Al Shabaab is a Somalia-based Islamic extremist group that has been designated as a foreign terrorist organization by the United States. The group emerged in 2006 out of the Somali youth movement, and it has since then waged an insurgency against the Somali government and its allies. In recent years, Al Shabaab has expanded its operations to include targets outside of Somalia, such as the 2013 Westgate Mall attack in Kenya. While the group’s ultimate goal is to establish an Islamic state governed by strict Sharia law, it has also been involved in piracy and the kidnapping of foreigners for ransom.
The foreign terrorist organization designation has not been effective in combating Al Shabaab. This is because the group is not a traditional terrorist organization, and therefore standard counterterrorism procedures do not apply. In addition, the complex nature of the conflict in Somalia makes it difficult to target Al Shabaab