Friday, May 13, 2011

Al-Shabaab: This Time It's Personal

A quick follow-up now to Wednesday's piece on threats of revenge coming from al-Qaeda's Somali franchise al-Shabaab, they're at it again, only this time the threats are personal: Al-Shabaab is threatening to kill Barack Obama's paternal grandmother Sarah in retaliation for the killing of Osama bin Laden by US Navy SEALs.

Despite being the grandmother of the most powerful man on earth, 88-year old Sarah Hussein Obama lives a quiet life in rural Kenya. She also seems unfazed by al-Shabaab's threats, telling ABC News: “my life has not been affected in any way…it has not restricted my movement. If the government has decided to bring more security personnel, we are OK with it,” after Kenyan authorities flooded her rural village with security personnel.

Al-Shabaab is currently fighting African Union peacekeepers for control of southern Somalia, including the capital city, Mogadishu. Though al-Shabaab's activities have mostly been limited to southern Somalia, they were blamed for a bombing in Kampala, Uganda at a 2010 World Cup viewing party that killed more than 70 people. Ugandan troops make up the bulk of the African Union peacekeepers in Somalia.
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