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The attack, which killed more than 60 people, “was well planned, well executed, involved impressive intelligence collection, surveillance, [and] reconnaissance of the target,” Jones told the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “It had operatives prepared to ask individuals a range of questions before killing them or letting them go.”
According to Fierce Home Land Security, Jones, the associate director of Rand’s International Security and Defense Policy Center, said that al Shabaab doesn’t appear to be plotting to attack the U.S. homeland, but it does pose a threat to U.S. embassies and citizens in East Africa.
Jones recommended a strategy of covert intelligence, special forces units, and efforts to disrupt the financial logistics of the group, which is based in Somalia. The government should also discourage Kenya from conducting attacks in Somalia that might feed into al Shabaab’s nationalist narrative and help it recruit, he added.