East Africa faces a rising threat from al-Qaeda’s Somalia-based affiliate after it established a presence in five other countries in the region, according to a report from a multi-national bloc.
Al-Shabaab, which is being targeted both by U.S. drones and an African military force, has expanded to Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda since 2010, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development said Monday. The militants have staged fatal attacks in Kenya, killing dozens of people at a mall in the capital in 2013 and about 150 at a northeastern university last year, as well as in Uganda and Djibouti.
“With an ever expanding and adaptive network of sympathizers across the region, the threat of more terrorist actions directed, encouraged, or inspired by al-Shabaab continues to rise,” according to the report.
An organization that focuses on regional security, IGAD’s members are Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia and Djibouti.