February 22, 2019

Al-Shabaab Is as Dangerous as Ever

“A bloody, day-long terrorist attack on a hotel complex in Kenya’s capital has ended, leaving at least 14 people dead and others severely injured.

On Tuesday, four militants from al-Shabaab — a Somalia-based terrorist organization with ties to al-Qaeda — struck the luxury DusitD2 hotel in Nairobi in what police described as a coordinated attack. What followed was a 20-hour siege that left 11 Kenyans and several foreigners, including at least one American, dead. Early Wednesday morning, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta told reporters that “all the terrorists [have been] eliminated” and that 700 people escaped to safety.

The group says it launched the assault in response to President Donald Trump’s declaration last year of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

That, however, doesn’t make much sense. It’s more likely that the strike is really the latest catastrophe in a decade-plus struggle between Kenya and al-Shabaab. The group, which in recent years has killed scores of Kenyans in malls, universities, and small villages, continues to strike mostly over Nairobi’s US-backed efforts to militarily defeat it in neighboring Somalia.”

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