The Latest - Somalia

Somalia Latest Articles

13th February 2016 – The Long War Journal

Shabaab claims ‘Western intelligence officials’ targeted in airliner bombing

Thomas Joscelyn

Shabaab, al Qaeda’s official branch in East Africa, has claimed responsibility for bombing an airliner bound for Djibouti on Feb. 2. The statement, which was released in English on social media, can be seen below. more...

5th February 2016 – The Long War Journal

Shabaab regains ground in southern Somalia

Bill Roggio

Shabaab, al Qaeda’s official branch in East Africa, has retaken control several towns in southern Somalia after the withdrawal of African Union and government forces. more...

4th September 2015 – The Long War Journal

12 Ugandan Troops Killed as Shabaab Assaults Base in Somalia

Bill Roggio

The Ugandan military has confirmed that 12 of its soldiers who were part of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) were killed after Shabaab launched a suicide assault on a military base near Mogadishu earlier this week. Shabaab had claimed that it killed 70 Ugandan soldiers while overrunning the base. more...

21st April 2015 – The Long War Journal

US Adds Shabaab Leaders to Designated Terrorist List

Thomas Joscelyn

The State Department today added two senior officials in Shabaab, al Qaeda’s official branch in East Africa, to the US government’s list of designated terrorists. more...

10th April 2015 – Foreign Policy

From Westgate to Garissa, Shabab’s Murderous Wave

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

ter the Somali militant group al-Shabab carried out a gruesome massacre of 148 people in the Kenyan city of Garissa on April 2, two questions repeatedly surfaced among policymakers and analysts: Did this attack signal that al-Shabab would increasingly focus on Kenya? And did the horrific attack at Garissa prove the success or failure of Somalia as a counterterrorism model? After all, last September President Barack Obama trumpeted U.S. policies toward Somalia, where the United States had “successfully pursued” al Qaeda for years. more...

2nd April 2015 – The Long War Journal

Shabaab Massacres Dozens in Attack on Kenyan University

Thomas Joscelyn

Shabaab terrorists attacked the Garissa University College in Kenya earlier today. Initial reports say that approximately 10 gunmen were involved in assault, which left at least 70 people dead and dozens more wounded. more...

27th March 2015 – The Long War Journal

Shabaab suicide assault team storms hotel in Somali capital

Bill Roggio

A heavily armed group of fighters from al Qaeda’s branch in East Africa stormed a hotel and seized control of it in the Somali capital of Mogadishu today. The attack is the latest by Shabaab against high-profile and relatively secure targets in the city. more...

6th September 2014 – The Long War Journal

Shabaab Names New Emir, Reaffirms Allegiance to al Qaeda

Thomas Joscelyn

Less than one week after Ahmed Abdi Godane was killed in an American airstrike, Shabaab has named a new leader and publicly reaffirmed its allegiance to al Qaeda emir Ayman al Zawahiri. more...

5th September 2014 – The Long War Journal

US Confirms Shabaab Emir Godane Killed in Airstrike

Bill Roggio

'Removing Godane from the battlefield is a major symbolic and operational loss to al-Shabaab," the Pentagon's spokesman said. But jihadist groups have withstood the loss of top leaders in the past. more...

24th May 2014 – The Long War Journal

Shabaab Suicide Assault Team Attacks Somalia Parliament

Bill Roggio

Shabaab, al Qaeda's branch in East Africa, launched a suicide assault today against Somalia's parliament building in its latest attack in the capital of Mogadishu. The suicide... more...

17th May 2014 – The Long War Journal

Shabaab Leader Calls For Meditation In Syria, Says Zawahiri Is ‘Our Sheikh And Emir’

Thomas Joscelyn, Bill Roggio

Abu Zubayr, the emir of Shabaab, restates his support for Ayman al Zawahiri and calls for mediation in Syria. more...

5th May 2014 – The Long War Journal

Saudis, Chechens, Afghans Killed During Recent Fighting in Southern Yemen

Bill Roggio

The Yemeni military killed at least 37 al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula fighters during recent operations in the southern province of... more...

3rd April 2014 – Georgetown Journal of International Affairs

Al-Shabaab’s Insurgency in Somalia: a Data-Based Snapshot

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

Two recent attacks highlight the continuing terrorist threat to Kenya. On March 23, gunmen shot up services at a church near Mombasa... more...

21st February 2014 – The Long War Journal

Shabaab Suicide Assault Team Attacks Somali Presidential Compound

Bill Roggio

Shabaab, al Qaeda's branch in East Africa, carried out a complex suicide assault against the presidential compound in a highly secured area of more...

28th October 2013 – The Long War Journal

US Drones Kill 2 Shabaab Operatives in Southern Somalia

Bill Roggio

The US killed two Shabaab operatives, including a senior explosives expert, in a drone strike that targeted a vehicle in southern Somalia today. The remotely piloted... more...

8th October 2013 – The Long War Journal

US Justifies Somalia Raid Under AUMF, Which Obama Seeks to Repeal

Bill Roggio

In a statement citing the Authorization to Use Military Force, which was passed by Congress after the 9/11 attacks on America, the US military yesterday... more...

7th October 2013 – The Long War Journal

Target of SEAL Raid in Somalia Tied to Top al Qaeda Leaders

Bill Roggio

The Oct. 5 raid by US Navy SEALs in the Somali coastal town of Barawe that targeted Shabaab's external operations chief Abdulkadir Mohamed Abdulkadir.... more...

5th October 2013 – The Long War Journal

Shabaab Claims It ‘Repelled’ Raid By Western Special Operations Forces

Bill Roggio

Al Qaeda's affiliate in East Africa claimed it repelled a nighttime raid by Western special operations forces in the southern Somali... more...

27th September 2013 – The Long War Journal

Shabaab Plot to Attack London Planned to be ‘Similar to ... Mumbai’

Bill Roggio

A document found after Somali troops killed Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, al Qaeda's former leader in East Africa and a senior Shabaab commander, details... more...

27th September 2013 – CNN

Al-Shabaab’s American Ambitions

Kenya’s Foreign Ministry has claimed at least two al-Shabaab terrorists involved in the Westgate Mall attack in Nairobi last week were Americans. This is neither new nor surprising... more...


Reuel Marc Gerecht

Senior Fellow

cia, iran, iraq

Bill Roggio

Senior Fellow and Editor of FDD's Long War Journal

Thomas Joscelyn

Senior Fellow


5th February 2014 - 12:00 PM

Understanding al Qaeda and its Affiliates: A Global Threat or JV Squad?

A Conversation with Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, Bruce Hoffman, Thomas Joscelyn and Jonathan Schanzer

Speaking about organizations claiming allegiance to al Qaeda, President Barack Obama stated that "if a JV team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesn't make them Kobe Bryant." The president’s remarks have sparked yet another debate about whether al Qaeda is weakened, whether it is resurgent, or whether it was ever weakened in the first place.  Has the Arab Spring spawned a surge in jihadism? Are these organizations taking advantage of the new environment in the region, or is the expansion of jihadist groups largely independent of the revolutions? How well is Washington’s current approach to al Qaeda working? If the group is growing despite U.S. efforts, how do we put our policies on the right track?

20th August 2013 - 12:00 PM

Al Qaeda and its Affiliates: On Life Support or an Imminent Threat?

A Conversation with Eli Lake, Thomas Joscelyn and Cliff May

Twelve years after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, and more than two years after Osama bin Laden was killed, how great of a threat is al Qaeda to the U.S. homeland and America’s interests abroad? Has the instability in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and throughout Africa allowed al Qaeda to grow in size and power? How should the latest threats against America’s diplomatic facilities, paired with the recent prison breaks in Pakistan, Iraq, Libya and elsewhere impact U.S. counterterrorism strategy?