Benoît Hazard, anthropologist at France’s CNRS

Conventional wisdom held that Islamist al Shabaab fighters had been weakened by military defeats in Somalia and by internal divisions. But the Nairobi mall attack, which they claimed responsibility for, has proved analysts wrong. They are still a powerful force, able to carry out a large-scale attack outside Somalia. But who are al Shabaab? Our guest Benoît Hazard gives us his analysis of the movement and the growing influence of foreign Islamist fighters upon it.