More sad news from Kenya. Over sixty people have been killed in two recent attacks by armed gunmen in the coastal town of Mpeketoni. This is the latest in a spate of attacks in the country since Kenya invaded Somalia in late 2011. And, like previous incidents, the tragic attacks have already become the subject of much speculation and gossip. Different narratives circulate on the streets of Nairobi, in the mainstream media outlets, on the twitter accounts of al-Shabaab, and at the press conferences of Kenya’s leaders. The spectacle of terrorism allows for a proliferation of different stories to circulate, which often serve to deeply abstract these events from their complex regional and trans-national causes. As the U.S. stands poised for another potential re-engagement with Iraq, what lessons can be drawn from the ongoing conflict in Northeast Africa?