Who is Al-Shabaab?
The creation of life, the desire to remain plentiful and enjoying the fruits of the Fertile Crescent has caused wars due to rightful inheritance. This may sound like gibberish, but the Fertile Crescent area is also known as the cradle of civilization and has a history of being the birthplace of man; as well as, it is the home to many religions. Many of these habitants of this region have been involved in crusades or religious wars due to disagreement and rights of land to which each feel they are entitled to. This area has a great amount of people that practice the Islamic religion, but there are a few that are more extreme and violent in their fight for cause the Jihad. The word Jihad or striving in the way of God is looked at as a duty and one of the main seekers of this group is the Al- Qaeda. This group has spread its ideas and views far across the globe and when speaking of Somalia, Africa, the group Al- Shabaab stands out. Who is Al- Shabaab? In 1988, Usama Bin Ladin headed a group of Arabs that fought in Afghanistan against the Soviet Union. The goal of this group, which is now known as Al-Qa’ida, is to unite the Muslim world and over throw the Western world with the United States being a main target. This group’s ideology of jihad has the belief that it is a religious duty to kill anyone involved or is in adherence with the United States (Blin, 2007). On September 11, 2001, Al-Qa’ida committed a major act of terrorism by hijacking airline planes and crashing them into the twin towers in New York City. The ideas and beliefs of the Al- Qa’ida have stretched the world internationally. Their activities have been labeled extreme; as well as, other groups have viewed and deemed their ideas admirable. The United States, and other world powers, has titled Al- Qa’ida and its followers as being a terrorist group. Terrorist by definition are as a person that terrorizes or cause fear in others. Al-Shabaab is a group in Somalia that rose to power during the 2006 due to an invasion of Somalia by Ethiopia. Al- Shabaab is translated to mean the Youth, or Mujahidin Youth Movement. They are an Islamic militant group that initially had the common goal of just driving Ethiopia out of their country, but the common driven idea became the same belief and ideology of the Al- Qa’ida of exterminating the Western Countries, mainly the United States. Al-Shabaab not only took on the ideas and beliefs of the Al- Qa’ida, they also altered their leadership making it predominately ran by the Al-Qa’ida leadership. Al-Shabaab is led by Sheikh Mohamed Mukhtar Abdirahman, but is divided into three geographical units, the Bay and Bokool region, the south central Somalia and Mogadishu region, and the Puntland and Somaililand region. Intelligence has recovered information that these regions operate independently each other and are often in disagreement with each other. The groups that make up Somalia are of a small number, but were able to take over due to the lack of a central government. Al-Shabaab troops are estimated to contain several thousand soldiers (Butler, 1976). Al-Shabaab’s troop makeup also involves foreign entities mainly from Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Sudan, and Bangladesh. When compared to other troops in other countries, they seem small, but are a huge threat being that if they were to die for their cause of jihad, it is looked at as a form of obedience and honor. Like many organizations, the Al-Shabaab group utilizes the Internet and other types of media to get their views and propaganda out. Intelligence has found their members in chat rooms and forums; as well as, they have used radio and television as sources to gain more members through mass communication. Social media cites have been infected with their views. On December 7, 2011, the social site Twitter, have stated that Al-Shabaab has put...