Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mujahideen (HSM) commonly referred to as Al Shabaab is a jihadist terror organization based in Somalia. The name HSM translated from Arabic is Movement of Striving Youth. Their home base was previously in Southern Somalia but have since scattered in East Africa owing to the KDF and AMISOM presence in the regions.
Al Shabaab Terror Activities (terror campaigns) have made the group to set operational base in Kenya for easier patrols of vulnerable areas. The Islamist group is believed to have active cells in Nairobi’s Eastleigh, South-C and Hurlingham Estates and Majengo and Kibera slums.
Intelligence reports also cite Al-Shabaab active sleeper cells have camouflaged in the society at the Kenyan coastal regions including Kwale, Kilifi and Lamu. The group also has active cells in the former North Eastern Province (NEP) i.e. Garissa, Wajir and Mandera.
The dreaded and most wanted terrorist for the Garissa University College Massacre is Lower Juba Commander Muhamed Kuno Dulyadeen aka Gamadheere. He is believed to be responsible for most of the attacks in the NEP Kenya provoking a KSH 20 Million bounty on information leading to his capture.
The recent intensified security operations in the country by joint efforts of the Anti-Terror Police Unit (ATPU) and Kenya Special Forces has been able to foil and preempt several would be attacks in Kenya.
Kenyan based affiliates of the al-Shabaab; MRC, Al Hijra, and Al Muhajiroun have been reported to conduct recruits on behalf of militant group, coordination of attacks as well advance the sectarian war agenda.
Al Shabaab use propaganda as a tool to preach hate to non-Muslim residents living in Muslim dominated areas. The terror outfit’s main agenda being to divide, cause havoc and cause civilians to turn against each other on sectarian lines.
Recently, Al Shabaab spokesman Sheikh Dhere issued a warning to all Christian to leave Garissa and all areas dominated by Muslims. Terming the land is Muslim land ideally to divide the Muslims and Christians who have co-existed for years.
Leaders in the former North Eastern Province have been accused of funding the militants as well as being tolerant to their activities by other leaders in Kenya. Most recently when they failed to produce a list of Al Shabaab members and sympathizers in the region they promised after the Garissa University attack.
Despite the numerous activities and threats posed by the Al-Shabaab on Kenya, the government has been able to make tremendous progress in foiling and securing Kenya with intensified counter terrorism strategies already put up.