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Relatives and Muslim faithful carry the body of an 18-year-old man who was killed in a crossfire between armed men and the police at the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi on Sept. 22, 2013.
Relatives and Muslim faithful carry the body of an 18-year-old man who was killed in a crossfire between armed men and the police at the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi on Sept. 22, 2013.
(THOMAS MUKOYA/REUTERS)

Al-Qaeda and al-Shabab: Very different forms of terror

Their message is appallingly simple: Let us seize control of Somalia, or we will slaughter your civilians.

Al-Shabab will inevitably be compared to al-Qaeda for the sophistication, surprise and bloodthirstiness of their horrific weekend-long attack on a Nairobi shopping mall. It was a coldly strategic attack with specific, purely political motives.