what does al shabab want ?mist militant group al-Shabab is battling the UN-backed government in Somalia, and has carried out a string of attacks across the region. The group, which is allied to al-Qaeda, has been pushed out of most of the main towns it once controlled, but it remains a potent threat.
since the Operation Linda Nchi Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) entry into southern Somalia against al-Shabaab militants began in 2011, al Shabab has been intensifying its propaganda effort. Group members have started to diversify their tactics, using various methods to demoralize the allied forces.
While al Shabab has been reduced in power and size since the beginning of the Kenya Army’s Operation Linda Nchi southern incursion, the group has continued its efforts at recruitment and territorial control.
AL SHABAB HISTORY
The organisation known as Al Shabab originally emerged from the Islamic Courts Union (ICU) movement in Somalia. The ICU began as a loose grouping of Sharia Courts that by 2006 had grown into a powerful Islamic militia which enjoyed control over much of Southern Somalia. Al-Shabaab (literally meaning ‘the youngsters’) was the radical, hard-line youth faction within the ICU. The Union of Courts reached the peak of its influence after the 2006 Battle of Mogadishu, defeating the US-backed Alliance for the Restoration of Peace and Reconciliation (ARPCT) and gaining sole control over Somalia’s war-torn capital. This victory was significant enough to be a serious concern to the government of neighbouring Ethiopia, who backed Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government (TFG). Ethiopian troops, with American air support, invaded Somalia to attack the ICU and attempt to establish authority for the TFG. The remnants of the ICU, including Al-Shabaab, were driven from Mogadishu and suffered heavy defeats in the south. More moderate elements within the ICU reconciled with the TFG and entered into an alliance with the government. The surviving Al-Shabaab fighters went into hiding or dispersed into Kenya
In early August 2011, the Transitional Federal Government’s troops and their AMISOM allies managed to capture all of Mogadishu from the al-Shabaab militants. An ideological rift within the group’s leadership also emerged, and several of the organization’s senior commanders were assassinated
How much of Somalia does al Shabab control?
Although it has lost control of most towns and cities, it still dominates in some rural areas.
It was forced out of the capital, Mogadishu, in August 2011 following an offensive spearheaded by about 22,000 African Union (AU) troops, and left the vital port of Kismayo in September 2012.
The loss of Kismayo has hit al-Shabab’s finances, as it used to earn money by taking a cut of the city’s lucrative charcoal trade.
The US has also carried out a wave of air strikes, which led to the killing of the group’s leader, Aden Hashi Ayro, in 2008 and his successor, Ahmed Abdi Godane.
In March 2017, US President Donald Trump approved a Pentagon plan to escalate operations against al-Shabab.
The US has more than 500 troops in Somalia and conducted 30 airstrikes in 2017, more than four times the average number carried out in the previous seven years, according to The Washington Post.
HOW MANY FIGHTER DOES AL SHABAB HAVE
Al-Shabaab’s troop strength was estimated at 7,000 to 9,000 militants in 2014.
AL SHABAB FOREIGN FIGHTERS
Al Shabaab is said to have many foreigners within its ranks, particularly at the leadership level. Fighters from the Persian Gulf and international jihadists were called to join the holy war against the Somali government and its Ethiopian allies. Though Somali Islamists did not originally use suicide bombing tactics, the foreign elements of al-Shabaab have been blamed for several suicide bombings. A 2006 UN report identified Libya, and Egypt, among countries in the region, as the main backers of the Islamist extremists. Egypt has a longstanding policy of securing the Nile River flow by destabilizing Ethiopia.
Formerly a predominantly nationalist organization, al-Shabaab repositioned itself as a militant Islamist group that also attracted a large cadre of Western devotees.As of 2011, the group’s foreign recruitment strategy was active in the United States, where members attempted to recruit from the local Muslim communities. According to an investigative report by the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security, al-Shabaab has recruited over 40 Muslim Americans since 2007.In 2010, The New York Times reported that after more than a dozen Americans were killed in Somalia, the organization’s recruiting success had decreased in the US
AL SHABAB STRATEGY
Al Shabaab proliferates their propaganda through various media. It operates its own radio station, Radio Andalus, and has acquired relay stations and seized other equipment from private radio stations, including some from the BBC. Presenters broadcast in Somali, Arabic, Swahili and English. Besides radio, the Internet is the most heavily utilized by al-Shabaab and other militant Islamic groups such as Al-Qaeda because it is the easiest and most cost-effective way to reach a large audience. As the Internet is especially popular with today’s youth, organizations such as al-Shabaab are using online forums and chat rooms to recruit young followers. Al-Shabaab’s official website, which has since been taken down, featured posts, videos and official statements in English, Arabic and Somali, as well as online classrooms to educate followers
WHAT DOES AL SHABAB WANT
it wants all foreign forces to withdrawal and take over control of Somalia Government and rule it according to their own strict interpretation of islamic law.