The official mentioned the Taliban has not expressed intent to assault the US and different militant teams in Afghanistan don’t management territories which might be essential for operations and planning.
Al Shabab appeared to pose a extra vital risk, the official mentioned, concluding that extra direct involvement in Somalia made sense, the official mentioned. The technique will deal with disrupting sure Shabab leaders who’re seen as a direct hazard to “us, our pursuits and our allies,” and sustaining ” very cautious presence within the discipline to have the ability to work with our companions.”
Intelligence officers estimate Al Shabab has between 5,000 and 10,000 members; group, official pledge allegiance Al Qaeda in 2012, sought to impose its model of radical Islam on the tumultuous Horn of Africa nation.
Whereas Al Shabab primarily fights inside Somalia and assaults neighboring international locations solely often, some members mentioned to foster ambitions to assault the US. In December 2020, prosecutors in Manhattan accused a Shabab agent from Kenya of plotting a 9/11-style assault on an American metropolis. He was arrested within the Philippines whereas he was coaching to fly planes.
Biden’s resolution got here after months of inner deliberations led by prime White Home counterterrorism adviser Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall over whether or not to simply accept the Pentagon’s plan to take care of the established order or cut back its involvement additional in Somalia.
In assessing these choices, Ms. Sherwood-Randall and different prime safety officers visited Somalia and neighboring Kenya and Djibouti countriesboth host American forces, in October.
The administration’s deliberations about whether or not and forcefully return to Somalia have been difficult by politics chaos there, as factions inside its fledgling authorities battled one another and elections had been delayed. However Somalia just lately elected a brand new parliament, and over the weekend the leaders selected a brand new president, determined to return to energy Hassan Sheikh Mohamudwho led the nation from 2012 to 2017.