compound, with a car bomb before entering the compound to engage in a gunfight with guards. (14+ killed, unknown wounded).[87]
  8. May 24, 2014: Two Al Shabaab suicide bombers attacked a restaurant in Djibouti. This attack was Djibouti’s first suicide bombing. (3 killed, 11 wounded).[88]
  9. June 16, 2014: Al Shabaab gunmen attacked several targets in the Kenyan town of Mpeketoni, including a police station, a bank, and hotels as well as a hall in which people were viewing the World Cup. The next day, gunmen also conducted an attack on the nearby village of Poromoko. (49+ killed, unknown wounded).[89]
  10. November 22, 2014: Al Shabaab militants attacked a bus with sixty passengers traveling from Kenya’s Mandera to Nairobi. The militants executed passengers who could not recite Koran verses as well as those who resisted the attack. (28 killed, unknown wounded).[90]
  11. December 2, 2014: Al Shabaab militants conducted an attack in Koromei, in northern Kenya, killing at least thirty-six Christian quarry workers. (~36 killed, unknown wounded).[91]
  12. April 2, 2015: Al Shabaab gunmen attacked Garissa University College, killing non-Muslim students. The militants killed 147 people and wounded dozens of others before Kenyan forces were able to end the attack. (~151 killed, unknown wounded).[92]
  13. October 7, 2015: Al Shabaab militants ambushed a car carrying two passengers, killing both. The victims included the nephew of Somalian president Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud. (2 killed, unknown wounded).[93]

Relationships with Other Groups

Since its early years, Al Shabaab has had ties to Al Qaeda and has shared its long-term interest of establishing one Islamic caliphate to unite all Muslims. Al Shabaab and Al Qaeda leaders have trained and fought together. [94] The Al Shabaab-Al Qaeda relationship was strengthened after Ayro was killed in a U.S. missile strike in May 2008. Ahmed Abdi Godane—also called Mukhtar Abu Zubeyr—became Al Shabaab’s top leader, and he published a statement that praised Al Qaeda and explicitly shifted toward emphasizing the struggle in Somalia as part of a global jihad. Al Shabaab aligned itself more closely with Al Qaeda in ideology and tactics. It began to target civilians through suicide attacks much more frequently, and the organization’s leadership began to include many Al Qaeda members. Al Shabaab leveraged its relationship with Al Qaeda to attract foreign fighters and monetary donations from Al Qaeda’s supporters. [95] [96] In 2009, Al Shabaab officially pledged allegiance to Al Qaeda, and in 2012, Al Qaeda formally announced a merger between the two organizations. [97] [98] [99]

Al Shabaab’s relationship with the short-lived Hizbul Islam, founded by Al Shabaab-linked leader Hassan Dahir Aweys in 2009, alternated between alliance and rivalry, although it tended toward the latter. At the height of conflict between Al Shabaab and Hizbul Islam, the former ultimately defeated and absorbed the latter in 2010. [100] [101] Ahlu Sunna Wal Jamaa, another Somalian militant organization that was established to protect the country’s traditional form of Sufism, began to fight Al Shabaab in 2008 after the group started destroying Sufi sacred sites. [102] A third Somalian militant group, the Ras Kamboni Movement, was allied with Al Shabaab in the late 2000s. Divisions within Ras Kamboni led one faction to officially merge with Al Shabaab in 2010, and the remainder of Ras Kamboni has since allied with the Kenyan government to fight Al Shabaab. [103] Besides these rival groups, Al Shabaab also has various affiliates that have sworn allegiance to it. Those groups include a Kenyan militant organization called Al Hijra, also called the Muslim Youth Center. [104]

In 2015, the Islamic State (IS) released a video appealing for Al Shabaab, as East Africa’s most prominent jihadi group, to pledge allegiance to IS. While there have been rumors that Al Shabaab may accept the appeal and switch its allegiance from Al Qaeda to IS, no such pledge has been confirmed. [105] [106] 

Community Relationships

Al Shabaab has established its own governing structures in the territories under its control, providing social services as well as collecting taxes. It has attempted to gain popular support through infrastructure construction and maintenance as well as the collection of money for distribution to the poor. [107] [108] The group has carried out punishments such as amputating the hands of thieves and stoning women accused of adultery. Al Shabaab has also banned items and activities such as music, videos, shaving, and bras. [109] In an effort to rid the country of foreign influences, Al Shabaab shut down the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and banned its broadcasting in 2010, accusing the station of promoting an anti-Muslim colonialist agenda. [110] Al Shabaab has allegedly committed rape and extensive acts of violence against women, and it has engaged in forced recruitment of fighters, including children. [111] [112]

While Al Shabaab enjoyed support as a resistance group after the Ethiopian invasion of Somalia in 2006, that support began to erode majorly in 2009 when Sheikh Sharif became the country’s president and Ethiopian troops left the country. Al Shabaab consequently lost some of its basis for popular support, since it had depended on the goal of introducing Shariah law—which Sharif promised to do as president—and forcing out the Ethiopians. [113] [114]  


References

  1. ^ Harnisch, Christopher. “The Terror Threat from Somalia: The Internationalization of Al Shabaab.” Critical Threats Project, American Enterprise Institute, 12 Feb. 2010. Web. 20 Aug 2015.
  2. ^ Reuters. “Somali militants kill president’s nephew in ambush.” 7 Oct. 2015. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.
  3. ^ “Who are al-Shabab?”. Al Jazeera. 4 Aug. 2009. Web. 1 July 2013.
  4. ^ Masters, Jonathan, and Mohammed Aly Sergie. “Al-Shabab.” CFR Backgrounders, Council on Foreign Relations, 13 Mar. 2015. Web. 20 Aug. 2015.
  5. ^ Pate, Amy, and Michael Jensen and Erin Miller. “Al-Shabaab Attack on Garissa University in Kenya.” Background Report, National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, Apr. 2015. Web. 20 Aug. 2015.
  6. ^ Curran, Cody. “Global Ambitions: An Analysis of al Shabaab’s Evolving Rhetoric.” Critical Threats Project, American Enterprise Institute, 17 Feb. 2011. Web. 20 Aug. 2015.
  7. ^ Dempsey, Thomas. “Counterterrorism in African Failed States: Challenges and Potential Solutions.” Strategic Studies Institute, Apr. 2006. Web. 20 Aug. 2015.
  8. ^ Page, Jacqueline. “Jihadi Arena Report: Somalia - Development of Radical Islamism and Current Implications.” International Institute for Counter-Terrorism, 22 Mar. 2010. Web. 20 Aug. 2015.
  9. ^ Harnisch, Christopher. “The Terror Threat from Somalia: The Internationalization of Al Shabaab.” Critical Threats Project, American Enterprise Institute, 12 Feb. 2010. Web. 20 Aug 2015.
  10. ^ Masters, Jonathan, and Mohammed Aly Sergie. “Al-Shabab.” CFR Backgrounders, Council on Foreign Relations, 13 Mar. 2015. Web. 20 Aug. 2015.
  11. ^ Harnisch, Christopher. “The Terror Threat from Somalia: The Internationalization of Al Shabaab.” Critical Threats Project, American Enterprise Institute, 12 Feb. 2010. Web. 20 Aug 2015.
  12. ^ Page, Jacqueline. “Jihadi Arena Report: Somalia - Development of Radical Islamism and Current Implications.” International Institute for Counter-Terrorism, 22 Mar. 2010. Web. 20 Aug. 2015.
  13. ^ Masters, Jonathan, and Mohammed Aly Sergie. “Al-Shabab.” CFR Backgrounders, Council on Foreign Relations, 13 Mar. 2015. Web. 20 Aug. 2015.
  14. ^ Page, Jacqueline. “Jihadi Arena Report: Somalia - Development of Radical Islamism and Current Implications.” International Institute for Counter-Terrorism, 22 Mar. 2010. Web. 20 Aug. 2015.
  15. ^ Gartenstein-Ross, Daveed. “The Strategic Challenge of Somalia’s Al-Shabaab: Dimensions of Jihad.” Middle East Quarterly 16.4 (Fall 2009): 25-36. Web. 2 July 2013.
  16. ^ Page, Jacqueline. “Jihadi Arena Report: Somalia - Development of Radical Islamism and Current Implications.” International Institute for Counter-Terrorism, 22 Mar. 2010. Web. 20 Aug. 2015.
  17. ^ Wise, Rob. “Al Shabaab.” AQAM Futures Project Case Study Series, Center for Strategic & International Studies/Homeland Security & Counterterrorism Program Transnational Threats Project. July 2011. Web. 20 Aug. 2015.
  18. ^ Harnisch, Christopher. “The Terror Threat from Somalia: The Internationalization of Al Shabaab.” Critical Threats Project, American Enterprise Institute, 12 Feb. 2010. Web. 20 Aug 2015.
  19. ^ Ibrahim, Mohammed, and Jeffrey Gettleman. “5 Suicide Bomb Attacks Hit Somalia.” The New York Times, 29 Oct. 2008. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.
  20. ^ “Deadly car bombs hit Somaliland.” BBC News, 29 Oct. 2008. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.
  21. ^ Harnisch, Christopher. “The Terror Threat from Somalia: The Internationalization of Al Shabaab.” Critical Threats Project, American Enterprise Institute, 12 Feb. 2010. Web. 20 Aug 2015.
  22. ^ Wise, Rob. “Al Shabaab.” AQAM Futures Project Case Study Series, Center for Strategic & International Studies/Homeland Security & Counterterrorism Program Transnational Threats Project. July 2011. Web. 20 Aug. 2015.
  23. ^ Houreld, Katharine. “Somali militant group al-Shabaab formally joins al-Qaida.” The Guardian, 9 Feb. 2012. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.
  24. ^ Somalia Business Law Handbook, Volume 1: Strategic Information and Laws. Washington, D.C.: International Business Publications, USA, 1 Jan. 2012. Print.
  25. ^ Harnisch, Christopher. “The Terror Threat from Somalia: The Internationalization of Al Shabaab.” Critical Threats Project, American Enterprise Institute, 12 Feb. 2010. Web. 20 Aug 2015.
  26. ^ Roggio, Bill. “Hizbul Islam joins Shabaab in Somalia.” The Long War Journal, 19 Dec. 2010. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.
  27. ^ Bryden, Matt. “The Reinvention of Al-Shabaab: A Strategy of Choice or Necessity?”. Center for Strategic & International Studies, Feb. 2014. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.
  28. ^ “Somalia’s al-Shabab rebels leave Mogadishu.” BBC, 6 Aug. 2011. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.
  29. ^ Bryden, Matt. “The Reinvention of Al-Shabaab: A Strategy of Choice or Necessity?”. Center for Strategic & International Studies, Feb. 2014. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.
  30. ^ CNN Wire Staff. “Al-Shabaab joining al Qaeda, monitor group says.” CNN, 10 Feb. 2012. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.
  31. ^ Berger, J.M. “Al Qaeda’s Merger.” Foreign Policy, 15 Feb. 2012. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.
  32. ^ Lahoud, Nelly. “The Merger of Al-Shabab and Qa’idat Al-Jihad.” CTC Sentinel 5, no. 24 (Feb. 16, 2012) Web. 31 Oct. 2015.
  33. ^ Iaccino, Ludovica. “Kenya Garissa University massacre: Five worst attacks by al-Shabaab terrorists.” International Business Times, 8 Apr. 2015. Web. 20 Aug. 2015.
  34. ^ “Kenya families mourn loved ones after Garissa massacre.” Al Jazeera, 3 Apr. 2015. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.
  35. ^ Karimi, Faith, and Steve Almasy and Lillian Leposo. “Kenya mall attack: Military says most hostages freed, death toll at 68.” CNN, 23 Sept. 2013. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.
  36. ^ Kriel, Robyn and Lillian Leposo. “In video, Somali ISIS members court Al-Shabaab.” CNN, 22 May 2015. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.
  37. ^ Odowa, Mohamed. “Somalia terror group Al Shabaab ‘to pledge allegiance to ISIS’ in terrifying expansion of Caliphate.” Daily Mail, 10 July 2015. Web. 20 Aug. 2015.
  38. ^ {{Masters, Jonathan, and Mohammed Aly Sergie. “Al-Shabab.” CFR Backgrounders, Council on Foreign Relations, 13 Mar. 2015. Web. 20 Aug. 2015.}} {{Page, Jacqueline. “Jihadi Arena Report: Somalia - Development of Radical Islamism and Current Implications.” I
  39. ^ {{Sengupta, Kim. “Aden Hashi Ayro: Militant Islamist leader in Somalia.” Independent, 3 May 2008. Web. 20 Aug. 2015.}} {{Page, Jacqueline. “Jihadi Arena Report: Somalia - Development of Radical Islamism and Current Implications.” International Institute f
  40. ^ {{Sengupta, Kim. “Aden Hashi Ayro: Militant Islamist leader in Somalia.” Independent, 3 May 2008. Web. 20 Aug. 2015.}} {{Chothia, Farouk. “Ahmed Abdi Godane: Somalia’s killed al-Shabab leader.” BBC News, 9 Sept. 2014. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.}}
  41. ^ {{Iaccino, Ludovica. “Who is Sheikh Ahmed Umar, Al-Shabaab’s Ruthless New Leader?”. International Business Times, 8 Sept. 2014. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.}}
  42. ^ “Who are al-Shabab?”. Al Jazeera, 4 Aug. 2009. Web. 5 July 2013.
  43. ^ Adow, Mohammed. “Somali fighters undeterred.” Al Jazeera, 27 Jan. 2009. Web. 8 July 2013.
  44. ^ James, Randy. “al-Shabab.” TIME, 7 Dec. 2009. Web. 5 July 2013.
  45. ^ Greste, Peter. “Somalia Islamists al-Shabab ban BBC transmissions.” BBC News, 9 Apr. 2010. Web. 5 July 2013.
  46. ^ Somalia Business Law Handbook, Volume 1: Strategic Information and Laws. Washington, D.C.: International Business Publications, USA, 1 Jan. 2012. Print.
  47. ^ Karimi, Faith, and Ashley Fantz and Catherine E. Shoichet. “Al-Shabaab threatens malls, including some in U.S.; FBI downplays threat.” CNN, 21 Feb. 2015. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.
  48. ^ Wise, Rob. “Al Shabaab.” AQAM Futures Project Case Study Series, Center for Strategic & International Studies/Homeland Security & Counterterrorism Program Transnational Threats Project. July 2011. Web. 20 Aug. 2015.
  49. ^ Harnisch, Christopher. “The Terror Threat from Somalia: The Internationalization of Al Shabaab.” Critical Threats Project, American Enterprise Institute, 12 Feb. 2010. Web. 20 Aug 2015.
  50. ^ {{“Somalia: Al Qaeda and Al Shabaab.” Stratfor, 5 May 2008. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.}}
  51. ^ {{United Nations Security Council. “Letter dated 12 July 2013 from the Chair of the Security Council Committee pursuant to resolutions 751 (1992) and 1907 (2009) concerning Somalia and Eritrea addressed to the President of the Security Council.” 12 July 2
  52. ^ {{“Who are Somalia’s al-Shabab?” BBC News, 3 Apr. 2015. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.}}
  53. ^ Wadhams, Nick. “Could Al-Shabab Topple Somalia’s Government?”. TIME, 26 Aug. 2010. Web. 20 Aug. 2015.
  54. ^ “Cash and Compassion: The Role of the Somali Diaspora in Relief, Development and Peace-building.” Chatham House, 7 Mar. 2012. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.
  55. ^ Miller, Greg. “U.S. charges 14 with giving support to Somali insurgent group.” The Washington Post, 6 Aug. 2010. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.
  56. ^ “US rounds up ‘al-Shabab backers.’” Al Jazeera, 5 Aug. 2010. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.
  57. ^ Caulderwood, Kathleen. “Al-Shabab’s Finances: The Militant Group Gets Funding From Local Businesses, Sources Abroad.” 4 Sept. 2014. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.
  58. ^ “Clinton threatens Eritrea action.” BBC News, 6 Aug. 2009. Web. 5 July 2013.
  59. ^ “President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed accuses Eritrea of arming rebel Islamists.” France 24 International News, 28 May 2009. Web. 5 July 2013.
  60. ^ Reynolds, Paul. “Threat of regional conflict over Somalia.” BBC News, 16 Nov. 2006. Web. 5 July 2013.
  61. ^ Dickinson, Emily. “Inside al-Shabab’s media strategy.” Foreign Policy, 3 Sept. 2010. Web. 8 July 2013.
  62. ^ The Associated Press. “Islamic insurgents loot UN compounds in Somalia.” CBC News, 20 July 2009. Web. 4 July 2013.
  63. ^ “Somali group bans aid organizations.” Al Jazeera, 28 Nov. 2011. Web. 5 July 2013.
  64. ^ Caulderwood, Kathleen. “Al-Shabab’s Finances: The Militant Group Gets Funding From Local Businesses, Sources Abroad.” 4 Sept. 2014. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.
  65. ^ “Clinton threatens Eritrea action.” BBC News, 6 Aug. 2009. Web. 5 July 2013.
  66. ^ “President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed accuses Eritrea of arming rebel Islamists.” France 24 International News, 28 May 2009. Web. 5 July 2013.
  67. ^ Reynolds, Paul. “Threat of regional conflict over Somalia.” BBC News, 16 Nov. 2006. Web. 5 July 2013.
  68. ^ Masters, Jonathan, and Mohammed Aly Sergie. “Al-Shabab.” CFR Backgrounders, Council on Foreign Relations, 13 Mar. 2015. Web. 20 Aug. 2015.
  69. ^ “Country Reports on Terrorism 2013.” Bureau of Counterterrorism, United States Department of State, Apr. 2014. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.
  70. ^ Bryden, Matt. “The Reinvention of Al-Shabaab: A Strategy of Choice or Necessity?”. Center for Strategic & International Studies, Feb. 2014. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.
  71. ^ “Al-Shabaab.” Counterterrorism Guide, National Counterterrorism Center. Web. 20 Aug. 2015.
  72. ^ “Country Reports on Terrorism 2013.” Bureau of Counterterrorism, United States Department of State, Apr. 2014. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.
  73. ^ Wise, Rob. “Al Shabaab.” AQAM Futures Project Case Study Series, Center for Strategic & International Studies/Homeland Security & Counterterrorism Program Transnational Threats Project. July 2011. Web. 20 Aug. 2015.
  74. ^ Miller, Erin. “Al-Shabaab Attack on Westgate Mall in Kenya.” Background Report, National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, Sept. 2013. Web. 20 Aug. 2015.
  75. ^ James, Randy. “al-Shabab.” TIME, 7 Dec. 2009. Web. 5 July 2013.
  76. ^ “Country Reports on Terrorism 2013.” Bureau of Counterterrorism, United States Department of State, Apr. 2014. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.
  77. ^ Greste, Peter. “Somalia Islamists al-Shabab ban BBC transmissions.” BBC News, 9 Apr. 2010. Web. 5 July 2013.
  78. ^ Harnisch, Chris. “Al Shabaab’s First ‘News’ Video: An Effort to Recruit Westerners and Expel Peacekeepers.” Critical Threats Project, American Enterprise Institute, 5 Aug. 2010. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.
  79. ^ Elmi, Afyare Abdi, and Abdi Aynte. “Negotiating an End to Somalia’s War with al Shabaab.” Foreign Affairs, 7 Feb. 2012. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.
  80. ^ “Country Reports on Terrorism 2013.” Bureau of Counterterrorism, United States Department of State, Apr. 2014. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.
  81. ^ {{Harnisch, Christopher. “The Terror Threat from Somalia: The Internationalization of Al Shabaab.” Critical Threats Project, American Enterprise Institute, 12 Feb. 2010. Web. 20 Aug 2015.}}
  82. ^ {{Ibrahim, Mohammed, and Jeffrey Gettleman. “5 Suicide Bomb Attacks Hit Somalia.” The New York Times, 29 Oct. 2008. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.}} {{“Deadly car bombs hit Somaliland.” BBC News, 29 Oct. 2008. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.}}
  83. ^ {{“Al-Shabaab.” Counterterrorism Guide, National Counterterrorism Center. Web. 20 Aug. 2015.}} {{Rice, Xan. “Uganda bomb blasts kill at least 74.” The Guardian, 12 July 2010. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.}}
  84. ^ {{“Somalia: New Al-Shabaab Attacks are War Crimes.” Human Rights Watch, 16 Apr. 2013. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.}} {{Ibrahim, Mohammed. “Coordinated Blasts Kill at Least 20 in Somalia’s Capital.” The New York Times, 14 Apr. 2013.}} {{“Somalia supreme court attack
  85. ^ {{Sheikh, Abdi. “Somali Islamist rebels attack U.N. base, 22 dead.” Reuters, 19 June 2013. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.}} {{“Somalia UN office attack by al-Shabab ‘kills 15.’” BBC News, 19 June 2013. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.}} {{Ahmed, Abdalle. “Somali militants attack U
  86. ^ {{Karimi, Faith, and Steve Almasy and Lillian Leposo. “Kenya mall attack: Military says most hostages freed, death toll at 68.” CNN, 23 Sept. 2013. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.}} {{Miller, Erin. “Al-Shabaab Attack on Westgate Mall in Kenya.” Background Report, Nati
  87. ^ {{“Al-Shabab attacks Somali presidential palace.” Al Jazeera, 22 Feb. 2014. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.}}
  88. ^ {{“Al Shabaab claims responsibility for Djibouti suicide attack." Reuters, 27 May 2014. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.}} {{Gartenstein-Ross, Daveed, and Henry Appel. “Al-Shabaab Strikes in Djibouti.” War on the Rocks, 3 June 2014. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.}}
  89. ^ {{Saul, Heather. “Kenya attack: al-Shabaab militants kill 10 in second raid near Mpeketoni.” Independent, 17 June 2014. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.}} {{“Kenya attack: Mpeketoni near Lamu hit by al-Shabab raid.” BBC News, 16 June 2014. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.}}
  90. ^ {{“Kenya bus killings claimed by Somali group al-Shabab.” BBC News, 22 Nov. 2014. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.}} {{Karimi, Faith, and Christabelle Fombu. “Police: Islamist militants hijack bus in Kenya at dawn, kill dozens.” CNN, 22 Nov. 2014. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.}}
  91. ^ {{Sridharan, Vasudevan. “Al-Shabaab massacre 36 Christians in North Kenya.” International Business Times, 2 Dec. 2014. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.}}
  92. ^ {{Levs, Josh, and Holly Yan. “147 dead, Islamist gunmen killed after attack at Kenya college.” CNN, 2 Apr. 2015. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.}} {{Karimi, Faith, and David McKenzie. “Kenya attack victims: Vigil mourns 147 slaim by terrorists in Garissa.” CNN, 10 Apr
  93. ^ {{Reuters. “Somali militants kill president’s nephew in ambush.” 7 Oct. 2015. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.}}
  94. ^ Harnisch, Christopher. “The Terror Threat from Somalia: The Internationalization of Al Shabaab.” Critical Threats Project, American Enterprise Institute, 12 Feb. 2010. Web. 20 Aug 2015.
  95. ^ Wise, Rob. “Al Shabaab.” AQAM Futures Project Case Study Series, Center for Strategic & International Studies/Homeland Security & Counterterrorism Program Transnational Threats Project. July 2011. Web. 20 Aug. 2015.
  96. ^ Harnisch, Christopher. “The Terror Threat from Somalia: The Internationalization of Al Shabaab.” Critical Threats Project, American Enterprise Institute, 12 Feb. 2010. Web. 20 Aug 2015.
  97. ^ Houreld, Katharine. “Somali militant group al-Shabaab formally joins al-Qaida.” The Guardian, 9 Feb. 2012. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.
  98. ^ “Al-Shabaab joining al Qaeda, monitor group says.” CNN, 10 Feb. 2012. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.
  99. ^ Berger, J.M. “Al Qaeda’s Merger.” Foreign Policy, 15 Feb. 2012. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.
  100. ^ “Somali Islamists al-Shabab and Hizbul Islam ‘to merge.’” BBC News, 20 Dec. 2010. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.
  101. ^ Roggio, Bill. “Hizbul Islam joins Shabaab in Somalia.” The Long War Journal, 19 Dec. 2010. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.
  102. ^ “Ahlu Sunna Waljama’a (ASWJ).” Terrorism Research & Analysis Consortium. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.
  103. ^ McGregor, Andrew. “Sudanese Security Forces Raid Islamist Training Camp in National Park.” Terrorism Monitor 10.23 (14 Dec. 2012). Web. 10 Oct. 2015.
  104. ^ “Muslim Youth Center/al-Hijra - Kenya.” Terrorism Research & Analysis Consortium. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.
  105. ^ Kriel, Robyn, and Lillian Leposo. “In video, Somali ISIS members court Al-Shabaab.” CNN, 22 May 2015. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.
  106. ^ Odowa, Mohamed. “Somalia terror group Al Shabaab ‘to pledge allegiance to ISIS’ in terrifying expansion of Caliphate.” Daily Mail, 10 July 2015. Web. 20 Aug. 2015.
  107. ^ Page, Jacqueline. “Jihadi Arena Report: Somalia - Development of Radical Islamism and Current Implications.” International Institute for Counter-Terrorism, 22 Mar. 2010. Web. 20 Aug. 2015.
  108. ^ Harnisch, Christopher. “The Terror Threat from Somalia: The Internationalization of Al Shabaab.” Critical Threats Project, American Enterprise Institute, 12 Feb. 2010. Web. 20 Aug 2015.
  109. ^ James, Randy. “al-Shabab.” TIME, 7 Dec. 2009. Web. 5 July 2013.
  110. ^ Greste, Peter. “Somalia Islamists al-Shabab ban BBC transmissions.” BBC News, 9 Apr. 2010. Web. 5 July 2013.
  111. ^ “Country Reports on Terrorism 2013.” Bureau of Counterterrorism, United States Department of State, Apr. 2014. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.
  112. ^ Harnisch, Christopher. “The Terror Threat from Somalia: The Internationalization of Al Shabaab.” Critical Threats Project, American Enterprise Institute, 12 Feb. 2010. Web. 20 Aug 2015.
  113. ^ Harnisch, Christopher. “The Terror Threat from Somalia: The Internationalization of Al Shabaab.” Critical Threats Project, American Enterprise Institute, 12 Feb. 2010. Web. 20 Aug 2015.
  114. ^ Page, Jacqueline. “Jihadi Arena Report: Somalia - Development of Radical Islamism and Current Implications.” International Institute for Counter-Terrorism, 22 Mar. 2010. Web. 20 Aug. 2015.

Print this page

Map Al Shabaab

Click on the maps below to visualize this group's interactions with other militant organizations

On Global Al Qaeda map

CakePHP

On Somalia map

CakePHP

Contents

Search