Al-Shabaab is a Salafi-jihadist militant group that has been operating in Somalia since 2006. The group aims to establish an Islamic state in Somalia based on its interpretation of sharia law. It has conducted a number of terrorist attacks in Somalia and the region, including bombings, assassinations, and kidnappings. Al-Shabaab is closely affiliated with al-Qaeda and has pledged allegiance to its leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri.
Recent Attack in Somalia
On February 18, 2023, Al-Shabaab carried out a deadly attack in Somalia, targeting a military checkpoint in the capital city, Mogadishu. The attack involved a car bomb and a gunfight that lasted for hours. According to reports, at least 10 people were killed, including four civilians and six soldiers.
Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack through its media channels, stating that it was carried out in retaliation for the killing of one of its commanders by Somali forces. The group also warned that it would continue to carry out similar attacks in the future.
The international community has condemned the attack and expressed solidarity with Somalia. The United Nations has issued a statement, calling for the perpetrators to be brought to justice. The African Union has also condemned the attack, stating that it underscores the need for continued support to Somalia in its fight against terrorism.
Al-Shabaab has been designated as a terrorist organization by many countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, and the European Union. These countries have imposed sanctions on the group and its leaders, and have provided support to the Somali government in its efforts to counter the group’s activities.
Background and Ideology
Al-Shabaab was formed in 2006 as the military wing of the Islamic Courts Union, a group of Sharia courts that had taken control of large parts of Somalia. When the Union was defeated by Ethiopian forces in 2007, Al-Shabaab emerged as the most powerful militant group in Somalia, and began to carry out attacks against the Somali government, African Union forces, and civilian targets.
The group’s ideology is based on Salafi-jihadism, a Sunni Islamic movement that seeks to establish a puritanical Islamic state based on a strict interpretation of sharia law. Al-Shabaab also incorporates elements of Somali nationalism into its ideology, and has used anti-Western rhetoric in its propaganda.
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