Friday, November 22, 2013
U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) yesterday
introduced NDAA Amendment #2318, legislation that requests a classified,
joint intelligence assessment from the Departments of State and Defense
and the Director of National Intelligence to evaluate the threat of Al
Shabab to the United States and U.S. citizens in the Horn of Africa.
assessment calls on these federal agencies to address critical national
security concerns, such as funding sources for Al Shabab, potential
connections to other terrorist organization like Al Qaeda and the extent
to which Al Shabab threatens stability within Somalia.
Al Shabab attempts to seek resources and recruits within the United
States and successfully carried out an attack on civilians in Kenya,
it’s imperative that we adequately assess the risk this U.S. designated
foreign terrorist organization poses both domestically and to Americans
serving in the region,” Sen. Moran said.
from Kansas’ Fort Riley deployed in the Horn of Africa are the first
Regionally Aligned Brigade (RAB) in the Army with a specialized mission
set of operations and theater security cooperation. Recent studies or
reports on Al Shabab are currently lacking, necessitating the need for
an assessment from the Departments of State and Defense and the Director
of National Intelligence.
Al Shabab was
listed by the U.S. government as a Foreign Terrorist Organization in
2008. The group claimed responsibility for the September 2013 terrorist
attack on Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya that left at least 61
civilians and six Kenyan soldiers dead. Al Shabab also claimed
responsibility for suicide bombing in Kampala, Uganda, in July 2010 that
killed more than 70 people.
The group is
behind numerous attacks inside of Somalia and is engaged in a number of
illicit activities that fund terror including smuggling, extortion,
kidnapped civilians, and stealing from Islamic charities. Al Shabab is
believed to be securing funding from international sources, including
donors in the United States.