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Ms. Madeleine Wells is a Research Assistant at the RAND Corporation, where she analyzes religious extremism and terrorism, focusing on the Arabian Gulf and Horn of Africa. She also does work on global health and infrastructure in Palestine and terrorism in Russia and Central Asia. She is currently assisting the Military Leadership Diversity Commission. Ms. Wells has a B.A. in government and Near Eastern studies from Cornell University and an M.A. in Islamic studies from Columbia University.
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Authored by LTC Eloy E. Cuevas, Madeleine Wells.
Continuing instability in Somalia has increased concern that terrorists who seek to establish a foothold in Africa may use such insecure places as a safe haven and launching pad for future attacks. Several attempts have been made to establish lawful governments in Somalia; however, warlord and clan interests have managed to take center stage among the population. The Somali-based al-Shabaab (also known as the Mujahidin Youth Movement [MYM]) is a militant organization born out of both successive regional turmoil and international salafi-jihadi ideology, which continues to actively undermine the United Nations (UN)-supported African Union (AU) peacekeeping force, the fledging Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG), and all UN efforts to support Somalis in creating a stable state.