Al-Qaida Beheads 9 As Anti-Terror Battles Heat Up

Saagar Enjeti | White House Correspondent

Al-Qaida affiliate Al-Shaabab beheaded nine Kenyan civilians Saturday in retaliation for the country’s assistance in fighting the group in Somalia.

The beheadings are reportedly worrying Kenyan authorities who have seen little of the group’s brutal violence within its own territory. U.S.-backed efforts against the terrorist group have escalated under the Trump administration. Pentagon Spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis told reporters Wednesday the U.S. keeps approximately 50 troops in Somalia to advise and assist the Somalian army.

Al-Shaabab famously carried out a 2013 attack on Westgate Mall in Kenya’s capital of Nairobi. The U.S. joined a coalition of several African nations after the attack in an attempt to curtail the terrorist group. A U.S. Navy SEAL was killed in Somalia in May, marking the first U.S. combat death in the country since the 1993 Black Hawk Down incident that killed 18 service-members.

Al-Shaabab continues to remain active in Somalia’s rural areas despite nearly four years of combined U.S. coalition efforts. The terrorist group’s stated mission is to take the Somali capital of Mogadishu and impose its interpretation of Islamic law on the population writ large.

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