News of Africa Al-Shabaab: State Collapse, Warlords and Islamist Insurgency in Somalia

Al-Shabaab: State Collapse, Warlords and Islamist Insurgency in Somalia



In this chapter, the authors highlight the difficulties in defining warlordism and terrorism in the case of Somalia. The ambitions of clan warlords helped accelerate the disintegration of the state, but only through alliances and cooperation with said clans have Al-Shabaab been able to leverage any political legitimacy. The blatant racketeering and plundering Al-Shabaab have exercised in Somalia push them toward the category of ‘warlord’, albeit with an extremist religious ideology. The authors argue that this is the result of decades of marginalization and poverty orchestrated by its pre- and post-independence leaders. External attacks against Kenya and Uganda have also brought accusations that Al-Shabaab is part of the global network of terrorists, and it surely entertains strong connections to al-Qaeda.


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© The Author(s) 2017
Usman A. Tar, Mala Mustapha
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