By Amanda Williams
Al-Shabaab - the extremist group behind the Kenyan mall massacre - is believed to have funded its terrorist attack by poaching endangered species in the country's national parks.
Authorities have confirmed a probe has been launched into claims that the group, linked with al Qaeda, are behind the poaching of rhinos and elephants, as an animal 'head count' is launched in Kenya and Tanzania at the Amboseli National Park in Kajiado County.
Hillary Clinton recently unveiled an $80 million plan to tackle elephant poaching in Africa.
She warned that money from the wildlife crime could be helping to fund terrorist groups - including the al-Shabaab group that launched the attack on the Westgate shopping mall in Kenya last month, a theory which is backed by elephant conservation groups.
The Elephant Action League (EAL), launched a two year undercover investigation of elephant poaching in Kenya in 2011.
Andrea Crosta, who lead the investigation, said many poachers he spoke to said they were increasingly selling to al-Shabaab, the New Scientist reports.
The ivory is then sold on to markets in Asia, at hugely inflated prices.
He said: 'Part of al-Shabaab's funding has been, and is still, from ivory.' More....