October 3, 2013
IntelBrief: Al Shabab's Split and the Qaeda Influence at the Westgate Mall
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In June of this year, al-Shabab's radical emir Abdi Godane, supported by a militant minority and foreign fighters, attempted to eliminate leadership of the clan-based majority of the organization. The schism released the foreign extremists from the constraints of a domestic agenda, culminating in the Westgate Mall attack. Circumstance in Somalia provided the pretext for striking Nairobi, with the Qaeda influence sowing violence on a larger scale beyond Somalia's borders, possibly serving as a beachhead for East Africa.