The Real Reason Al-Shabaab Banned Plastic Bags

by Austin Bodetti Terrorism is no laughing matter. But the notorious Somali terrorist group al-Shabaab managed to become the subject of derision in the news media when it declared last year that it was banning plastic bags. Al-Shabaab, al-Qaeda’s affiliate… Continue Reading  

Somalia and the Gulf Crisis

by International Crisis Group The bitter rivalries underpinning the crisis among members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have added a dangerous new twist to Somalia’s instability. Competition between the United Arab Emirates (UAE), on the one hand, and Qatar… Continue Reading  

Counter-terrorism: Who will act on evidence in 2018?

by Jordan Street and Murray Ackman The evidence that mainstream counter-terror strategies need a rethink is crystal clear. Will 2018 be the year that decision-makers begin taking it seriously? The failure of current counter-terror strategies—in countries like Afghanistan, Egypt, Somalia,… Continue Reading  

Managing the Disruptive Aftermath of Somalia’s Worst Terror Attack

by International Crisis Group The devastating twin truck bombings in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu on Saturday, October 14, 2017, mark the deadliest attack in that country since the current phase of its war began in early 2007. It almost certainly was… Continue Reading  

Why Haven’t We Defeated al-Shabaab?

by Diana Ohlbaum “We’ve been fighting al-Shabaab for a decade, why haven’t we won?” the Trump transition team asked the State Department. To foreign policy professionals, such questions may sound naïve and uninformed. They may reflect “an overwhelmingly negative and… Continue Reading