UN: Al-Shabab in Decline, but Still a Threat 

The top U.N. official for Somalia said Wednesday that while al-Shabab remains a serious threat, the terror group is on the decline, and the continued deployment of African Union troops in Somalia is essential to its ultimate defeat.

“Al-Shabab remains a potent threat, despite – or perhaps precisely because – it is on the back foot as a result of financial pressures, counterterrorism operations and airstrikes,” U.N. envoy Michael Keating told Security Council members.

A truck bomb attack Oct. 14 in the capital city of Mogadishu killed more than 500 civilians and demonstrated the al-Qaida-linked group’s ability to stage a large-scale attack, despite an intensive military offensive against them.