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5 reasons Al Shabaab militants attacked Kenya

NAIROBI, Kenya — Why did Somalia’s Al Qaeda-linked militants attack a Nairobi shopping mall over the weekend?

First, you should pay attention to what Al Shabaab leader Ahmed Godane, also known as Mukhtar Abu al-Zubayr, has said about it.

On Wednesday Godane claimed the Westgate attack was retaliation for Kenya’s military action in Somalia, according to Reuters. “Take your troops out or prepare for a long-lasting war, blood, destruction and evacuation,” Godane further warned.

But that's not the only factor in this increasingly bloody dispute that has — once again — exploded in East Africa and, perhaps, beyond.

To better understand the roots of the conflict, keep these five motives in mind:

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