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September 23rd, 2013
10:58 PM ET

Nick Kristof on Al-Shabaab: "We inadvertently helped to create it"

On the heels of Saturday's deadly attack on a shopping mall in Kenya, on Monday evening Nicholas Kristof joined "Piers Morgan Live" to add his trademark brand of informed perspective.

Joining Piers Morgan for a live, face to face interview the "The New York Times" columnist offered some analysis of the militant group responsible for the shooting that has left more than five dozen people dead.

"Al-Shabaab is a real organization, and more recently it has been tied up more with Al-Qaeda. But we inadvertently helped to create it," said Kristof, detailing a 2006 effort by the Bush Administration to force the expulsion of an Islamic group from Somalia. "That created this nationalist movement among Somalis, who then gathered behind Al-Shabaab, who were these crazy Jihadis, and gave them a brief window of legitimacy, which they then ran with and have been wreaking extraordinary violence."

Though Al-Shabaab isn't alone in its desire to unleash harm on the United States, Kristof suspects it may have the best shot at doing so from within U.S. borders:

"There are a lot of other terror organizations that would like to strike America, but they don't have access," he told Piers Morgan. "Al-Shabaab has been able to recruit people, particularly in Minnesota, they've supposedly been able to recruit about 20 people, over the time. Fortunately some of those have gone over to Somalia. Maybe they can come back, maybe not. But there are presumably some left, and I think that is a really scary prospect."

Watch the clip, and listen to the interview, as Kristof also explains the role China might play in such an international incident.
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