Al-Shabab, a Somali-based al-Qaida-affiliated Islamist militant group, has issued a new threat against Kenya. The group has stated that it will continue to carry out assaults in that country as long as Kenyan troops remain in Somalia.

In an English-language statement issued Saturday, Al-Shabab stated that it will continue to target Kenyan towns and cities until Kenyan troops leave Somalia.

What’s happening
It stated that if the Kenyan government maintains its “invasion” of Muslim territories, it will launch attack within Kenya. “We shall continue to protect our territory and people against the violent Kenyan invasion. As long as Kenyan forces control our Muslim territories, we will continue to focus our attacks on Kenyan towns and cities “According to the group.

According to Mohamed Husein Gaas, head of the Raad Peace Research Institute in Mogadishu, al-Shabab dangers are serious, as the organization has grown financially in recent years despite the deployment of African Union forces in Somalia.

What to watch
The region’s increased insecurity is as a result of Ethiopia’s protracted civil war and underlying political and social instability would most certainly exacerbate the region’s insecurity.

What you should know

  • For more than 15 years, Al-Shabab has fought against Somali government and AU peacekeeping missions in the country.
  • They’ve also attacked Kenya including an attack In September 2013, where al-Shabab fighters invaded Nairobi’s Westgate Mall, opening fire on shoppers and murdering 67 people in an 80-hour siege.
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