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Who is Al-Shabab?

by AirTalk®

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Armed Kenyan policemen take cover outside the Westgate mall in Nairobi on September 23, 2013. Kenyan troops were locked in a fierce firefight with Somali militants inside an upmarket Nairobi shopping mall on September 22 in a final push to end a siege that has left at least 69 dead and 200 wounded with an unknown number of hostages still being held. SIMON MAINA/AFP/Getty Images

A reported 68 people have died in a terrorist attack in Kenya this weekend. A group of masked gunmen stormed into a crowded shopping center in Nairobi and started shooting. The strike on Westgate was the deadline terrorist attack in the country since 1998, when 200 people died from an Al-Qaeda bombing of the American Embassy in the Kenyan capital.

Somalia-based terrorist group Al-Shabab has taken responsibility for the attack. Four Americans were believed to have been injured in the attack, American officials said. The Kenyan government is continuing its assault against the terrorists, who have been holed up on the third floor of Westgate.

Who is Al-Shabaab? What are their links to Al-Qaeda? Do they post a terrorist threat to the United States?


John Campbell, former US Ambassador to Nigeria and Senior Fellow for Africa Policy Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, Director of the Center for the Study of Terrorist Radicalization at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a Washington-based think tank

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