Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mujahideen (HSM)
, Mujahideen Youth Movement
or "Movement of Striving Youth"
), more commonly known as al-Shabaab
(, "The Youth"
, "The Boys" or "The Lads"
) is a group of fighters fighting to overthrow
the government of Somalia
. Their members are recognizable because almost all of their insurgents wear bright red keffiyehs
and dark green uniforms. As of summer 2010, the group is said to control most of the southern and central parts of Somalia, including "a large swath" of the capital, Mogadishu
, where it is said to have imposed its own strict form of Sharia
law.Jon Lee Anderson, Letter from Mogadishu, “The Most Failed State,” The New Yorker
, December 14, 2009, p. 64 Estimates of al-Shabaab's numbers, as of December 2008, vary from 3,000 to 7,000.
The group is an off-shoot of the Islamic Courts Union
, which splintered into several smaller organizations after its removal from power by Ethiopian forces in 2006. It describes itself as waging jihad
against "enemies of Islam", and is engaged in combat against the Somali Transitional Federal Government
(TFG) and the African Union Mission to Somalia
(AMISOM). Al-Shabaab members, alleging... Read More