The Somali terror group al-Shabaab, which killed nearly 150 students in a targeted attack on Christians at Kenya's Garissa University College last week, is rooted in a religious ideology and is not too different from the Islamic State in its ambition, said religious freedom scholar Paul Marshall of Hudson Institute in an interview.
Terrorist groups, including al-Shabaab, follow different kinds of interpretations of the Quran, "but they are similar to the Wahhabi school in Saudi Arabia," Marshall, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute's Center for Religious Freedom in Washington, D.C., told The Christian Post.
Asked about the al-Qaeda-affiliated group's ambitions outside of Somalia, Marshall said its attacks in Kenya are partly in revenge for Kenyan troops fighting its militants in Somalia, "but its ambition goes far beyond that." more >>
Kenyan Christian leaders mourned and offered prayers on Easter Sunday for the 148 people, mostly Christian students, slaughtered last week at Garissa University College. The Kenyan government has meanwhile responded by bombing bases belonging to terror group al-Shabaab, which claimed responsibility for the attack.
"We join the sufferings of the relatives and the victims with the sufferings of Jesus," said Bishop Joseph Alessandro of Our Lady of Consolation Church. "The victims will rise again with Christ."
The Associated Press reported that several hundred Christians marked Easter at the Catholic church in Garissa, and many more around the country and across the world remembered the students during the religious holiday. more >>
In the newly released edition of the Islamic State's monthly English-language magazine, the terrorist group featured and quoted three American "crusaders," including potential 2016 presidential candidate Rick Santorum, who have consistently voiced their concerns with the jihadists' rise and ambitions.
The Dabiq article titled "In the Words of the Enemy" features photos of Santorum, Virginia state Sen. Richard Black and former CIA officer and author Gary Berntsen, who are all quoted at length in the article on their various warnings about the group's abilities to expand its caliphate.
Santorum, who's a former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania and the runner-up in the 2012 Republican presidential primary election, has been speaking at length in speeches and appearances about the ISIS threat and the need to "bomb ISIS back to the seventh century." more >>
Terror group al-Qaeda has reportedly freed close to 300 prisoners in Yemen as it battles for control over territory. Houthi rebels have meanwhile stormed the presidential palace in Aden, despite airstrikes by a Saudi-led coalition seeking to protect what it says is a legitimate government.
The Telegraph reported on Thursday that while the identity of those freed from Al Mukalla prison is not yet clear, several reports have said they include well-known jihadis.
Houthi rebels, supporting former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, took over the capital of Sanaa in 2014, and are looking to overthrow the rule of President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, who insists he's still in power. more >>
Update: April 2: 3:30 PM: At least 147 people are confirmed dead and 79 others wounded after masked gunmen associated with the Al-Shabaab terror group attacked Garissa University in Kenya early Thursday morning. The Kenya National Disaster Operation Center confirmed late Thursday that over 500 students have been rescued, but the number of those found dead rose sharply throughout the day from 15 to 147. The university is located near Nairobi, Kenya's capital city.
Update: April 2, 12:10 PM: Seventy people were killed and 79 others wounded after masked gunmen associated with the Al-Shabaab terror group attacked Garissa University in Kenya early Thursday morning. The Kenya National Disaster Operation Center confirmed late Thursday that over 500 students have been rescued. The university is located near Nairobi, Kenya's capital city.
Masked gunmen attacked a university near Nairobi, Kenya, Thursday morning, killing at least 70 people and wounding many others, including several Christians. more >>
The Middle East witnessed something radically new two days ago, when the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia responded to a plea by Yemen's president and led a 10-country coalition to intervene in the air and on the ground in the country. "Operation Decisive Storm" prompts many reflections:
Saudi and Egypt in alliance: Half a century ago, Riyadh and Cairo were active in a Yemen war, but then they supported opposing sides, respectively the status-quo forces and the revolutionaries. Their now being allies points to continuity in Saudia along with profound changes in Egypt.
Arabic-speakers getting their act together: Through Israel's early decades, Arabs dreamt of uniting militarily against it but the realities of infighting and rivalries smashed every such hope. Even on the three occasions (1948-49, 1967, 1973) when they did join forces, they did so at cross purposes and ineffectively. How striking, then that finally they should coalesce not against Israel but against Iran. This implicitly points to their understanding that the Islamic Republic of Iran poses a real threat, whereas anti-Zionism amounts to mere indulgence. It also points to panic and the need to take action resulting from a stark American retreat. more >>