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The Terrorist Horn Of Africa

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The Wall Street Journal

The Terrorist Horn Of Africa

How were Kenyan and U.S. troops surprised by al-Shabaab?

By The Editorial Board

Militants from the al Qaeda-affiliated al-Shabaab terrorist group killed a U.S. service member and two Pentagon contractors Sunday during a raid on the Manda Bay Airfield in Kenya. The attack raises questions about America’s alertness in the region and is a reminder of the importance of the African counterterrorism mission.

Two other Americans were wounded and six aircraft damaged during the predawn attack near the Kenya-Somalia border, according to a statement from U.S. Africa Command: “After an initial penetration of the perimeter, Kenya Defense Forces and U.S. Africa Command repelled the al-Shabaab attack.”

The base is in a tough neighborhood, and the mystery is why U.S. forces were surprised. The group has terrorized bases in the past, killing scores of Africans. Addressing how al-Shabaab made it inside the outpost, a serious security lapse, will be the first order of business.

Al-Shabaab once controlled some 40% of Somalia, and Africans have shed the most blood beating the group back. The African Union Mission in Somalia, with support from U.S. airstrikes and special forces, has limited the group’s territory and movements.

Read more: https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-terrorist-horn-of-africa-11578355679