The Threat Al-Shabaab Poses to United States Interest in the Horn of Africa

The Threat Al-Shabaab Poses to United States Interest in the Horn of Africa

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The terrorist threat posed to United States (U.S.) interests within the Horn of Africa (HOA) is represented by one terrorist organization in particular, al-Shabaab. Areas of concern towards key strategic interests for the U.S. consist of armed conflicts, violent extremism, global trade, and maritime security in which al-Shabaab possess an influential capacity to disrupt, which effects political, economic, and social stability throughout region. As countries within the HOA continue to gain strategic importance to U.S. interest and policy makers, al-Shabaab and the various entities they collaborate with affect the stability of the region and remain a prevalent threat.
Al-Shabaab initially began operations within the Somalian borders in resistance to the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and Ethiopia, and later dictated their role in opposing western influence in the region. The ultimate driving force behind the organization is to establish an Islamic state in Somalia. In 2007, the group’s affiliation with Al Qaida was established, although many organizational experts believe the relationship is volatile and unsubstantial at best, according to the Council on Foreign Relations. By 2008, the U.S. government officially recognized al-Shabaab as a Foreign Terrorist Organization; concurrently the groups reached its peak in strength, influence, and potency to the country of Somalia. The organization has proven its ability to control southern Somalia and areas of Mogadishu while also executing operations throughout the Horn of Africa through.
As the U.S. maintains focus on the threat of armed conflict and maritime threats in the region, al-Shabaab continues to pose a threat through weapons trade. According to the U.N. Secur...

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Menkhaus, K. (2011, November 5). A thousand fatwas for Somalia's al-Shabaab - The Globe and Mail. The Globe and Mail. Retrieved from http://www.theglobeandmail.comnews/
OP-ED: Al-Shabaab, Pirates and the West. (2011, April 9). Somalia Report. Retrieved from
Security Council Committee on Somalia and Eritrea Adds One Individual to List of Individuals and Entities. (2012, February 17). United Nations: Security Council SC/10545. Retrieved from
Townsend, M., & McVeigh, T. (2012, February 25). Somalia promises west oil riches as diplomats vow to defeat al-Shabaab . The Guardian . Retrieved from http://

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