A man prays at the burial of a friend on January 16, 2018 in Nairobi, Kenya after al-Shabab militants stormed the Dusit hotel complex.

Al-Shabab Wants You To Know It’s Alive and Well

The brutal attack in Kenya is designed to show Washington and the world that the terrorist group is still a force to be reckoned with in East Africa.

Iraqi men flash the victory gesture from inside a car during the Hashed Shaabi (Popular Mobilisation) paramilitary forces' celebrations marking the first anniversary of victory over the Islamic State (IS) group on December 10, 2018. (Mohammed Sawaf/AFP/Getty Images)

Start Small to Stop the Next ISIS

One year on from the defeat of the Islamic State, the new U.S. Congress should draw on lessons learned from efforts to counter violent extremism.

Democratic congressional candidate Ilhan Omar speaks to a group of volunteers in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on October 13, 2018.

Two Muslim Women Are Headed to Congress. Will They Be Heard?

Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib have won, but the battle for a new brand of feminism in the Democratic Party and within Muslim communities has just begun.

Somali soldiers patrol Sanguuni military base south of Mogadishu, Somalia, on June 13. (Mohamed Abdiwahab/AFP/Getty Images)

Somalia Is a Country Without an Army

The United Nations and foreign powers claim they are dedicated to building up the Somali National Army. Instead, they have become complicit in its dysfunction.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and President Donald Trump wait for a luncheon with African leaders on Sept. 20, 2017 in New York. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

U.S. Diplomat’s Resignation Signals Wider Exodus From State Department

One diplomat’s stinging resignation letter offers a glimpse into declining morale at the State Department under Trump.

A U.S. Marine stands guard Apr. 14, 1993 from his position on an armored personnel carrier at a check-point in Mogadishu. (Eric Cabanis/AFP/GettyImages)

Edgar on Strategy (Part IX): To what end? The frequently missing ‘why’ of strategy

Policymakers must articulate the “why” informing a strategy and periodically revaluate whether it is achievable and what ought to come next.

The scene of an exploded truck bomb in the Somali capital of Mogadishu on Oct. 14. (Mohamed Abdiwahab/AFP/Getty Images)

Can Somalia Ever Win Against al-Shabab?

From the ashes of the country’s deadliest terrorist attack, lasting peace seems a long way off.

The aftermath of a car bomb in Mogadishu in July (STR/AFP/Getty Images).

Not All Amnesty Deals Are Made the Same

Somalia offered a deal to al-Shabab fighters willing to lay down their arms. Here’s why it didn’t work.

TOPSHOT - A young child suffering from severe malnutrition lies on a bed in the ICU ward at the In-Patient Therapeutic Feeding Centre in the Gwangwe district of Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State, northeastern Nigeria, on September 17, 2016. 
Aid agencies have long warned about the risk of food shortages in northeast Nigeria because of the conflict, which has killed at least 20,000 since 2009 and left more than 2.6 million homeless. In July, the United Nations said nearly 250,000 children under five could suffer from severe acute malnutrition this year in Borno state alone and one in five -- some 50,000 -- could die. But despite the huge numbers involved, the situation has received little attention compared with other humanitarian crises around the world -- even within Nigeria. / AFP / STEFAN HEUNIS        (Photo credit should read STEFAN HEUNIS/AFP/Getty Images)

The Global Hunger Crisis Will Not Be Tweeted

Americans are exhausted keeping up with Donald Trump’s every tweet. People in Somalia, South Sudan, Nigeria, and Yemen are exhausted by violence and hunger.


How to Tell a Story of Kidnapping and Climate Change in Somalia

Laura Heaton and Nichole Sobecki detail their reporting on Dr. Murray Watson and the impact his once thought-to-be lost work could have on the country decades later.


Somalia’s Land is Dying. The People Will Be Next.

Images from the front lines of Africa's battle with climate change.

Garowe, Somalia: Abdulkadir Hasan Farah is a former pirate who now makes a living driving a taxi in Garowe. Growing up in the seaside community of Eyl, Abdulkadir followed his father into the fishing business. But the rise in illegal fishing made it increasingly difficult to earn a living. Twice foreign crews destroyed Abdulkadir’s nets, which were costly to replace. Broke and livid, he and some friends started taking guns out on their fishing trips to await foreign trawlers to hijack.

Somali pirates are some of the world’s most infamous villains, immortalized by Hollywood and feared by ships traversing the waters off the Horn of Africa. But when these gangs first emerged they were just fishermen, made desperate by the destruction of their seas by illegal fishing and toxic waste dumping. International patrol vessels now guard Somalia's coastline, keeping the pirates at bay but doing nothing to address the return of illegal fishing activity by Asian and European companies. Until the root causes of piracy are addressed this threat will linger, waiting to reclaim its waters. (Photo by Nichole Sobecki)

The Making of a Climate Outlaw

Extreme weather pushed a farmer and a fisherman to take up arms. These are their stories.

Outside Geerisa, Somalia: An armed policeman stands beside a riverbank swelled from a flash flood the night before that left several people dead. As Somalia gets hotter and drier, it is also more susceptible to deadly flash floods when eventual rain hits the parched earth.

To be Somali used to mean to roam the land with your camels and others herds, surviving on their milk and meat and making home wherever the rains fell. Three out of four Somalis depend on the land to survive, either by herding or farming. Yet the rains are becoming less frequent and drought the norm. Land is degraded out of desperation, and people’s historic resilience is broken down. As access to water and pasture shrink, so do people’s options. The result is a growing wave of violence that swells with each short rain, dry well and failed crop. Men with guns are as common here as dusty roads, and as the fragile ties linking communities together break down the choice becomes clear: fight or die. (Photo by Nichole Sobecki)

The Key to Saving Somalia is Gathering Dust in the British Countryside

What if there were a blueprint for climate adaptation that could end a civil war? An English scientist spent his life developing one—then he vanished without a trace.

us forces somalia

U.S. Navy SEAL Killed, Two Wounded, in Counter-Terror Raid in Somalia

Trump steps up the fight against terrorists in Africa and Middle East, leading to a wave of combat deaths.

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 13: President-elect Donald Trump gets into the elevator after speaking to reporters after his meeting with television personality Steve Harvey at Trump Tower, January 13, 2017 in New York City. President-elect Trump continues to hold meetings at Trump Tower in New York. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Democracy Dies in Trump’s Darkness

The president should reverse his administration's campaign against transparency.

TOPSHOT - Somali security forces patrol the scene of a suicide car bomb blast on August 30, 2016 in Mogadishu.  
At least seven people were killed on August 30 when jihadists exploded a suicide car bomb outside a popular hotel close to the presidential palace in Somalia's capital Mogadishu. The Al-Qaeda aligned Shabaab jihadists claimed responsibility for the attack on the SYL hotel which was previously attacked in both February 2016 and January 2015.  / AFP / Mohamed ABDIWAHAB        (Photo credit should read MOHAMED ABDIWAHAB/AFP/Getty Images)

U.S. to Send Troops to Somalia Amid Blowback

Trump declared Somalia a war zone. Al-Shabab pushed back. Now we’ve got boots on the ground.

TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY JEAN-MARC MOJON A Somali, part armed militia, part pirate, carries his high-caliber weapon on a beach in the central Somali town of Hobyo on August 20, 2010. Hobyo has no schools, no clinics and bad drinking water sources. Fighting a losing battle against the sand that has already completely covered the old Italian port, Hobyo's scattering of rundown houses and shacks looks anything but the nerve centre of an activity threatening global shipping.   AFP PHOTO / ROBERTO SCHMIDT (Photo credit should read ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)

Somalia’s Pirates Are Back in Business

Lawlessness onshore is fueling a resurgence of crime on the high seas.

Garowe, Somalia, 2017
Habiba Azil, who is 9 month old and malnourished, is being checked by doctors inside the Garowe General Hopsital in the capital of Puntland.
Puntland is a semi autonomous state in northeastern Somalia.  The United Nations warns that half of the population of Somalia, about 6,2 million people, are affected by a drought in the Horn of Africa that could become a famine. During the last famine in 2011 over 250 000 people died.

Starvation Stalks the Horn of Africa

Images from the drought that's pushing Somalia back to the brink of famine.

UNSPECIFIED, PERSIAN GULF REGION - JANUARY 07:  A U.S. Air Force MQ-1B Predator unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), (R), returns from a mission to an air base in the Persian Gulf region on January 7, 2016. The U.S. military and coalition forces use the base, located in an undisclosed location, to launch drone airstrikes against ISIL in Iraq and Syria, as well as to transport cargo and and troops supporting Operation Inherent Resolve. The Predators at the base are operated and maintained by the 46th Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron, currently attached to the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing.  (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

Trump Expands War Authorities to Target Militants in Somalia

Under a new authorization, U.S. forces are given more ability to launch attacks on al Shabab in the East African country

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