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September 21, 2016—briefing: "Al-Shabab’s Media: The Evolution and Strategic Role of Al-Shabab's Narrative Production and Insurgent Media Operations, 2007-2016" with Chris Anzalone.  Since it emerged fully independent from the ashes of the Islamic Courts Union coalition in 2007, Al-Shabab's leadership has been busy establishing a bureaucracy of power designed to exercise regional and local nodes of governing authority and control.  As part of its broader strategy, Al-Shabab recognized the need for a sophisticated, multi-directional media operations apparatus capable of reaching multiple target audiences at the domestic, regional, and international/global levels. These media continue to form an integral part of Al-Shabab's overall strategy of governance, survival, and expansion as an ideologically-driven insurgent organization, despite mounting battlefield, territorial, and personnel losses.  Al-Shabab has also utilized its media machine in tandem with its formidable internal security apparatus to crack down on internal dissent including, thus far successfully, on attempts by Islamic State to establish and expand a strong foothold in Somalia and East Africa.  This talk discussed the history and evolution of Al-Shabab's media operations and narrative production capabilities and their integral role in the insurgents' broader strategy of territorial control and rule. 

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