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Somali militant group Al Shabab aligns with Al Qaeda

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Farah Abdi Warsameh/AP

(Read caption) Hard-line Islamist Al Shabab fighters conduct military exercise in northern Mogadishu's Suqaholaha neighborhood, Somalia, on Jan. 1, 2010.

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The Somalia-based militant group Al Shabab has for the first time announced that it is aligned with Al Qaeda’s global terror network.

The US and Somali governments have previously accused Al Shabab of having ties to Al Qaeda, but these have not been confirmed until now. The announcement suggests that the group’s identity is evolving: It has been focused on a nationalist agenda to establish an Islamic state in Somalia, but now seems to be moving toward a larger role in the global terror network.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the group issued a Somali- and Arabic-language statement on Monday claiming that it would “connect the horn of Africa jihad to the one led by al Qaeda and its leader Sheikh Osama Bin Laden."


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