A short policy paper for an Australian think tank the Australian Strategic Policy Institute which explores the Western al-Shabaab networks – in other words tries to understand the actual meaning of all these increasing links people see between the Somali group and others abroad. My own sense is that the immediate external threat is unclear and we run the risk of overblowing it, but I understand that this might evolve over time. One group I have written about before that might merit a mention are omitted for sub judice concerns. Any thoughts or contradictions would be most appreciated – in particular any hints about other networks that might emerge over time.
Understanding the al-Shabaab networks
by Raffaello Pantucci
Tuesday, 13 October 2009
The Australian Government on 21 August 2009 officially listed the al-Shabaab group as a terrorist organisation. This paper examines the danger posed by the Somali-based group, and concludes that we are likely to see an increase in Westernised Muslims appearing on the battlefield in Somalia. Eventually we will see some of these men come home. It would not be surprising if there was an increase in localised targeting by these people of Western interests.