Long-Term Solutions vs. Short-Term Revenge

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On Saturday, a truck bomb struck the Somali capital of Mogadishu killing more than 320 people and injuring more than 500 others. While no group officially claimed responsibility for the brutal attack, Somali officials and counterterrorism experts have pinned the responsibility on al Shabaab, an al Qaeda linked organization that has carried out several attacks inside Somalia as well as in neighboring Kenya, Uganda, and Djibouti. Since its creation in 2008, al Shabaab has posed a significant threat to the Horn of Africa region. The group pledged allegiance to al Qaeda in 2012 and remains al Qaeda’s affiliate in East Africa. The Cipher Brief spoke with Seth Jones, Director of the International Security and Defense Policy Center at the RAND Corporation, to discuss the current threat posed by al Shabaab as well as how the U.S. should respond to the most horrific terrorist attack in Somali history.

The Cipher Brief: How likely is it that the attack in Mogadishu over the weekend was al Shabaab affiliated?

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