Al Shabaab has been a threat to Somalia for almost a decade. In 2013, the group claimed responsibility for the Westgate Mall attacks in Nairobi, Kenya, where 67 people were killed. This signaled a shift in the scope of al Shabaab’s tactics, which until this point had been focused within Somalia, where the group was in control of much of the country.
Over the past few years, with help from the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), many cities that were once al Shabaab strongholds were taken back by Somali forces.
VICE News correspondent Simon Ostrovsky traveled to Somalia in the wake of AMISOM taking back the coastal city of Barawe — where Ikrima, the man believed to be behind the Westgate attacks, resided — to investigate how al Shabaab evolved from a localized threat to a regional one.