- DOJ reaches largest-ever federal government settlement over auto loan discrimination
- U.S. Navy to start giving gay couples marriage benefits in Japan
- Sen. Harry Reid goes to hospital as a precaution
- Fla.’s Trey Radel exits rehab, ‘excited’ to resume congressional role
- U.S. nuclear general boozed it up, chased ‘hot women’ in Russia: report
- 45 Calif. students at one school test positive for tuberculosis exposure
- Rob Ford on women: Give them cash ‘and they are happy’
- Ku Klux Klan group holds recruitment meeting in Maryland
- Airport assassination: Mayor, 3 others killed at Manila airport
- Tea party-type lawmakers take mysterious, off-books trip to Mideast
Al Qaeda embrace of al-Shabab seen as driven by desperation
Question of the Day
That pressure - along with a drop in popular support because of the harsh, Taliban-style social rules the group imposes - are among the reasons al-Shabab wanted the new al Qaeda brand name, said Abdi Hassan, a former al-Shabab fighter.
That latter group is based only a short boat ride from Somalia, and Mr. Hassan, the former al-Shabab fighter, said that several foreign militants once based in Somalia have fled there after the deaths of several al Qaeda leaders in Somalia in recent years.
Several analysts noted that the new partnership internationalizes al Qaeda’s message even more.
Adjoa Anyimadu, a researcher at the Africa program at Chatham House, a London-based policy institute on international affairs, said al Qaeda may be attracted to al-Shabab’s storyline of struggle to free an Islamic country from Western influence.
“The Somali government is actually very pleased that the time for al-Shabab to masquerade as an indigenous Somali-Islamic organization is gone forever,” Mr. Mohamed said.
Al-Shabab’s most spectacular international terrorist attack occurred in July 2010 while crowds watched the World Cup final on TV in Kampala, Uganda. Bombs exploded at two locations, killing 76 people.
Since Kenya’s military moved into Somalia in October, al-Shabab has threatened to attack the Kenyan capital of Nairobi, and Mr. Anyimadu said that the al Qaeda merger could raise the risk of an attack.
“They have shown the capacity and the skill, and I think the Kampala attack was clearly - if you want to call it this - a rite of passage,” Mr. Rashid said.
“While I’m not discounting the possibility of some kind of attack to show ‘We are worthy’ of being part of the fold, I don’t think one can make that link immediately.”
By John McAfee
- Breaking Fad: Alligators becoming the new pit bulls for drug dealers, cops say
- D.C. to tout Obamacare among youth waiting for Air Jordans
- Huge backlash mounts over suspension of 'Duck Dynasty' star Phil Robertson
- TARGET credit card theft swells to 40 million victims
- Special ops vets slam military benefit cuts
- Obama: 2014 will be 'breakthrough year' for U.S.
- Dems use new filibuster rules to approve DHS nominee Alejandro Mayorkas under investigation
- Obamacare 'pajamas boy' gets roundly mocked
- Citing 'unfair system,' Obama commutes sentences for 8 crack offenders
- Homeland Security helps smuggle illegal immigrant children into the U.S.
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Classical music and the performing arts: news and reviews you can use.
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow