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War and Peace in SomaliaNational Grievances, Local Conflict and Al-Shabaab$
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Michael Keating and Matt Waldman

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190947910

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190947910.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 21 January 2021

Al-Qaida and Al-Shabaab

Al-Qaida and Al-Shabaab

A Resilient Alliance

(p.391) Al-Qaida and Al-Shabaab
War and Peace in Somalia

Tricia Bacon

Daisy Muibu

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on the alliance between Al-Qaida and Al-Shabaab. Although cooperation between the groups is limited and irregular, the relationship has proven durable despite the loss of leaders on both sides and the emergence of Islamic State in northeast Somalia. The resilience of the relationship is attributed to several factors: Al-Shabaab's links to Al-Qaida's affiliate in Yemen, which may have enhanced Al-Shabaab's military expertise; Al-Qaida's ability to help Al-Shabaab with raising funds; Al-Shabaab's oath of allegiance or bayah to Al-Qaida; and the trust and predictability of the alliance, reinforced by ideological and personal ties between some leaders. The relationship is used by Al-Shabaab leaders to justify measures to enforce unity, control its rank and file, and avoid defections to Islamic State. The relationship is also flexible, giving Al-Shabaab leaders access to assistance and jihadi prestige, while retaining a high degree of autonomy.

Keywords:   Al-Qaida, Al-Shabaab, Somalia, alliance, jihad, autonomy

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