Kenya Intelligence Services, including the National Intelligence Service (NIS Kenya) have always considered al Shabaab as a terrorist proxy for certain interests; and that their activities as illicit deeds cloaked under the garment of Islam. Their analysis has been proved right after over 1000 al Shabaab defectors have consistently described al Shabaab as a proxy force for Arab economic interests in the Horn of Africa region and the wider East African region in general.
“Al Shabaab is all about Business, not Islam”, said Abdullah (a former senior al Shabaab commander previously based in Gedo), as he continued, “they are promoting and protecting Arab interests in Somalia. See (sic), we do not have good schools, hospitals, homes in Somalia; a big percentage of Somalis are illiterate and poor, and al Shabaab loves this. Are these people (al Shabaab) truly concerned about the welfare of Somalis or are they just puppets for their Arab benefactors?” he said angrily, and he continued “I am truly thankful to Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia for coming to our rescue and for showing an African spirit of love and compassion”, he concluded remorsefully.
This clarifies the previous intelligence assessment that al Shabaab attacks in Wajir and Mandera are opportunistic, and that local business rivalry plays a significant part in endorsing and bolstering al Shabaab activities in the region.