Bottom Line Up Front On April 10, President Trump signed an extension of the emergency order authorizing the continuation of U.S. military operations in Somalia. Just last week, the U.S. military conducted an airstrike in Somalia, reportedly killing three Islamic State fighters, demonstrating the tactical nature of the counterterrorism ...

  Bottom Line Up Front A partially declassified study of U.S. military operations demonstrates the difficulty in accurately counting and mitigating civilian casualties. Disparities exist between official Pentagon estimates of civilians killed and those done by external agencies, leading to assumptions about the former being less transparent. The study reiterates ...

  Bottom Line Up Front On January 15, Somali terrorist group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for an attack on a hotel frequented by Western civilians in Nairobi, Kenya. The attack was well-coordinated and included at least four gunmen involved in a sophisticated assault that featured firearms and explosives. This was not ...

  Bottom Line Up Front On December 17, the U.S. reported that it had conducted six airstrikes in Somalia, killing 62 militants from the al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab. The U.S. has conducted 45 publicly confirmed airstrikes in Somalia in 2018, 14 more than in 2017, which was the greatest annual total up ...

The multinational peacekeeping force known as AMISOM has been losing the momentum in its battle against al Shabaab in Somalia, as evidenced by the massive Oct. 14th truck bomb that killed more than 350 people in the capital Mogadishu. While AMISOM – the African Union Mission in Somalia – was ...

Despite international efforts to combat the terrorist group, al Shabaab remains a dangerous adversary capable of inflicting mass casualties, as demonstrated by Saturday’s truck bomb in Mogadishu that killed more than 320 people. U.S. strategy in Somalia has centered on targeted strikes against al Shabaab militants as well as providing ...

The truck bomb that devastated the Somali capital of Mogadishu and killed more than 320 people on Saturday was the deadliest terrorist attack in Somalia’s history. But beyond the catastrophic loss of life, the horrific tragedy is a clear indication that al Shabaab, the group believed to be behind the ...

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 ...

One of Somalia’s worst-ever terrorist attacks may have been spurred in part by a stepped up U.S. counterterrorism campaign against al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab, which was blamed by the Somali government for a truck bomb that killed more than 300 people in Mogadishu on Saturday. Al Shabaab “recently vowed to ...

On March 13, desperate Somali fishermen hijacked the tanker Aris-13 off the coast of Puntland, in the northeast part of the country. This was the first such incident in almost five years – raising concerns over a return to piracy in the Horn of Africa. Since then, two similar incidents ...

Having carried out several attacks in the last couple of months, al Shabaab remains a “very high” threat to security in Somalia and surrounding countries, says Phil Carter, former U.S. Ambassador to Cote d’Ivoire and Guinea. According to Carter, the broader effort to combat al Shabaab really “comes down to ...

With al Shabaab orchestrating deadly attacks on a near-weekly basis, the terrorist group continues to pose a significant threat to regional stability in the Horn of Africa. Despite concentrated international efforts to root out al Shabaab from its areas of operation in southern Somalia, the al Qaeda affiliate remains a ...

The Cipher brief spoke with Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, CEO of Valens Global and a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, about the growing al Shabaab threat in the Horn of Africa. According to Gartenstein-Ross, al Shabaab’s “capabilities are probably at their strongest” since 2012 as demonstrated by the ...

The run-up to Somali elections, slated to begin in less than a month, has Somalia watchers concerned that the terrorist group al-Shabaab will seize the opportunity to wreak havoc on the process. Sources in Somalia report al-Shabaab troop buildup outside of the capital Mogadishu, raising concerns that the terrorist group ...

Terrorism has emerged as a global threat to security. We might not be able to fully grasp the complexity of the matter until we look at it on a global scale. Belgium is the latest country in Europe to be hit by cowardly acts of terror. The private security industry ...

April 2 marked one year since the Somali terrorist group al-Shabaab attacked the Garissa University in Kenya and killed 148 people, galvanizing Kenya to intensify its counterterrorism efforts. Yet al-Shabaab’s operational capacities and intimidation power have grown in the past year. Many of Kenya’s counterterrorism policies have been counterproductive, and ...

One year after the April 2015 attack that left 148 people dead at a university in Garissa, Kenya, a combination of forces is strengthening the militant Islamist organization that carried out the attack, al-Shabaab. The al-Qaeda-affiliated group came to prominence in neighboring Somalia in 2006 after the collapse of the ...

The lack of good governance and the spread of terrorism seem to go hand in hand.   That is quite apparent in East Africa.  Just last month, al Qaeda’s affiliate, al Shabaab, attacked an African Union base in Southwest Somalia, the third forward operating base that al Shabaab has overrun in ...

Long before 9/11, Washington regarded East Africa as a fertile playing ground for terrorists. Osama bin Laden spent half a decade in the Sudan during the 1990s, and the 1998 embassy bombings in Tanzania and Kenya highlighted the vulnerability of American targets in the region. But anarchic Somalia, whose government ...

Al Qaeda and the Islamic State thrive in lawless and ungoverned spaces where there is no rule of law to keep them in check.  Al Qaeda’s home base in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) is the epitome of such a place, but the tide there has been turning against ...

Historically, Sub-Saharan Africa has been most known for poverty, hunger, corruption, and violence.  Alongside this message, the image of a rising, or aspiring, Africa has recently emerged, as many Sub-Saharan African countries are becoming known for their vast resources and growing business opportunities.  How did this continent, once known primarily ...

Rwandan President Paul Kagame’s January 1 announcement that he will stand for a third term following the December 2015 constitutional referendum, thereby ending the two-term limit, was expected. But what does it mean for Rwanda’s future? Some observers say that voters want continuity. Rwandans have certainly benefited from the country’s ...

Since the end of apartheid in 1994, South Africa has achieved much: over 3.5 million homes have been built for those with low-incomes, millions have benefitted from the provision of electricity, and a sophisticated social grant system benefitting 15 million people has reduced the number of people facing absolute poverty. ...

Since Somalia’s independence in 1960, its relationship with the U.S. has been—for lack of a better metaphor—on a roller coaster that travels up and down dangerous steeps and performs sudden inversions that turn everything upside down. In other words, due to lack of formal and sustainable policy toward Somalia, the ...