Somalia: Understanding Al-Shabaab

"This report briefly examines the nature of Al-Shabaab’s ideological stance, their political ambitions and why this movement constitutes the gravest threat to the survival of Sheikh Sharif’s government and the Djibouti peace process that gave it birth. Al-Shabaab Al-Mujahidin (The Youth) is today the strongest, best organised, financed and armed military group and controls the largest stretch of territory in southern Somalia. Ahmed Abdi Godane (aka Sheikh Abu Zubeyr)leads the movement, deemed the Emir of the jihadist organisation,and is assisted by a ten-member council (Shura). In accordance with the general structure of jihadist organisations, this consultative council would be comprised of sub-emirs in charge of different areas: military, theology, political information, external relations etc."