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The recent al Shabab attack on a Nairobi mall might have come as a surprise to Western observers, but it should not have. In form and motivation, the attack mirrored several others in the last few years.
Until recently, experts assumed that al-Shabaab’s recruitment in Kenya was limited to the country’s Somali minority, which numbers roughly a million people. But recent attacks have forced a reassessment; as ex-members testify, now Kenyans are joining up as well.