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February 16, 2012

Al Shabaab Formally Joins Al Qaeda against “Crusader Zionist Campaign”

Al Qaeda and Al Shabaab, a terrorist group seeking to establish an Islamic state in Somalia, have issued a joint communique announcing the formal merger of their groups.

While Al Shabaab had previously announced its alignment with Al Qaeda in 2010, and its leaders had repeatedly sworn allegiance to Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, it is the first time Zawahiri has commented on the “joining of the Mujahideen Al Shabaab Movement in Somalia to Al Qaeda in support of the gathering jihad against the Crusader Zionist campaign.”
Al Shabaab’s Kenyan affiliate, the Muslim Youth Center, which has claimed responsibility for several grenade attacks in Kenya, also announced on its blog that it had joined Al Qaeda to form the core of a newly reconstituted Al Qaeda in East Africa.
Approximately 40 Americans have traveled to Somalia to fight with Al Shabaab since 2007, including at least three American suicide bombers. Omar Hammami, an American citizen from Alabama, has become a key online propagandist for the group.

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