By Elisha Fieldstadt, NBC News

A Somalia-based terrorist group claimed responsibility for the deadly attack at a Kenyan mall on Saturday that left at least 39 shoppers dead and scores more injured.

In a series of tweets and email messages to news organizations, the hard-line Islamist group al-Shabab said it sent men armed with AK-47s and grenades into Nairobi’s Westgate shopping mall as “retribution” for Kenya’s efforts to help the Somalian government defeat it.

“HSM has on numerous occasions warned the #Kenyan government that failure to remove its forces from Somalia would have severe consequences,” said one tweet on al-Shabab’s official Twitter account, HSM Press Office, which refers to its full name, Harakat al-Shabab al-Mujahideen

 According to the U.S. National Counterterrorism Center, al-Shabab — “the Youth” in Arabic” — was formed in 2006 in Somalia, and soon became a major threat to the weak transitional Somali government. It was designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. in 2008 and in 2012 formally allied itself with al Qaeda.

 Al-Shabab’s immediate goal is to topple the Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG), which is supported by the African Union and Western nations, and impose Islamic Shariah law on the impoverished nation in northern Africa. But neighboring nations fear that it could have a destabilizing effect throughout the region if it were to succeed, and, led by Kenya, intervened in 2011 to halt a series of military advances by the rebels.

The U.S. has asserted that the alliance of al-Shabab and al Qaeda poses a serious threat to Western interests and has increasingly concentrated its counter-terrorism operations on al-Shabab and other groups operating in Yemen and elsewhere in North Africa.

In addition to recruiting Muslims from within Africa, al-Shabab has had success luring young Muslim men from the West to join its cause, including a number of Americans.

Among the highest-profile recruits from the West was the so-called jihadi rapper Omar Hammami, an American from Alabama reportedly killed in Somalia earlier this month after a falling out with al-Shabab’s senior leader.

In May, four men in Minnesota also were imprisoned for enlisting 20 American men to travel to Somalia to fight for the terrorist group. A man from Ohio was similarly convicted in 2012 of raising money to send people from the U.S. to Somalia to aid the group in addition to sending money to Somalia for one of the recruits to buy a weapon.

Al-Shabab controlled many southern and central territories of Somalia but withdrew from Kismayo — the last of the areas it reigned — in 2012. Still, factions of the group continue to attack non-Muslims in Somalia and neighboring countries, specifically targeting governments and peacekeepers.

Related story

At least 39 dead in Kenya shopping mall attack; Americans among scores injured

Most recently, al-Shabab claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing of a restaurant in Somalia that killed 15 and wounded 23 on Sept. 7.

A few days earlier, Somalia’s President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud narrowly escaped a grenade attack on his convoy that al-Shabab said it inspired.

And in late August, four Kenyan police officers were killed by 40 men, thought to belong to the terrorist group.

Reuters contributed to this report.

Source: NBC



  1. You are freaking too late with this story. The story is no longer trending upward, you guys are real slow with news breaks. I fire the owner of this site. I will give you $500K cash to sell this site to me.

    • Somalilandpress is not a news website it's Isaaq oldest propaganda sxb I don't come here to read Isaaq crap news but just to enjoy meself see some old faces like my babe Amal.

      • At the beginning this site was die-hard !saq site, you couldn't use qabil names. Something changed in 2012 for them to cover more of Somalia, let different views flourish as opposed to deleting anti-H@broland comments. One time I remember of 138 comments talking about clan populations in northern Somalia, next day I came and they deleted half of it.

        Remember Gobaad (darn I miss that girl!) used to exaggerate everything about H@bro people. I used to get a kick out of her comments.

        Yes, Amal is a a cool girl. I still remember a joke I sent her way about bearing 10 sons of mine, and she came back with a line that still makes me laugh to this day.

        • How can we forget about Gobaad lol she was such a Big part of SomalilandPress life but unfortunately she left SomalilandPress because she didn't like how the Somali unionist and nationalist were commenting in SomalilandPress yeah so nowadays she in exile at Som@lilandSun.

          But I don't like her she's quite mean and racist especially to southern somalis which isn't fair.

          • crazy darood man speaking to himself with a sheegato name.

            why do darood brothers claim to be other people on the internet, we all know the realityon the ground and it is not like other non somali people read somali websites.

            it is just sad reality that darood brothers have a fear of saying their clan infront of others

          • I noticed that, too. I saw some of her comments at S.Landsun.

            Her comments were so outlandish it just made my day. Let her be in exile, now she is replaced by Hornid. Trust me, Hornid is a female.

            Another thing, no matter where these H@bro were born, their loyalty is still with the triangle. I just can't trust a H@bro to be a nationalist.

        • Jabutawi at least we let u keep.bashing Somaliland in our website becoz we are open minded while Isse warabee never know freedom of speech in their.small.village.aka french boot camp. We all know how Warabeeland is jealous of Somaliland success but it Won t. change nothing for us as u represent nothing more. Lastly for.loyalty of Issaq why ur only 2 president of Warabeeland ,symbol of nation,run away their.home country which is.Somaliland and Ethiopia??? Since 77 ur clan run to french boot camp as Jews do for Israël!!

        • mansion is nothing compared to a farm, in farm you can grow food, fruits, rice, pasta etc you can make thousands of money in a day. Listen You need to be smart kk Hargeisa is a desert Kismaayo is the place to be in right now If I was you I would move to southern Somalia especially to middle or lower shabelle or middle juba or lower juba.

    • This is how represent by rappin…can you deliver poetry in motion? I will put you to shame if you continue with your useless comments.

      Once there was a f@g by the name of Omar
      He used to nag the hell out of people
      When I put a cap in his mouth
      He begged 4 his life tryin' to blow me
      I said I aint h0mo b!tch
      But if you got a sista
      Fine as a I can't resista
      What would she do for a Klondike bar?

      Now you know, step off boy, word!

  2. A dark day for Kenya and for the rest of the world. Those responsible will be brought to the court of law in Kenya and they will get the death penalty. there should be a law that territoists should be headed.
    All the borders, airports, ground transportation should be on alert because the territosits might flea the city or even the country and I suggest that the East Africa should be high alert on territoists even Somaliland should be on alert from those demands. You guys are selfish and you guys are talking your homes and stuff shame on you, innocent human beings just died.

    • Kenya troops are already in Kismanyo and these criminals still managed to travel from MARKA into the heart of Kenya?

      The cheapest solution for kenya is to distance itself from Somalia-Italia-Federation.

      Alternartive will cost Kenya $1.8Billion a year + a further impact on it's tourism associated industries.

  3. Kenyan Tourism income has grown from $0.6Billion a year in 2002 to $1.8Billion in 2012. Attacks like these will surely impede further growth. The Value given to Kenyan government for policing Kismanyo is negligible compared to the lost income incurred from Kenya involvement in the Most failed State Somalia-Italia-Federation. It is unlikely that Kenya will see any benefit in the short term from their Offshore Oil aspiration in Somalia-Italia waters and the best course of action is immediate withdrawal from Somalia-Italia affairs.

    In line with Kenyan 2030 Vision to develop a more unified democratic nation Kenya is better served distancing itself from the tribal culture and terror of Somalia-Italia-Federation failure to do so will certainly impede the economic, political and social 2030 vision.

    It is cheaper to secure the Kenyan border and prevent cross border migration.

    • The topic is about Shabaab, and you are talking about Daarood. What a sick individual yu are, The poison of Qabiil always came from North and the people in the South lived in peace all of the past years till guys like you brought fire to our farms. Let me also remind you that a man of faith does not wish death to another human being. Please go back to your common sense if you don't have any faith.

      • i am dir you animal, why do you always jump to the conclusion that anyone who hates darood is either issaq or hawiye. every somali hates darood, the south belongs to hawiye the north belongs to issaq so cry your little jewish eyes out.

  4. When you convince people that life in this world is an illusion that the real life begins in the hereafter and there are 72 alien virgins with resealable hymans waiting for them what do you expect.

    You have millions of people who are getting busy dying rather than living. Thats why the muslim world is the backside of nowhere when it comes to healthcare,education, science, innovation. All of that requires hope in tomorrow, and a belief in yourself and not supernatural stuff. Its the mindset thats the problem not the people.

  5. Who knows the last Somalia president (Sheikh Sharif) might have ordered this attack since Al shabaab are his old friends when he was the leader of the Islamic Courts in 2006.

      • Puntland? are you stupid?
        Who crushed the Islamic court union?
        who chased Sheikh Sharif from Mogadishu?
        Who established the Transitional Federal Government as the sovereign government for Somalia?
        Who tried to give fair representation to each of Somalia's clans through the so-called “4.5 formula?
        Who established Galmudug?

        Puntland are the mastermind of Somali peace Puntland's influence can reach every city, town and villages across somalia.

        Without Puntland Somalia is doomed.