Congressional Report: 40 Americans Joined al-Shabaab

As I’ve written earlier, al-Shabaab is competing for the title of “Terror Group of the Month” with al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). Thanks to America’s collective, short-term memory loss, the Underwear Bomber and printer bomb plot have been all but forgotten. Al-Shabaab is the young, rising star. Pushing it to further prominence was a congressional report released today that claimed that 40 Muslim Americans have joined the fight in Somalia, 15 of which have been killed:

A report by his [Rep. Peter King] staff found that more than 40 Muslim Americans and 20 Canadians have been recruited to al Shabaab and at least 15 Americans were killed in fighting, including three suicide bombers.

“Senior U.S. counterterror officials have told the committee they are very concerned about individuals they have not identified who have fallen in with al-Shabaab during trips to Somalia, who could return to the U.S. undetected,” King said during a hearing he convened on al Shabaab.

Of the more than 40 Americans who have joined the cause, as many as 21 are believed to still be at large and unaccounted for, according to the staff report.

While the merits of this report and its accuracy can be debated, and will be with further information, what cannot be debated is al-Shabaab’s rise to notoriety. Whether it be earning the title of radicalizing America’s first ever suicide bomber or banning aid agencies from helping victims of the Horn of Africa’s record drought, the radical Islamist group is slowly earning its boogeyman status.

The recent drone strikes and the discovery of yet another secret, American prison in Mogadishu suggests that American security officials deem al-Shabaab to be a serious threat and Somalia to be a hotbed for terrorism. Perhaps they are also trying to figure out how al-Shabaab, much less glorious than its counterpart, al-Qaeda, has been so successful at recruiting American citizens. Although their motives have not been made explicitly clear, the recent surge in American activity in the stateless country is troubling.

Then again, Somalia would be an extremely valuable asset for the United States. The lack of any effective, central government would give American officials and proxies operating there even more impunity than they experience throughout the world. Additionally, its location, a stones throw away from the Arabian peninsula and in the backyard of Mogadishu, would allow for yet another point to monitor terrorism in East Africa and the Middle East.

Just as a reminder, al-Shabaab has only once attacked outside of Somalia.

The target: Uganda. The justification: foreign intervention.

17 thoughts on “Congressional Report: 40 Americans Joined al-Shabaab”

  1. Somalia a valuable asset? Yes, very valuable. This has no way of ever coming back to gnaw extra holes in your ass…nope. great idea.

  2. "" at least 15 Americans were killed in fighting, including three suicide bombers ""

    If they were fighting, they weren't suicide bombers- or they were very bad suicide bombers to get involved in a firefight. If they WERE bona fide suicide bombers, who were they targeting? Remember, if you attack military targets during an armed conflict, by definition you're not a terrorist; in that case you're just a heavily weaponized soldier.

    I love how the title of 'Terrorist' is so easily applied to whoever the current enemy du jour might be.

    When can we expect the pictures and names of these American Terrorists ™ to be paraded on the evening news? If we know how many have been recruited, certainly our Bright Lads in the CIA can figure WHO they are?

  3. So Peter King's staff sez 40 'mercans joined al-Shabaab?

    I'm sure the reality will turn out to be as significant as 40 'mercans eating shiskabob.

    Don't believe the hype (not that any Antwar.com readers would, mind you.)

  4. These allegations and false reporting will continue. As CIA is expert to contitute such organisations and use the simple innocents then kill them.
    There should be change in mind set of america an invisible foe or enemy which only CIA can detect and eat them as soup of huamn beings.

  5. Al shabaab may appear as counter actions to inconvenient feeling from Muslims against US policies. And I think more organization similar to Al shabaab will always grows. the reason why 40 Americans joined al shabaab have to be investigated.

  6. I love how the title of Sugar Daddy is so easily applied to whoever the current enemy du jour might be. When can we expect the pictures and names of these American Terrorists ™ to be paraded on the evening news? If we know how many have been recruited, certainly our Bright Lads in the CIA can figure WHO they are? Austin Locksmith

  7. false reporting will continue. As CIA is expert to contitute such organisations and use the simple innocents then kill them.
    There should be change in mind set of america an invisible foe or enemy which only CIA can detect and eat them as soup polo hackett

  8. A report by his [Rep. Peter King] staff found that more than 40 Muslim Americans and 20 Canadians have been recruited to al Shabaab and at least 15 Americans were killed in fighting, including three suicide bombers.

  9. A report by his [Rep. Peter King] staff found that more than 40 Muslim Americans and 20 Canadians have been recruited to al Shabaab and at least 15 Americans were killed in fighting, including three suicide bombers.

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