Thursday June 16, 2022
For more than fifteen years the extremist group Al Shabaab
has been fighting a bloody insurgency in Somalia.
Now, as President Biden redeploys American troops to the
country, are the group winning the fight? Formed in 2002, by 2008 they
controlled much of southern Somalia. They soon pledged allegiance to Al Qaeda
and began conducting attacks at home and abroad.
In September 2013 they killed nearly 70 people in the
Westgate shopping mall attack in Kenya’s capital Nairobi. Then again in Kenya in April 2015 Al Shabaab
militants killed 148 people at Garissa University College.
Back home in the Somali capital Mogadishu they carried out
their most deadly attack in October 2017, killing more than five hundred people
in a massive truck bombing.
In the years that have followed, the group’s attacks have
become routine. They often kill dozens of civilians a month, as they battle the
African Union troops there to try and keep them at bay.
Now emboldened by the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan
following the US withdrawal, the group are cementing control of their
territory, with the aim to take the whole country and implement strict Sharia
At the moment, Al Shabaab control vast swathes of central
and southern Somalia but their reach spreads far further, with Somali
government control diminishing.
Our correspondent Jamal Osman obtained rare access to film
in Al Shabaab territory and travelled to their de facto capital Jilib.