Al Shabaab is a Somalia based Islamist group that claims it is fighting jihad against unlawful administration in Somalia.
Scholarly, Al-Shabaab is referenced to as Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mujahideed. It is militant group that profess Islam religion.
It controls the parts of Gedo regions of Southern and Central Somalia.
Al Shabaab is classified as a terrorist group by global security and intelligence services.
It has about 4000 active fighters. The fighters are mainly youths aged between 14-45 years.
Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mujahideed also recruits foreign fighters. There is a large number of British, American, Yemeni, Kenya, Pakistani and Tanzanians in the terror group.
How Al-Shabaab Established Foothold in Somalia
In late 2010, Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mujahideed conducted attacks against Ugandan AMISOM troops based in Mogadishu leading to counter operations and subsequent full scale operations against the militants.
Al Shabaab terrorists use propaganda to recruit and conduct psychological operations against targets.
Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mujahideed operatives are accused of mass kidnappings execution, suicide attacks, bombings, ambushing villages, and assassinations particularly in Somalia and Kenya.
The group adopts the suicide bombs strategy against soft targets in Somalia.
The terror group has lost ground in many parts of Somalia though it has increased terror attacks in East African countries particularly Kenya.
Al Shabaab Current leader, Ahmad Umar claims the terror group youth are eager to create an Islamic caliphate (like ISIS in Iraq and Syria).
The group continues to recruit brilliant foreigners to its core leadership and intelligence branch-Amniyaat.
Al Shabaabhas fighters are recruited from Muslim communities through Mosques and social media platforms. The recruits are mainly from Somalia, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania and Western countries such as Britain, Netherlands, and the United States.
Al Shabaab Terrorists Propaganda
Al Shabaab spreads its propaganda through Radio Andalus in Somalia. The radio station broadcasts in English, Somali and Arabic. The group also uses the internet to conduct information warfare.
Using Twitter, Facebook and You Tube videos, al-Shabaab fast recruited youth from Muslim dominated regions and learning institutions. The group also camouflaged in Humanitarian aid groups which they use to recruit more members who are bribed using relief food.
Al Shabaab has capitalized on propaganda to display itself as rebels against enemies of Islam. With funding from al-Qaeda who are vast selling drugs, the group has recruited technology geeks who manage their social media presence, a strategy which has propelled the group into now well-known jihadists.
Al Shabaab is the largest Somali’s armed group currently staging attacks on prominent foreign and national targets affiliated to the United Nations.