In the 20th century, U.S. defense efforts were mainly directed towards the threats posed by the Soviet Union. Currently, U.S. has a more diverse national security challenges including those from East Africa (Somalia). To ensure national security, the government has maintained adequately sized, equipped, and well-trained forces with the ability to deter, dissuade, and, where necessary, defeat the future adversaries. However, it is still experiencing threats due to the dynamics of how the terrorist attacks are carried out. This study seeks to identify the threats posed to US and the National Security by East Africa (Somali).


Terrorism in America has been as a result of many populations, conflicts, and issues that co-existed within the country’s borders. They date back to as early as 1983 with the worst one occurring in 2001 where around 5,000 people died. Deliberate efforts by the U.S. government have been made to ensure security against the threats from Somalia[1]. For example, U.S. has spent more than $500 million since 2007 in maintaining, training and equipping East African forces to help stabilize Somalia and fight terrorism. Threat from Somalia comes from al Shabaab, a militia group that has succeeded in controlling southern and central Somalia. Their target on America has been manifested in other countries including bombing US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in collaboration with al-Qaeda with which they have developed links[2]. Despite the effort to fight terrorism, U.S. is experiencing a threat of attack. For example, al-Shabaab has managed to recruit and radicalize more than 40 Muslim Americans and 20 Canadians. This study, therefore, seeks to establish the threats that East Africa (Somalia) poses to US and National Security.

Definition of the problem

National security provision plays a major role in any government. It should be able to protect its borders and citizens who are entitled to security. Terrorism remains a major challenge to the whole world in terms of life and development[3]. Recent rise of pirates, especially from Somalia, has affected the world trade. Understanding the threat challenges posed to U.S. by Somalia terrorists will help in improvement of the strategies used to deal with this menace. This study, therefore, will be important in security policy making which will help protect lives and property.

Research questions

  1. What are the methods used by the Somalia terrorists in executing their attacks?
  2. How is al Shabaab able to recruit new members from US?
  3. Which are the al Shabaab target places?

Objectives of the study

The main objective of this study is to establish the threats faced by US and the National Security from East Africa’s (Somalia) terrorist operations. The specific objectives include:

  1. To establish the methods used by the Somalia terrorists when executing their attacks.
  2. To find out how al Shabaab is able to recruit new members from US.
  3. To find out the al Shabaab target places. 

Literature review

Research conducted by Lauren Ploch (2010) was intended to identify the programs introduced by US after bombing of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998[4]. The programs related to bilateral and regional efforts, both civilian and military. However, it does not explain much the threats faced by US as a result of the terrorist activity in Somalia, the truth this study seeks to establish.


This research will make use of the secondary data including books, journals, and other published sources. This is mainly because of their availability and the speculated difficulties in obtaining the primary data. This information will then be analyzed to answer the research question and provide recommendations.

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