AL- SHABAAB: Based in southern Somalia, Al-Shabaab is a so-called “clan-based insurgent and terrorist group,” which began as the militant wing of the Somali Council of Islamic Courts in 2006. That year the group took over much of the southern region before being defeated in January 2007. Since then, the group has claimed an affiliation with al-Qaida. According to the National Counterterrorism Center, “the group has exerted temporary and, at times, sustained control over strategic locations in southern and central Somalia by recruiting, sometimes forcibly, regional sub-clans and their militias, using guerrilla asymmetrical warfare and terrorist tactics against the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia and its allies, African Union peacekeepers, and nongovernmental aid organizations.” Above, is a photo of militants belonging to the Al-Shabaab during a show of force in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu on Oct. 21, 2010. (Stringer/AFP/Getty Images)
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