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Mohammed Elmi Ibrahim, a Toronto man believed to have joined an al-Qaeda-linked group in Somalia and reportedly killed - is featured on an insurgent group's online video.
Mohammed Elmi Ibrahim, a Toronto man believed to have joined an al-Qaeda-linked group in Somalia and reportedly killed - is featured on an insurgent group's online video.

A history of violence: the origins of al-Shabab Add to ...

Literally meaning “the youth,” al-Shabab started out as a militia that splintered off from Islamist parties in the mid-2000s. It is known for imposing a strict version of sharia law in areas it controls, including stoning women accused of adultery.

The group first made a name for itself in Somalia as a response to foreign aggression, but lately has been losing ground and is waging campaigns of indiscriminate violence in neighbouring states. It has recently aligned itself with al-Qaeda.

More Related to this Story

2013

Westgate mall attack

Kenyan authorities were caught off guard when gunmen rampaged through the glitzy shopping centre, targeting foreigners and killing more than 70 people. Al-Shabab claimed responsibility.

2010-2012

Somalia famine

The United Nations estimates more than 250,000 people – half of them younger than five – starved to death during the famine. At the time, al-Shabab controlled swaths of Somalia and expelled foreign aid workers and charities despite dire need.

2010

Soccer bombings in Uganda

Two bomb blasts killed more than 70 people watching a World Cup soccer match at two locations in Kampala. The attacks were retribution for Uganda’s role in a UN-backed peacekeeping force in Somalia.

2008

Co-ordinated car bombs in Somalia

Five co-ordinated suicide attacks were launched in two cities in Somalia in October, 2008, killing at least 26 people.

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