U.S. to review al-Shabaab threat after Kenya mall attack

Oct. 2, 2013 at 9:09 AM

WASHINGTON, Oct. 2 (UPI) -- The threat from Somali terrorist group al-Shabaab deserves another look following its attack on a shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya, a U.S. lawmaker said.

The international police organization Interpol sent a team to Kenya last week to help authorities investigate a terrorist attack at the Westgate Mall. More than 60 people were killed in the assault on the upscale shopping center by al-Shabaab militants.

U.S. Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said al-Shabaab deserves a closer look.

"Following the recent brutal attack on Nairobi's Westgate shopping mall, it is critical that the United States and our allies reassess the threat that al-Shabaab poses outside of Somalia and outside the region," Royce said in a statement Tuesday.

A 2011 report from the House Committee on Homeland Security concluded there was a "looming danger" of U.S. nationals who have pledged loyalty to al-Shabaab returning to the United States to strike or help al-Qaida and its affiliates attack the United States.

In May, four men were sentenced in a U.S. court in Minnesota to prison for terrorism offenses related to support for al-Shabaab, which is typically associated with attacks on Somalia.

Royce scheduled a hearing Thursday on al-Shabaab.

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