The Reinvention of Al Shabaab
A Strategy of Choice or Necessity?
Center for Strategic and International Studies
“The September 2013 attack on Nairobi’s Westgate Shopping Center, which left more than 70 people dead, has positioned the Somali extremist group, Al-Shabaab, firmly in the global spotlight. While some observers have interpreted the attack as a sign of “desperation,” others perceive it as an indication of Al-Shabaab’s reformation and resurgence under the leadership of the movement’s Amir, Ahmed Abdi aw Mohamud Godane.
The reality is, as usual, more complex. Westgate provided a glimpse of a movement in the throes of a protracted, fitful, and often violent transition: Al-Shabaab is in the process of reinventing itself.”