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Al Qaeda Branch in Somalia Threatens Americans in East Africa — and Even the U.S.

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Al Qaeda’s branch in Somalia, known as the Shabab, is leveling new terrorist threats against Americans in East Africa and even at home, according to U.S. intelligence.

The affiliate’s leader, Abu Ubaidah, released a video late last year encouraging attacks on Americans — including citizens — wherever they are. In response, Americans have launched dozens of drone strikes meant to foil Shabab operatives; and U.S. military commanders are fortifying defenses at their bases in East Africa, where the threat is highest.

While a report from the Defense Intelligence Agency classifies the likelihood of a Shabab attack on American soil as relatively low, there is some concern about the potential for a home-grown threat from radicals in cities with large Somali-American populations, including Minneapolis or Columbus, Ohio. “Shabab is a very real threat to Somalia, the region, the international community and even the U.S. homeland,” Gen. Stephen J. Townsend, the head of the military’s Africa Command, said on Capitol Hill this month.

source: New York Times

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