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CNN: Al-Shabaab Threats on Malls Are Cry for Attention

Prof. Ken Menkhaus
Prof. Ken Menkhaus

Professor of Political Science Ken Menkhaus says in a CNN op-ed that the latest threats from the Somali jihadi group Al-Shabaab should be viewed in context, rather than in fear. Menkhaus, a foremost scholar of affairs in the Horn of Africa, contends that Al-Shabaab issued its latest tirade, which included a call for Muslims to attack shopping malls, because it is being eclipsed in the public eye by other terrorist organizations.

He writes, "ISIS is garnering virtually all of the media coverage of extremists, and as a result is attracting virtually all the recruits and money from the patrons of violent extremism. This has left jihadi groups like al Qaeda, Boko Haram and Al-Shabaab struggling to reclaim some of the spotlight from their new ‘rival,' and a call to attack Western shopping malls was a chance to earn some easy headlines."

Menkhaus calls on Western authorities to exercise continued vigilance in the attempt to keep citizens safe, but concludes that citizens are in no greater danger now than before Al-Shabaab issued its call.

Read Menkhaus's piece.