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East African Terrorist Groups’ and use of the social media.

by on May 16, 2014

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The start of Al Shabab’s group affiliate Al-qacida is use of Twitter as a propaganda tool began on December 7, 2011, following the entrance of the Kenyan troops into southern Somalia in October 2011.[20] Since then they start to post video’s on YouTube, social media for radicalizing youngest online followers,  it also attracted significant attention from journalists. [1]Since its launch onto Twitter, al-Shabab has made great use of the micro-blogging format system to deliver its counter narrative to events taken place inside Somalia running commentary on a host of political, social and religious issues, and taunting its enemies, such as the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) force inside Somalia the weaker Somali federal government.[2]After they on decline driven out of Mogadishu, losing towns & divided among itself. It needs a ‘spectacular’ attack to regain its credibility. this soft target attack was the new strategy approach for this terrorist group. Notably most commentators argued before the Westgate Mall attack happened that al-Shabaab was nearly finished as an organization. According to Benotman that he “would not be surprised” if another Al Shabaab operation took place in the next 48 hours in, for example, Uganda or Tanzania[3]

 

 

Al-Shabab’s complex assault on firs ground on Westgate Mall began just after noon on Saturday, September 21, 2013, when an undetermined number of gunmen entered the shopping centre and began throwing grenades and shooting indiscriminately.[4]

The insurgent were using social media on their smart phones, as the operation, a continuous stream of story updates and commentary, throughout the assault on shopping centre.[5]This reveals that the group is sophisticate and recognizes the value of tweeting, mainly in English, in order to attracting the attention of the world’s news media. As such attack happened in the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi illustrating only too well and shown that Al Shabaab still has the capability to strike beyond the borders of Somalia.

 

I would conclude on this sort of event like  Westgate Mall attack has returned the put in a very difficult situation al-Shabab militant group into worldwide headlines. This sort of attack on Westgate Mall provided the group with a media triumph that catapulted what they capable and the public stage. Al-Shabab repeated its earlier demands to the Kenyan public to pressure their government to withdraw its military forces from Southern Somalia.  As such attack wouldn’t lead leave Kenyan troops in Somali soil.It might  be a harbinger of a continuing shift by al-Shabab back to asymmetric warfare. The second phase began shifting back to their guerrilla roots in August 2011 when they withdrew from Mogadishu in the face of a mounting offensive by AMISOM, the TFG, and allied Somali militias. This followed al-Shabab’s defeated and oust in the major part of Somali.

 

[1] http://www.juancole.com/2010/08/anzalone-from-%E2%80%98martyrdom%E2%80%99-videos-to-jihadi-journalism-in-somalia.html

[2] http://www.phibetaiota.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/ARSTRAT_IO_Newsletter_v14_no_01.pdf

[3] http://africanarguments.org/2013/09/24/westgate-attack-puts-al-shabaab-to-top-of-the-global-jihadist-premier-league/

[4] The Kenyan government has said that there were between 10 and 15 attackers, but the exact number remains unclear. See “Nairobi Attack: Kenya Forces Comb Westgate Site,” BBC, September 24, 2013

[5] https://www.ctc.usma.edu/posts/al-shababs-tactical-and-media-strategies-in-the-wake-of-its-battlefield-setbacks

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