Somali rebels linked to al Qaeda promised to intensify their
holy war against Somalia's fragile interim government a little
over a month after their bomb attack on Uganda put the region on
a heightened state of alert.

The al Shabaab group have in the past threatened to attack
Nairobi and Kenyans living along the porous border with Somalia
talk of a surge in cross border raids by the Somali militants.

What to watch:

-- The response of Kenya and regional neighbours to al
Shabaab's latest offensive.

Any nation deemed to be propping up Somalia's transitional
government risks being considered fair game by the hardline
Islamists who said the Kampala bombing was revenge for Uganda's
peacekeeper deployment.

The African Union has promised an extra 4,000 peacekeepers
to be deployed to Mogadishu. For now, Somalia's immediate
neighbours are prevented from contributing troops by a U.N.

-- Any attacks by Kenyan security forces on the rebels
across the northeastern border could heighten the risk of an
attack by insurgents elsewhere. Al Qaeda has already hit Kenya
twice, in 1998 and 2002.
(Editing by Alison Williams)