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WORLD
November 4, 2011 | By Robyn Dixon, Los Angeles Times
In Nairobi's "Little Mogadishu" neighborhood, paranoia drifts in the air, mingling with cooking smells and the stink of open drains. "I'm living in a world of fear," says Ahmed Ali Ibrahim, a tall, skinny 35-year-old Somali refugee with a shrapnel scar under his skull cap. "I can't walk about freely. " Ibrahim says he fled his homeland for Kenya, seeking safety after being wounded last year in a grenade attack on African Union peacekeepers by the Shabab, the Somali militant group linked to Al Qaeda.
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WORLD
February 21, 2014 | By Robyn Dixon
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- Nine militants and two Somali government officials were killed when an Al Qaeda -linked terror group attacked the presidential compound in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, on Friday. President Hassan Sheik Mohamud, whose residence and office are in the compound known as Villa Somalia, was unharmed. Two suicide bombers in two cars attacked the compound, triggering  massive explosions, before a group of seven armed gunmen opened fire, according to Somali security officials.
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WORLD
October 5, 2011 | By Robyn Dixon and Lutfi Sheriff Mohammed, Los Angeles Times
A suicide truck bombing that killed an estimated 70 people, including students hoping for foreign scholarships, underscores the intent of an Islamic militant group to ensure that Somalia remains ungovernable and a secure base for its global struggle against the West. U.S. officials say the Shabab, which claimed responsibility for the bombing Tuesday in Mogadishu, the capital, appears to be strengthening its ties with Al Qaeda's affiliate in Yemen. They fear it also is increasing cooperation with an extremist network in Nigeria.
WORLD
January 26, 2014 | By David S. Cloud
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. carried out a missile strike in southern Somalia on Sunday that is believed to have killed a militant leader linked to Al Qaeda, officials said. The airstrike in a remote area near the town of Barawe was aimed at a leader of the Shabab, the Somali Islamic militant group, the officials said. It appeared that the man was killed when the missile hit his vehicle, said one of the officials, who were speaking anonymously because they were not authorized to discuss the operation.
WORLD
November 17, 2011 | By David S. Cloud and Ken Dilanian, Los Angeles Times
Kenya's government has made an urgent appeal to the Obama administration for the Pentagon to provide intelligence and logistical support to Kenya's faltering month-old military operation in Somalia against the Shabab, a powerful Al Qaeda-linked militia. Administration officials are considering the request, which came through the State Department, to provide military surveillance and reconnaissance that could include imagery from drone aircraft. Such aid would represent a significant expansion of U.S. involvement in the chaotic East African nation.
NATIONAL
August 5, 2010 | Ken Dilanian, Tribune Washington Bureau
Fourteen people have been accused of providing support to the Somali terrorist group Shabab in indictments unsealed Thursday that shed light on "a deadly pipeline" of funding and fighters to the group from cities across the United States, Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. said. Most of those charged were U.S. citizens of Somali descent. It has long been known that disaffected Somali Americans were leaving their homes in Minnesota and other states to join Shabab, an Islamist army whose several thousand fighters are battling Somalia's weak government.
WORLD
July 14, 2011 | By Christopher Goffard and Lutfi Sheriff Mohammed, Los Angeles Times
To save themselves, Rahmo Ibrahim Madey and three of her children escaped on foot this month from southern Somalia's Bakol region — a drought-racked land controlled by the Islamist militants of the Shabab group. Less than 20 miles from their destination, the battered capital of Mogadishu, Madey's 1-year-old daughter, Fadumo, died of starvation. Days later, under a shelter of plastic sheeting and castaway fabric at one of the makeshift refugee camps in the capital, the 29-year-old mother spooned small helpings of porridge into the mouth of her 4-year-old daughter, Batulo.
WORLD
September 18, 2009 | Edmund Sanders
In swift retaliation for the U.S. killing this week of a suspected Al Qaeda fugitive in Somalia, insurgents attacked the main African Union peacekeeping base in Mogadishu with twin truck bombs Thursday, killing at least nine people, including four AU soldiers. Suicide bombers attempted to infiltrate the heavily guarded seaside base by impersonating U.N. personnel, AU officials said. Among the wounded were unidentified senior Somali government officials, who were visiting the base, and the newly arrived African Union force commander, Ugandan Maj. Gen. Nathan Mugisha, who suffered minor injuries, AU and government officials said.
OPINION
October 11, 2013 | By J. Peter Pham
The Tom Hanks movie "Captain Phillips," which opens Friday, will focus attention - again - on piracy off the coast of Somalia. The movie, in which (spoiler alert) the bad guys get caught, unfortunately might lead you to think that this is a problem that's been solved. After all, since the April 2009 seizure of the cargo ship Maersk Alabama, recounted in "Captain Phillips," there has been only one hijacking of a U.S.-flagged vessel by Somali pirates, the February 2011 seizure of a U.S. yacht in which the Americans were killed.
WORLD
January 16, 2009 | Times Wire Reports
The last Ethiopian troops left Mogadishu, Somalia's capital, after a two-year deployment, and Islamist militiamen took control of their bases. Ethiopia's prime minister said he could not predict what would happen when his troops leave Somalia completely, but he expected the extremist Islamic group Shabab and others to try to seize control. Shabab, which the U.S. considers a terrorist organization with links to Al Qaeda, says it wants to establish an Islamic state in Somalia
WORLD
October 18, 2013 | By Robyn Dixon and Alexandra Sandels
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- Kenyan and Norwegian authorities are investigating the possible involvement of a 23-year-old Somali-born Norwegian in a devastating attack last month on a shopping mall in Kenya, officials said Friday. The Somali terror group Shabab claimed responsibility for the assault, which killed at least 61 civilians, six members of Kenya's security forces and five attackers, according to official figures. The BBC identified the suspect as Hassan Abdi Dhuhulow, who arrived in Norway in 1999.
WORLD
October 18, 2013 | By Robyn Dixon and Alexandra Sandels
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- A Somali-born Norwegian said to be a suspect in a deadly assault on a Kenyan shopping mall was described Friday by former classmates and others who knew him as an observant Muslim who struggled to fit in after his family fled their troubled homeland. Norway's TV-2 reported that 23-year-old Hassan Abdi Dhuhulow posted statements online when he was 16 indicating that he wanted to go back to Somalia to fight with the Shabab, the militant group that claims responsibility for last month's attack.
OPINION
October 11, 2013 | By J. Peter Pham
The Tom Hanks movie "Captain Phillips," which opens Friday, will focus attention - again - on piracy off the coast of Somalia. The movie, in which (spoiler alert) the bad guys get caught, unfortunately might lead you to think that this is a problem that's been solved. After all, since the April 2009 seizure of the cargo ship Maersk Alabama, recounted in "Captain Phillips," there has been only one hijacking of a U.S.-flagged vessel by Somali pirates, the February 2011 seizure of a U.S. yacht in which the Americans were killed.
WORLD
October 10, 2013 | By Carol J. Williams
Lessons supposedly learned from counter-terrorism operations after 9/11: -- Massive U.S. deployments to faraway lands like Iraq and Afghanistan are expensive, protracted and perceived as American invasions. -- Drone strikes ignite resentment, for "collateral damage" sometimes inflicted on innocents and for their disregard of another nation's sovereignty. -- Terrorist groups are migratory and adaptable, able to regroup after being flushed out of one unstable country to set up camp in another.
WORLD
October 7, 2013 | Ken Dilanian and David S. Cloud
The Obama administration's decision to mount two risky attempts to capture Al Qaeda operatives in Africa reflects a reduced role for lethal CIA drone strikes and a growing prominence for the Pentagon in counter-terrorism operations, U.S. officials said Sunday. In one raid, Navy SEALs stormed the coastal Somalia home of a leader of the Shabab, the Somali-based group that claimed responsibility for last month's massacre in a shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya. In that operation, the administration opted to put U.S. commandos at risk against a fixed target that could have been destroyed with bombs or missiles from the air. U.S. intelligence had indications that a dozen or more family members and other noncombatants were present at the compound, raising the risk of civilian casualties in any missile strike, according to a U.S. official who spoke on condition of anonymity in discussing the classified operation.
WORLD
September 26, 2013 | By Richard A. Serrano and Ken Dilanian
WASHINGTON - The CIA is adding operatives and resources to focus on the Somalia-based militant group the Shabab as the FBI sends scores of agents to help examine evidence taken from the rubble of the shopping mall massacre in Nairobi, U.S. officials say. The FBI is taking the lead in the investigation, while the CIA and other U.S. intelligence agencies are mining electronic data and quizzing informants in an effort to determine whether the Al...
NATIONAL
August 13, 2009 | TIMES WIRE REPORTS
A third man has pleaded guilty to terrorism-related charges stemming from a federal investigation into Americans traveling to Somalia to fight with Islamic militants. Kamal Hassan acknowledged lying to FBI agents and admitted spending time at a training camp in Somalia run by Shabab, a group designated by the U.S. government as a terrorist group linked to Al Qaeda. Hassan admitted to a federal judge in Minneapolis that he had fought with Shabab in Somalia. He faces up to eight years in prison in a plea agreement worked out with the U.S. attorney's office.
WORLD
September 25, 2013 | By Nicholas Soi and Robyn Dixon
NAIROBI, Kenya - Forensic experts searched for clues amid the rubble at Nairobi's Westgate shopping mall Wednesday as many Kenyans demanded to know how 10 to 15 gunmen managed to hold off government security forces for more than three days. More than 70 people, including five gunmen, were killed in the siege. The death toll was expected to rise, as forensic experts from the United States, Britain, Israel, Canada and Germany helped Kenyan police search the mall. Kenya Red Cross officials said 71 people remained missing.
WORLD
September 25, 2013 | By Ken Dilanian
WASHINGTON -- The deadly mall attack in Kenya is unlikely to change the Obama administration's restrained approach to Shabab, the Somali-based terrorist group that claimed responsibility for the violence and that has been the target of occasional U.S. military action, American officials and counter-terrorism analysts say. Pushed out of territory in Somalia it once controlled and riven by internal dissent, Shabab is seen as a dangerous regional threat....
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