Monday, September 8, 2014

Global Impact: Three Germans Suspected of Fighting for al-Shabaab Arrested in Frankfurt

According to AFPthree German nationals were arrested over the weekend when they flew home from Kenya, on suspicion of being members of Somalia's al-Shabaab Islamist militant group, officials said Monday (September 8).

"Three suspects were arrested at Frankfurt Airport" on Saturday (September 6), a spokeswoman for the federal prosecutors service told AFP, adding that a press conference was planned for later in the day.
Public broadcaster SWR earlier reported the suspects had returned to Germany because they no longer wanted to take part in combat for al-Shabaab.
COMMENT: The report said there were no indications the three were planning attacks in Germany.
Al-Shabaab, al-Qaeda's main affiliate in Africa, controls vast swathes of Somalia's rural territory from which it carries out regular guerrilla attacks against government institutions and international forces based in the capital of Mogadishu.
Al-Shabaab has recently stepped up attacks against countries that contribute to the 22,000-strong, UN-backed African Union force deployed against them in Somalia since 2007.
Neighboring Kenya has been especially hard-hit by al-Shabaab, most notably with the attack on Nairobi's Westgate shopping mall last September 2013 in which at least 67 people were killed and hundreds wounded.

See excellent report from University of Maryland re: Westgate attack:

http://www.start.umd.edu/sites/default/files/publications/local_attachments/STARTBackgroundReport_alShabaabKenya_Sept2013.pdf