The al-Qaeda-linked Islamist al-Shabab group has been waging a war in Somalia for nearly a decade. Its depredations have spilled over into neighboring countries, propelling Kenya and Uganda to send ground troops to contain the threat and uproot al-Shabab from inside. The battalion is now known as the African Union Mission of Somalia, or AMISOM. After years of relentless pursuit, it has started crushing the Islamist group from region to region, pushing al-Shabab militants into the bush.
But al-Shabab’s latest outrages — a truck bomb at the Turkish Embassy in Mogadishu, the assault of a UN compound, the storming of government buildings and the escalating assassinations of government officials, district commissioners and other politicians — illustrate that, after years in retreat, al-Shabab is re-emerging and conducting a more lethal and asymmetrical guerrilla form of warfare.