n Conflict Trends - Beyond 'Westgate' : towards a comprehensive and conflict responsive counterterrorism strategy

Volume 2013, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 1561-9818


The audacity, scale and meticulously sophisticated planning that went into the 21 September 2013 terrorist attack on Westgate mall in Nairobi, Kenya, suggests that Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mujahideen, an Al-Qaeda-linked organisation better known as Al-Shabaab, might have taken its capacity to strike outside Somalia to a new level. This article examines the policy implications of the attack from a counterterrorism and conflict resolution perspective. It provides a brief historical overview of Al-Qaeda's activities in the East Africa and Horn of Africa regions, followed by an examination of the evolution of Al-Shabaab. Internal crises affecting the organisation are also discussed. The article concludes by making a case that defeating Al-Shabaab requires the strategic and calculative application of soft and hard instruments of state power, in the context of a multifaceted and sophisticated national security strategy that confronts the immediate threat while addressing the root causes of the Somali conflict.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error