Jerusalem Post
January 5, 2010

[efoods]A hard-line Islamist militia known as Al-Shabab is capturing key areas throughout Somalia, but analysts differ over whether the group can actually take over the country.

Al-Shabab has become the focus of much Western media coverage recently for its use of Taliban-style justice, including stoning suspected adulterers and severing the limbs of thieves.

The Al-Shabab administration in Kismayo, around 500 kilometers south of the capital Mogadishu, began by clamping down on clothing, making men shave their moustaches, grow beards and wear pants no shorter than ankle length.

But Richard Cornwell, an independent expert on Africa and a former research fellow at the Institute for Security Studies in South Africa, said the probability that Al-Shabab will takeover the Somali government is “highly unlikely.”

“Al-Shabab itself is fracturing along ideological lines,” he told The Media Line. “The domestic Somalis and the ‘Jihadi tourists’ are breaking away from each other. There are those who still want to put Somalia first and others have a more global view of Jihad.”

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