10 Things to Know About Somali Militants Al-Shabab

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  • Al-Qaida Links?
  • Where Does Al-Shabab's Money Come From?
  • Fractured Group?
  • U.S. Role in Fight Against Al-Shabab?
  • What Inspires Them?
  • What Does the Future Hold for Somalia?
  • What Is Al-Shabab?
  • Where Is Al-SHabab?
  • How Many Fighters Does It Have?
  • Why Are They Attacking Kenya?

Fractured Group?

Al-Shabab is believed to have fractured over its alliance with al-Qaida, which caused a rift that has grown between core Shabab fighters who believe their struggle should focus on Somalia, and growing tensions with foreign fighters who want to plot a regional terrorist strategy. Analysts think attack on Nairobi's Westgate mall could indicate the extremists are winning that internal struggle. Further divisions are believed to have been caused by the group's decision to ban foreign aid organizations from operating in the country and providing food to save millions of victims of conflict-induced famine. That decision was announced in 2011, when the U.N. said Somalia had the world's highest child mortality rate.

In this image, relatives gather at Nairobi City Mortuary following the mall attack. (Photo: AP Photo/Khalil Senosi)

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