An Islamist al Shabaab soldier at a meeting between al Shabaab and rebel group Hizbul Islam, in southern Mogadishu, January 1, 2011, where the two groups officially merged. Flickr/Abayomi Azikiwe.
I'm quoted in Tristan McConnell's Global Post article, "Al Qaeda base still strong in East Africa: Somalia's Al Shabaab is the most public and active affiliate of Al Qaeda":
“Al Qaeda is a much weaker organization in East Africa today as compared to the mid-1990s,” said David Shinn, adjunct professor of international affairs at George Washington University and a former U.S. ambassador. “In effect, it has been supplanted by Al Shabaab, which has a Somalia-focused agenda.”
Shinn concluded: “I don't think bin Laden's death changes the situation for Al Shabaab.”