AFP försöker i artikeln Lawless Somalia draws influx of foreign fighters få en uppfattning om hur många utlänningar det finns i Shabaab, som allt tydligare vävts in i al Qaidas nätverk.
Somalia now shelters an estimated 450 foreign fighters who are working with the Shebab, a home-grown hardline Islamist group that has spearheaded a bloody insurgency since 2006.Dessutom finns återvändande exilsomalier, bland annat från Sverige, i Shabaab. Vill det sig illa utvecklas Shabaab till ett träningsläger, såsom de afghanska lägren fungerade som plantskola för en hel generation terrorister.
While foreign fighters wanted for links to Al-Qaeda have long used Somalia as a backyard, their numbers have swollen dramatically in 2009, experts say.
"There were maybe 100 foreigners last year but now our estimate is up to 450," said Ismail Haji Noor, a former Somali security official who has established a secular militia bent on rooting out the Shebab and their foreign allies.
Noor said the foreign jihadists come from the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Asia and often enter the country on regular airlines from the northern semi-autonomous state of Somaliland.
Most of them are concentrated in Garowe, in the northern breakaway state of Puntland, and the southern towns of Baidoa, Merka and Kismayo.
"The risk is being taken increasingly seriously that they will look outside Somalia for their operations now," said one Nairobi-based diplomat.