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Friday, 30 August 2013
SOMALIA’S AL-‐SHABAAB: DOWN BUT NOT OUT
HSPI Issue Brief 22 August 27, 2013 Navan: Group
Harakat al-‐Shabaab al-‐Mujahedeen, meaning “Mujahedeen Youth Movement” in Arabic, is an al-‐ Qa’ida affiliated terrorist organiza:on that seeks to establish an Islamist state in Somalia. In its short history, al-‐Shabaab has evolved from a small militia group to a formidable insurgent force that once controlled significant amounts of territory. Extending beyond Somalia, al-‐Shabaab has pursued a global jihadist agenda by launching terrorist attacks in countries such as Uganda and Kenya, and soliciting support from the Somali diaspora and external extremist groups.
Following the 2006-‐09 Ethiopian invasion of Somalia, al-‐Shabaab rose to national prominence as a symbol of resistance against Ethiopian ‘occupiers.’ Filling the void in the wake of Ethiopia’s withdrawal and the collapse of the Islamic Courts Union, the group rapidly expanded becoming Somalia’s dominant governing entity.1 By August 2010, al-‐Shabaab controlled the majority of south and central Somalia, and launched its first interna:onal attack targeting Uganda’s capital Kampala with multiple suicide bombings.2