Bronwyn Bruton

  • IntelBrief: Al Shabab's Split and the Qaeda Influence at the Westgate Mall

    In the latest in the series of "IntelBriefs" on African security issues being produced by the Atlantic Council's Africa Center in partnership with the Soufan Group, an international strategic consultancy, Africa Center Deputy Director Bronwyn Bruton and Program Assistant Sam Fishman argue that the recent attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya was made possible by the newfound autonomy of the radical wing of al-Shabaab.
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  • Al Shabab Mainly a Local Problem in Somalia

    With Al Qaeda on the back foot in the Middle East, Africa is widely regarded as the next frontier in the war on terrorism and the next source of terrorism in the United States.

    But across Africa -- in Addis Ababa, Kampala, Lagos and Nairobi -- Christians and Muslims cheerfully rub shoulders. And Islamist militant groups, whether in Mali or in Somalia, with Al Shabab, tend to be regarded by Africans as not only intolerably harsh, but also parasitic and foreign.

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  • Why Nairobi

    The attack on Nairobi’s Westgate mall is a vicious development in the war on terrorism: It signals the evolution of an unpopular splinter faction of a radical Somali group into a truly transnational terrorist organization.

    It also marks a major failure for the United States’ counterterrorism strategy in Somalia.

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  • The Real Reason al-Shabab Attacked a Mall in Kenya

    Kenya has suffered devastating terror attacks in the past, worst among them al-Qaeda’s bombing of the American embassy in Nairobi (and simultaneously in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania) in 1998. That attack killed almost two hundred Kenyans, and was followed in 2002 by an attempted missile strike on an Israeli commercial airline and the destruction of an Israeli-owned hotel. Terrible as they were, those attacks were committed by foreigners and aimed not at Kenyan but at American and Israeli interests.

    The horrifying strike on the Westgate mall -- which so far has killed 62 people and injured 175 -- is different. An al-Qaeda proxy in Somalia, al-Shabab, has claimed responsibility for the attack, but the violence wasn’t aimed at America or the West: Shabab says it was intended as a punishment for Kenya’s two-year military foray into Somalia.

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  • IntelBrief: Zimbabwe's 2013 Elections

    In the latest in the series of “IntelBriefs” on African security issues being produced by the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center in partnership with the Soufan Group, an international strategic consultancy, Africa Center deputy director Bronwyn Bruton and assistant director Kristen Smith discusses the aftermath of Zimbabwe’s July 31st elections, which resulted in a landside win for President Robert Mugabe and his party, Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF).
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  • Zimbabwe's Irrelevant Election

    Elections scheduled for Wednesday in Zimbabwe are shaping up to be an absolute disaster. They were organized on short notice and without adequate budget, so promise to be plagued with irregularities. Some will be deliberate—the ruling party is expected to rig the vote and violently harass the political opposition—but enormous lines, unprinted ballots, and disorganized polling stations are likely to add to the problems. Given the likelihood of bloodshed—and the Atlantic community’s simmering hatred of President Robert Mugabe, who will be seeking a seventh term in office—Washington seems oddly disinvested in the outcome. Apart from one or two pro-forma calls for a “credible” poll, the administration has been quite silent, and so has the American press.
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  • Discussion with Zimbabwean Minister of Finance Tendai Biti

    The Atlantic Council’s Michael S. Ansari Africa Center hosted a not-for-attribution roundtable discussion with the Right Honourable Tendai Biti, MP, minister of finance of the Republic of Zimbabwe and secretary-general of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).
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  • IntelBrief: Implications of the Kenyan Elections

    In the latest in the series of “IntelBriefs” on African security issues being produced by the Atlantic Council’s Michael S. Ansari Africa Center in partnership with the Soufan Group, an international strategic consultancy, Ansari Center Deputy Director Bronwyn Bruton argues that while International Criminal Court (ICC) indicted Uhuru Kenyatta has secured a presidential victory in the recent Kenyan elections, he is unlikely to be ostracized by the international community, which has little leverage and too much to lose if relations with Nairobi become strained.

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  • IntelBrief: Eritrea on the Edge

    In the latest in the series of “IntelBriefs” on African security issues being produced by the Atlantic Council’s Michael S. Ansari Africa Center in partnership with the Soufan Group, an international strategic consultancy, Ansari Center Deputy Director Bronwyn Bruton and Intern Sam Fishmanargue that the political climate is slowly changing in Eritrea.

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  • Handicapping the Kenyan Election

    Handicapping the Kenyan Election

    As Kenyans go to the polls, observers are bracing for a replay of the country’s horrific 2007 presidential elections, which produced a wave of ethnic violence that killed more than a thousand people and displaced over a half a million.


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