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January 23, 2009 Special Dispatch No. 2208

Al-Qaeda's Involvement in Somalia and its Ties to Shabab Al-Mujahideen

January 23, 2009
Somalia, Africa | Special Dispatch No. 2208

In light of Al-Qaeda's recent failures in Iraq, the organization's leaders have been looking towards countries at the periphery of the Islamic world - especially countries in northeast Africa, such as Somalia, which has been in a state of anarchy since 1991. Thus, it is tightening ties with the Shabab Al-Mujahideen jihad group, which has been steadily gathering strength in Somalia. Shabab Al-Mujahideen, a self-proclaimed Salafi-jihadist organization, receives moral, logistic, and material support from Al-Qaeda, in the form of funding, help in establishing and developing its communication networks, and other kinds of assistance. Its communiqués, posted on Al-Qaeda-affiliated websites, report on the situation in Somalia, and call on Muslims worldwide to come there and join the jihad. The Saudi daily Al-Hayat recently published an investigative article by journalist Murad Batal Al-Shishani about Al-Qaeda's involvement in Somalia. The article discusses the rise of Shabab Al-Mujahideen, which has become a major Islamist force in the country, and the tactical reasoning behind Al-Qaeda's ties with this organization. Following are excerpts from the article:

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