Somali militants ready to terrorize world?

By : | July 14, 2010 | World Political News

The deadly bombings in Uganda’s capital may have heralded a chilling new chapter in the history of a Somali Islamist group with links to al Qaeda.

For almost four years the radical al Shabaab movement has been engaged in a violent struggle with the U.N.-backed transitional government for control of Somalia, which has had no effective administration since Mohamed Siad Barre’s regime collapsed in 1991.

But the weekend bomb attacks in Kampala that killed 74 people would mark the first time the group has claimed responsibility for an operation beyond the Somali border, apart from sporadic attacks across the border into northern Kenya.

Al Shabaab, meaning “the youth” in Arabic, advocates the strict, often brutal, Saudi Arabian-inspired Wahhabi interpretation of Islam. It emerged in 2005 as the militant youth wing of the Islamic Courts Union (ICU), which briefly controlled much of the Horn of Africa nation before being ousted in 2006 by troops from neighboring Ethiopia.