al-Qaeda linked militant group of Somalia

al-Shabaab (Arab for "the youth") is an Islamic militant group in Somalia. They were formed in 2004 and acts as the military for the Islamic Courts Union, Islamic militant tribes that once controlled parts of Somalia. The group itself is multiethnic with some leaders from Afghanistan and Iraq and the soldiers being Somalians and having a total of 2,000 to 4,000. Together, one goal of al-Shabaab is to create an Islamic State in Somalia and suppressing the Somalian and Ethiopian governments' influences in the country as well as African Union Mission forces and international peacekeepers in the country. Another goal is defeating the Zionist movement in Africa by declaring an "open battle" against Israel. Their tactics include guerrilla warfare, suicide bombings, controlled roadside bombings and assassinations. One infamous act of terror was taking hostage the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya and killing 63 people.

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