Al Shabaab -the Somali Islamist terror group- has urged Islamist sympathizers living in Europe to carry out terror attacks against France. Al Shabaab seeks to bolster its relevance amongst global jihadi organizations by championing transnational terrorism. This incident shows that the terror organization is losing clout and socio-political relevance in Somalia and in order to remain relevant, it must export its violent ideology outside Somalia. Additionally, the call can be considered as attempts by Al Shabaab to forge closer alliance with Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).
Al Shabaab’s call comes at a time when the French authorities have conducted sweeping anti-terror operations to identify, locate and dismantle terror cells operating in the country. Al Shabaab did release a press statement hailing the Charlie Hebdo attack as “heroic”.
During the present call for terror, Al Shabaab warned France and other nations upholding their civility that their belligerence towards Islamist terrorism will be answered by terror attacks. Al Shabaab pledged that France will neither enjoy tranquility nor security till it submits to the demands of International Jihad.
The recent Charlie Hebdo attack – which shocked the world and France in particular – revealed the potency and danger of the spread of violent jihadi ideology augmented by the return of jihadi fighters from theaters of war in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, North Africa, Pakistan and Afghanistan. This calls for cooperation among nations in order to present a common united front against global jihad and terrorism in general.