The PJ Tatler

An Al-Shabaab Link to Boston Marathon Bombings?

A series of Twitter gloats today raised questions about the possible involvement of Somali terror group Al-Shabaab in the Boston Marathon bombing.

No person or group has yet directly taken responsibility for the attack that killed three and wounded 176, 17 of those critically. The FBI issued a be-on-the-lookout for a dark-skinned or black man in dark clothes, perhaps with a foreign accent, who tried to enter a restricted area moments before the first blast. Authorities were also questioning a Saudi national here on a student visa and searched an apartment in Revere, Mass., last night.

Terror groups have shown a fondness for Twitter in recent years, and last night al-Qaeda-linked Al-Shabaab posted three tweets around 2 a.m. Eastern time:


Al-Shabaab launched an attack against Mogadishu’s main court complex Sunday, killing at least 29 in a series of bombs and hail of gunfire. Simultaneously, a car bomb went off near the airport, killing five more.

Congress was warned in a December hearing that a dangerous confluence of terror organizations was making use of a huge chunk of west African territory as a safe haven and possible launching pad for attacks.

Over the summer U.S. Africa Command noted that Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb was inviting terror groups Boko Haram of Nigeria and Somalia’s al-Shabaab to come hang, train, and join forces in an area the size of Texas.

Underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who tried to blow up a Detroit-bound flight on Christmas 2009, is Nigerian.

An ADL report last year warned Al-Shabaab was increasingly recruiting Americans. “Most of the American men training with Al Shabaab are believed to have been radicalized in the U.S., especially in Minneapolis, and are being recruited by Al Shabaab both on the Internet and in person. Some of these Somali-American recruits have even engaged in suicide bombings in Somalia,” the report states. “Al Shabaab has also used their American recruits in propaganda efforts to convert more Somali-Americans to their cause.”

“Although most of Al Shabaab’s violent acts have occurred within Somalia’s borders, it has expressed a willingness to attack other targets.”

Al-Shabaab’s media arm was kicked off Twitter in January after the terrorists used the account to threaten to kill Kenyan hostages and announce the execution of a French commando. The account was soon relaunched under another handle.

“They shut it down because our account overpowered all the Christians’ mass media and they could not tolerate the grief and the failure of the Christians we always displayed (online),” Al-Shabaab told Reuters when they were upset over the shutdown.

The Pakistani Taliban have denied responsibility for the Boston attack.