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African militants learn from Al Qaeda in Yemen

SANAA — Yemen, a stone's throw from Somalia, has for years been the destination of choice for impoverished Somalis fleeing their troubled state. Now, another kind of Somali is heading to Yemen, and it's swelling the ranks Al Qaeda.

Al Shabaab branches out beyond Somalia

MOGADISHU, Somalia — Rising from the chaos of Somalia, Al Shabaab has become Africa’s most dangerous and far-reaching Al Qaeda affiliate.

In Africa, Al Qaeda finds new life

NAIROBI, Kenya — Al Qaeda-inspired militancy is on the rise in Africa as disparate groups with local grievances find common cause in the global terror group’s tactics and ideology and, in turn, offer it new theaters of operation.

What it's like being governed by Al Qaeda

RAS KAMBONI, Somalia — The port town of Kismayo on Somalia’s southern coast must be among the worst places on the planet to live right now. Not only is it governed by the fanatical Al Qaeda spinoff Al Shabaab, it is also a battleground where a regional coalition of African armies is fighting the extremist group. The testimony of fleeing residents is now providing a rare insight into what it’s like to live under the rule of Al Qaeda.

After Somalia famine, new horrors

MOGADISHU, Somalia — When a drought became famine here last year, hundreds of thousands of people bundled together what few belongings they had and began to walk, either across the border or toward Mogadishu, searching for food. The good news it that although hunger remains, the famine has abated. The bad news is that for the women and girls still living in the refugee camps, another horror has taken hold: rape.

Peace, but little else in rural Somalia

RAS KAMBONI, Somalia — Last year, the main problem in this rural corner of Somalia was Al Shabaab, the country's resident Al Qaeda affiliate. Now it’s everything else. “The main problems here are lack of water, medicine, education and food,” said Ali Mansour, a local elder. “We don’t take baths or wash our clothes. We live here like animals. Our children are all fishermen, not students.”

Triple threat: Coordination suspected between African terrorist organizations

Despite scant evidence, government officials are concerned by potential operational links between Al Qaeda in the Islamic Magreb, Boko Haram in Nigeria, and Al Shabaab in Somalia.
Al qaeda boko haram al shabaab terror coordinationEnlarge
A car lies upside-down, vandalized on June 17 by Christian mobs in reprisal for a suicide bomb attack. Nigeria's Boko Haram Islamists claimed responsibility for suicide attacks on three churches that sparked reprisals by Christian mobs who rampaged and burned mosques, killing least 52 people. (Victor Ulasi/AFP/Getty Images)
NAIROBI — The top US military commander for Africa has warned that Al Qaeda affiliates are seeking to strengthen ties across the continent. General Carter Ham, commander of the US Africa Command (AFRICOM), described Nigeria's Boko Haram, Somalia's Al Shabaab and the Saharan Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Magreb as "dangerous and worrisome" but added that there were signs the groups were trying to coordinate their activities.

Somalia: Life after Al Shabaab

HUDUR — As soon as the Al Shabaab rebels left this regional capital, 19-year-old Hussein Abdi bought himself a pair of jeans, dusted off his soccer ball and started hanging out with his friends again at the tea shops. “Life was hard then but now it’s good. We dress how we want, play football, walk with our friends,” said Abdi. He was back at school again, too, and hoped, eventually, to make it to university. But the countryside surrounding this city is controlled by Al Shabaab, which creates problems and means Somalia's conflict is never too far away.
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