ArticleSeptember 24th, 2013
Terrorists Challenge Kenyan Government With Mall Attack
Militants from the Somalia-based terrorist organization known as al-Shabab attacked a shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya, on September 21, killing at least 62 people in injuring 175 more.
The attack is part of an ongoing battle in East Africa against Islamist militants. Al-Shabab used a Twitter handle that has now been disabled to announce that the attack was revenge for Kenya sending in troops to neighboring Somalia to battle the terrorist organization.
“For long we have waged war against the Kenyans in our land, now it’s time to shift the battleground and take the war to their land,” said one tweet.
Kenya is part of a coalition of African Union forces that, with the backing of the United States and other Western governments, went into Somalia in 2011 to weaken al-Shabab. Now, al-Shabab is demanding that Kenya remove these troops. The group also attacked Uganda, another country in the coalition forces, in twin bombings in Kampala, Uganda during the 2010 World Cup final.
What is al-Shabab?
Al-Shabab, meaning “the youth” in Arabic, is a multi-national group of fighters based in the southern region of Somalia. They claim to be inspired by Wahhabism, a political and fundamental version of Islam from Saudi Arabia. While al-Shabab gained popularity by promising security in the region, their destruction of Sufi Islam shrines, the religion of the majority of Somalis, has cost them much of their support.
Al-Shabab has ties to the terrorism network al-Qaida, which carried out the 9/11 attacks on the United States. In February 2012 the two groups announced an alliance and al-Shabab leader Mukhtar Abu Zubair pledged allegiance to the global terror movement.
In 2006, Islamists briefly gained control of Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu. The government and various Islamist groups, including al-Shabab, traded power back and forth until the 2011 offensive by U.N. and African Union forces that pushed them out of the capital.
(Note: HSM stands for the Arabic name of the group – Harakat al-Shabab al-Mujahideen – meaning roughly, “Jihad Youth Movement”)
For more, visit the NewsHour’s guide: What is al-Shabab?
Somalia unstable for more than 20 years
Somalia, a country of ten million people on the eastern Horn of Africa, had been without a functioning government for more than two decades. In 1991, Somalian President Siad Barre was overthrown by opposing clans, who then failed to agree on how to govern the country.
The southern portion of Somalia is the most dangerous, while thenorthern parts of Puntland and Somaliland are separate autonomous regions that enjoy relative stability and safety.
Beyond the violence, Somalia suffered a terrible drought in 2011. Thehead of the U.N. refugee agency called the resulting famine the “worst humanitarian disaster in the world.”
— Compiled by Allison McCartney for NewsHour Extra
Submit Your Student Voice
Tooltip of RSS content 3
Movie director hopes teens will see themselves in Justice Thurgood Marshall’s story
The movie “Marshall” captures the iconic justice Thurgood Marshall in his youth before he became the first African American to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. Continue readingcivil rightsdiscriminationGovernment & CivicsMedia LiteracymovieNAACPracismSocial IssuesSocial StudiesThurgood MarshallU.S. Supreme Court
California’s blazes result in deadliest week of wildfires in recorded state history
In this PBS NewsHour Extra video lesson, learn how firefighters have been battling wildfires in California’s wine country in the deadliest week of wildfires in recorded state history. Continue readingcaliforniaCalifornia wildfiresfirefightersGovernment & CivicsNapaScienceSocial StudiesSonomawildfirewildfires
Neuroscience and Zombies!
Special Note to Teachers: The content of the following lesson plans compares the “normal” brain to…neuroscienceSciencezombies
What are the effects of opioid addiction on young people?
Join PBS NewsHour for a Facebook Live on Wed., October 11th at 1 p.m. on how to talk to students about opioid addiction. We’ll take your questions LIVE on Facebook (enter in comments section and let us know your school and city/state) or tweet them to @NewsHour using #AskNewsHour. It’s important for teachers and students voices to be heard on this issue! Continue readingaddictionAmerica Addicteddrug addictiondrugsFacebook LiveGovernment & CivicsHealthopioid crisisopioid epidemicopioidspreventionSocial IssuesSocial Studies
How should elected officials react to mass shootings?
In this PBS NewsHour lesson, the question of how elected officials should react to mass shootings is examined. Continue readingGovernment & Civicsgun controlgun safetyGunsLas VegasLas Vegas shootinglaw enforcementmass shootingSocial IssuesSocial StudiesU.S. history