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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: 23 January 2021

Travelling for an Idea

Travelling for an Idea

The Appeal of Al-Shabaab to Diaspora in the West

(p.425) Travelling for an Idea
War and Peace in Somalia

Johusa Meservey

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers Al-Shabaab's Western foreign fighters. Members of the Somali diaspora in the West were the major source of Al-Shabaab's Western foreign fighters. Previously, a considerable number of members of the diaspora joined or attempted to join Al-Shabaab (referred to as ‘travellers’), and while the group's attractiveness for potential travellers has waned, the risk remains that it could revive. The chapter suggests that alienation plays a role in radicalization, such that travellers' acceptance of Al-Shabaab's violently anti-Western rhetoric demonstrates they were not deeply assimilated into the mainstream values of their host countries. However, it was Al-Shabaab's ideology that primarily attracted travellers. Thus, governments must try to delegitimize Al-Shabaab's worldview while promoting the attractions of their own ways of life in order to ensure travellers will not again seek out Al-Shabaab in large numbers.

Keywords:   Al-Shabaab, diaspora, Western foreign fighters, alienation, radicalization

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