The attack by Al Shabaab militants on the Westgate shopping centre in Nairobi, Kenya, left scores of people dead from over a dozen countries. This episode of the podcast looks at the origins of Al Shabaab, its characteristics and offers a considered view of what is driving this dangerous, murderous gang. The question of the role of the ‘White Widow’ Samantha Lewthwaite in the Nairobi assault and Al Shabaab in general is discussed, and I also outline the relevance of the British colonial strategy of ‘pseudo gangs’ during the Mau Mau uprising of the 1950s.
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