Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Fate of Godane unknown as US assesses airstrikes in Lower Shabelle

US forces have carried out airstrikes against al-Shabaab leader Ahmed Abdi Godane, with casualties reported but uncertainty hanging over the fate of the main target, Somali officials said Tuesday (September 2nd).

The Pentagon confirmed the US military carried out an "operation" on Monday against al-Shabaab, and that it was "assessing the results".
"The Americans carried out a major airstrike targeting a gathering by senior al-Shabaab officials, including their leader Abu Zubayr," Lower Shabelle Governer Abdukadir Mohamed Nur said according to AFP.
Godane is also known by the name Abu Mukhtar al-Zubayr, and he is listed by the US State Department as one of the world's eight top terror fugitives, with a $7 million bounty on his head.
Godane has been the target of a number of airstrikes in the past year, including two near-death misses at the hands of the Kenyan and US militaries in January.

Al-Shabaab tight-lipped on fate of leader

In past strikes, whether by sheer luck or tip-offs, Godane reportedly left the target zones just moments before the attacks ensued. This time, he may not have been so fortuitous, although US and Somali officials, as well as al-Shabaab, are remaining tight-lipped on the outcome of the operation for now.
An al-Shabaab official who spoke to AFP on condition of anonymity dismissed claims of his death as "rumours".
However, al-Shabaab spokesman Abu Mohammed told the Associated Press that Godane was travelling in one of the two vehicles hit by the airstrike on Monday, but it was unclear whether he was among the six militants reportedly killed.
"We are assessing the results of the operation and will provide additional information as and when appropriate," Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby said in a statement.
The airstrike comes days after the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and Somali government forces launched "Operation Indian Ocean", a major offensive aimed at seizing key ports from al-Shabaab and cutting off one of their key sources of revenue -- multi-million dollar exports of charcoal.
Al-Shabaab fighters have largely fled in advance of the allied forces, and the Lower Shabelle governor said the airstrike targeted al-Shabaab commanders as they gathered to discuss the operation.
"They were meeting to discuss about the current offensive in the region," Nur said. "There were casualties inflicted on the militants, but we do not have details so far."
Nur said the strike hit an al-Shabaab hideout used as a training camp for suicide bombers in remote villages of Lower Shabelle region, south of the capital Mogadishu.
The airstrike comes a day after al-Shabaab detonated a car bomb outside the National Intelligence Centre in Mogadishu, followed by a gun battle with Somali security forces that left at least seven militants and five others dead.
On Saturday AMISOM announced it launched a renewed offensive against al-Shabaab, saying it had captured the town of Bulomarer, 160 kilometres southwest of Mogadishu. Bulomarer was the scene of an attempted raid by French commandos in January 2013 to free an intelligence agent being held hostage.
AMISOM and Somali government troops were also seen heading towards Barawe, the last major port held by al-Shabaab on Somalia's Indian Ocean coast.
US special forces in October 2013 launched an attack on a house in Barawe targeting a top al-Shabaab commander Abdulkadir Mohamed Abdulkadir, a Kenyan of Somali origin who goes by the alias Ikrima, but were fought off with several US Navy SEALs believed to have been wounded.

Godane's rise to power

Godane, 37, who reportedly trained in Afghanistan with the Taliban, took over the leadership of al-Shabaab in 2008 after then chief Aden Hashi Farah Ayro was killed by a US missile strike.
Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri has recognised Godane as the head of the "mujahedeen" in East Africa, although letters released after Osama bin Laden's death show he had lower regard for Godane's abilities.
Godane's leadership has come under fire by his own men in recent years, creating a deep rift between various factions of al-Shabaab, which Godane has dealt with by reportedly ordering the execution of dissenters.
After killing at least two top commanders last year, Godane used al-Shabaab's clandestine internal secret service known as "Amniyat" to further tighten control on the militant group's members.
Nonetheless, under Godane's leadership, al-Shabaab gunmen have carried out a number of high profile attacks, both at home in Somalia as well as in Djibouti, Kenya and Uganda -- all nations contributing troops to AMISOM.
Inside Somalia, suicide commandos have staged brazen attacks in the heart of government, including at the presidential palace known as Villa Somaliaparliament, a United Nations baseMogadishu's main court complex and, on Sunday (August 31st), the intelligence headquarters.
Godane also claimed responsibility for July 2010 bombings in the Ugandan capital Kampala that killed 74 people, and also reportedly oversaw the September 2013 massacre in Nairobi's Westgate mall, a four-day siege in which at least 67 people were killed.
Security experts say Godane acts as both a spiritual "emir" and tactical head of al-Shabaab forces, underscoring why he is a priority target of drone and airstrikes.

Ahmed Abdi Godane: Al-Shabab's Somali leader

A reclusive figure with a love of poetry, Ahmed Abdi Godane became a feared jihadist, running assassination and bomb squads in Somalia.
He rose to the helm of the al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab group in 2008 after a US air strike killed his predecessor Aden Hashi Ayro in a remote village in southern Somalia.
Mr Godane's ascent to power surprised some observers as he came from the breakaway northern region of Somaliland.
"His rise to power within al-Shabab is unparalleled and in many ways counterintuitive in the history of Somalia's political and military formations," Rashid Abdi, an East Africa analyst who specialises on al-Shabab, told the BBC.
"How did someone with no clan constituency in southern Somalia accumulate such powers and manage to command such following in a tribal country where clan loyalties and affiliation trump everything else?",,more
Al-Shabab fighters in  Mogadishu, Somalia (5 March 2012)

Potential Implications of U.S. killing al Shabaab’s Leader In Somalia - Ahmed Godane

Yesterday, after a long pause in overt counterterrorism in Somalia, the U.S. launched a drone strike near Barawe aimed at a convoy. Separate reports indicate four missiles killed up to six militants; one of whom may be al Shabaab’s notorious leader, Ahmed Abdi Godane (aka Mukhtar abu Zubayr).

As al Shabaab’s emir, Godane officially merged the terror group with al Qaeda, swearing allegiance to Osama Bin Laden’s successor, Ayman al-Zawahiri.  Since this merger though, al Shabaab’s trajectory under Godane’s leadership has been in decline with the group fracturing and shrinking over the past two years.  Despite his corrosive leadership, Godane maintained his grip on al Shabaab, continued to execute devastating terrorist attacks against a fragile Somali government and has successfully spread jihadist inspiration and terror attacks to nearby Kenya highlighted by last year’s spectacular attack on Nairobi’s Westgate Mall.  If Godane was killed by the U.S. drone strike (still an ‘if’), his death would likely have a significant impact on Somalia, the Horn of Africa and ‘Old Guard’ al Qaeda’s remaining adherents in the Horn of Africa. 
Potential Impacts of Godane’s Death on Somalia 
Godane, even by al Qaeda’s standards, demonstrated extreme levels of ruthless killing and excessive violence, alienating allied clan leaders and the local populace.  By some accounts, Godane forced the merger with al Qaeda to assert his dominance over what has always been a fractious al Shabaab.  Since February 2012, Shabaab has fractured and been pushed into the hinterlands of South Central Somalia.  Hassan Dahir Aweys, a stalwart of Islamism in Somalia, and Sheikh Mukhtar Robow, a Godane competitor for al Shabaab’s crown, both broke ranks with Godane over his excessive violence and passion for al Qaeda’s global agenda over the more important local objectives of the clannish al Shabaab.  Since breaking ranks, Robow’s militias have engaged in open combat with Godane’s al Shabaab. 
Even more revealing of Godane’s character has been his murderous repression of dissenters.  Under Godane, Shabaab took a preference for local Somali fighters vis-à-vis foreign fighters -- namely, Omar Hammami an American recruit from Alabama.  But then Hammami vocally broke ranks with Shabaab. The Hammami episode revealed intense dissension in the ranks eroding Godane’s support and Shabaab’s foreign fighter flow.  The Godane-Hammami debate led to Shabaab pursuing a year and half long manhunt ending in the murder of Hammami at the hands of Godane’s henchmen.  Godane’s ruthless side was further revealed by his murder of his own long-time aide and friend Ibrahim al-Afghani, a well-respected veteran and founding member of Shabaab,
Shabaab’s fractures and Godane’s elimination of dissenters created a Shabaab governance structure built on fear.  Godane ruled with an iron fist, and thus his death will/would have a significant impact on al Shabaab and the insurgency plaguing the country’s fragile new government.  I suspect, if Godane were killed, to see a case study in Somalia of how leadership decapitation as a counterterrorism tactic can have a major impact.  Somalia in general, and Shabaab in particular, presents a situation where clan leaders have an outsized sway in the direction of their group; leaders trump ideology. 
Here are several considerations if we find out that Godane was killed in Somalia yesterday:
  • When feared leaders die, fractures happen quickly and dynamically – Godane kept a close eye on his enemies and a closer eye on his subordinates through a dominating internal intelligence arm.  I suspect many of Godane’s lieutenants already had plans of their own should Godane die or they remove him via a coup.  My estimate would be the most hard core of Godane’s adherents will break off and form a particularly violent element of al Shabaab.  I’d also estimate that there will be a separate less committed faction of Shabaab that will break away and look to defect, setting up deals with the Somalia government – a positive sign.  Whatever happens, I would estimate major changes in the next month in terms of Shabaab loyalties with fractures emerging across clan and sub-clan lines. 
  • Robow comes out stronger amongst Somalia’s jihadists– If Godane is out of the picture, I suspect Robow will be strengthened and can consolidate some of his power in Bay and Bakool provinces of Somalia.  The larger question is whether Robow might look to settle with the Somali government.  Always more of a local jihadist leader rather than a globalist, Robow might be content to rule his own turf in Somalia’s interior if the Somali government and allied forces grant him a settlement – a tricky task seeing as how the U.S. has designated Robow a “Foreign Terrorist”.
  • An opportunity for the new Somali government – While we might expect some immediate retaliatory attacks by Shabaab loyalists on Somali government targets and international groups, I suspect Godane’s death might present an opportunity to create more truces with local clans ostensibly forced into Shabaab allegiance under Godane. 
Potential Impacts of Godane’s Death on the Horn of Africa  
If Godane were killed, I imagine there would be several regional implications as well:
  • Will jihadist affiliates in Kenya and Tanzania crumble or break out? – As Shabaab grew weaker in Somalia, Godane was surprisingly successful at spreading his influence to disenfranchised Muslim populations along Kenya’s coast, amongst Nairobi’s Somali slums and into northern Tanzania.  In one sense, Godane’s death might bring the fragmentation and dissolving of emerging jihadist elements in the Horn of Africa like al-Hijra.  Or conversely, maybe these young and now disconnected jihadist groups will be freed of Godane’s control to pursue disorganized but more frequent violence.  In either case, I expect Godane’s death will impact jihadist extremism through the Horn of Africa. 
  • Experienced and dangerous foreign fighters on the loose – With Godane dead, al Shahaab’s deadly external operations forces might be looking to either retaliate, relocate or both.  As seen by the successful and well-planned attack on the Westgate Mall last year and Harun Fazul’s interrupted plans to conduct an al Qaeda attack on a hotel in London, Shabaab has a proven capability to attack outside Somalia and hit Westerners.  Key Shabaab foreign fighters like Ikrima, Karate and the under discussed but important American Jehad Mostafa have a proven track record for delivering attacks and detecting their next moves will be crucial.  I suspect they will either wreak havoc by accelerating operations they already have in motion, or will rapidly move to a new battlefield and affiliate if they believe their Somalia safe haven is compromised. The closest option for their refuge would be al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula in Yemen, for whom Shabaab has a proven relationship, or if they seek a more relevant home they could try to infiltrate into Syria’s jihadist enclaves.  In all circumstances, keeping tabs on Shabaab’s Western foreign fighters will be crucial.
Potential Impacts of Godane’s Death on the al Qaeda versus ISIS battle 
Will Godane’s death be a seminal moment in the ‘Old Guard’ al Qaeda versus ISIS battle?
Finally, and probably most interesting, Godane represents one of the few remaining outspoken loyalists to Zawahiri and ‘Old Guard’ al Qaeda.  But, young jihadists are clearly more excited about ISIS and there have been recent reports of Somalis showing up to pursue jihad in Syria.  If Godane is dead, will Shabaab’s new leader swear allegiance to Zawahiri and ‘Old Guard’ al Qaeda, to abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and ISIS, or will he pursue an independent track for Shabaab in Somalia independent of today’s jihadi politics? 
Again, these implications will only matter if it turns out that Godane is in fact dead.  Godane may have survived this latest drone strike; it's quite possible given there are hardly any pictures of this secretive leader - he’s the terrorist equivalent of the ‘Dread Pirate Roberts’ from the movie The Princess Bride.  However, these considerations might be informative for Godane’s future death if he turns out to be alive. Godane’s death now or in the near future is likely considering he lives in Somalia and has many enemies, both foreign and domestic.   by Clint Watts

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Twin Cities buddies took similar paths to jihad

MINNEAPOLIS -- The two high school buddies loved to shoot hoops and crack jokes with their friends. They both converted to Islam in early adulthood. And both were recruited by terror groups to leave the United States and die for jihadist causes.
It wasn't immediately clear how Douglas McAuthur McCain and Troy Kastigar were drawn into radicalism after their initial conversion to the Muslim faith or whether they might have influenced one another along the way. But the two best friends went down similar paths and met the same end.
Both men attended Robbinsdale Cooper High School in the Minneapolis suburb of New Hope. Kastigar was in the class of 1999, though he left school in February of that year without a diploma, according to school records. McCain went to Robbinsdale from 1997 to 1999, before transferring to nearby Armstrong High School. He did not graduate either.
Address records show McCain lived at Kastigar's house for a period from 2000 to 2001, although that could not be independently verified.
"They were really funny guys. They were goofy. They were just always laughing, hanging out together, joking around. They were just nice," said Alicia Adams, a former classmate who was friends with both McCain and Kastigar in high school.
There was nothing in their background or behavior to "make you think they would become an extremist or a killer or anything of the sort," she said Thursday. People who knew the pair were "trying to wrap all of our heads around it."
U.S. officials confirmed this week that the 33-year-old McCain was killed in Syria while fighting with the Islamic State group. Officials have said that Kastigar was killed in Somalia in September 2009 while fighting with the terror group al-Shabaab.
The U.S. State Department said Wednesday it was looking into reports that a second American fighting with the Islamic State group had been killed in Syria.
Anders Folk, a former federal prosecutor who handled the al-Shabaab cases in Minnesota, said it's noteworthy that two converts with no familial ties to Syria or Somalia latched on to the most extreme interpretation of Islam.
"The fact that two guys from the Midwest, from Minnesota, could both be recruited by different terrorist organizations in different foreign countries shows how effective the rhetoric is at converting certain people to the cause," Folk said. "It also shows that the message isn't about where you go or what country you go to, but the message is about joining the fight. And that message is resonating with young men in America."
Both young men had minor criminal records, including charges of disorderly conduct, traffic violations and instances in which they gave false names to police officers.
The two friends were not into organized sports, but both loved basketball -- McCain's favorite team was his hometown Chicago Bulls -- and the teens were always playing at neighborhood parks and at the Y, Adams said.
Neither Kastigar nor McCain converted to Islam while in high school, Adams said. McCain's Twitter feed included a May 14 post that said he "reverted to Islam 10 years ago" and called it the best thing to happen to him.
Adams said she had kept in touch with McCain over Facebook and through phone calls, and she last spoke with him within the past year, when he was living in San Diego. She said he was doing work in a mosque there, had traveled to Europe and had hopes of being a rapper.
McCain loved learning about Islam and sharing his faith with anyone who would listen, but he was not radical and was respectful of others' beliefs, Adams said.
Kastigar left Minneapolis in November 2008. A 2011 report by the GOP House Homeland Security committee says he was killed in Somalia in September 2009. He was 28.
In August of last year, al-Shabaab released a video that featured Kastigar and other Minnesota men. In the nearly 40-minute video, Kastigar compared his experiences in Somalia to being in an amusement park.
"If you guys only knew how much fun we have over here -- this is the real Disneyland," he said. "You need to come here and join us and take pleasure in this fun." The video also showed Kastigar's shrouded corpse.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Sources say second American killed fighting with ISIS in Syria identified as Abdirahmaan Muhumed

Somali-American Jihadi, Abdirahman Muhumed, 29, killed in this week fighting alongside
A second American reportedly killed fighting with the Islamic State group in Syria has been identified as Abdirahmaan Muhumed, of Minneapolis, two sources told Fox News late Wednesday. 
KMSP-TV in Minneapolis reported that Muhumed was killed in the same battle as Douglas McAuthur McCain, who grew up outside Minneapolis in the town of New Hope and most recently lived in San Diego. The State Department confirmed McCain's death earlier this week, but spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Wednesday that the U.S. has no independent confirmation of the second American's death. "We're looking into it," she said.
A source told Fox News that Muhumed's family had been sent a photo of his body from Syria, but had not been formally notified by the State Department. Fox News was unable to contact the family. 
A profile of Muhumed by Minnesota Public Radio this past June described him as a 29-year-old Somali-American who had been married more than once and was a father of nine children. MPR reported, citing the FBI, that at least 15 young men from the Twin Citites' Somali-American community had traveled to Syria to join Islamic State, the militant group formerly known as ISIS that has captured wide swathes of territory in Syria and Iraq. 
In a Facebook messages to an MPR reporter, Muhumed wrote "I give up this worldly life for Allah" and "Allah loves those who fight for his cause." A picture posted on the social network showed Muhumed carrying a Koran in one hand and a rifle in the other. 
Federal investigators believe that approximately 100 Americans have traveled to Syria to join Islamist groups. Most of them are disaffected young men targeted by recruitment videos like those one put out by the Somali-based, Al Qaeda-linked group al-Shabaab that praised Minnesota's "martyrs." One such "martyr" was Troy Kastigar, a high school classmate of Douglas McCain and a Muslim convert who was killed in Somalia in 2009. 
Abdi Bihi, a leader in the Twin Cities' Somalian community, told KMSP that ISIS has recently begun trying to recruit young women from the Twin Cities to their cause.
"They are brainwashing them to marry them off to jihadists," he said. "They call them to help out as nurses, help out the wounded -- but the real catch is they will be sexually exploited."
While the jihadists may see fighting as a path to paradise, Bihi said the only thing young people who take that path will face is disappointment, possibly even death.
"What will not change is the pain and agony and suffering of the parents," he lamented.
Fox News' 

Somalia PHOTO'S of Blind Somali Jihadist fighting alongside ISIS militants in Syria . 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Somalia: Former Minister of Defense agrees to join Jubaland Peace Proces

KISMAYO, Somalia August 27, 2014 (terrorfreesomalia)-Former a former Minister of Defense  Barre Adan Shire (Barre Hiiraale) has agreed to join the ongoing jubaland peace process after lengthy mediation efforts on Wednesday, terror free somalia  reports. Federal Government of Somalia’s Minister of Internal Affairs Abdulahi Godah Barre, Jubaland officials and traditional leaders paid visit to Col. Bare Hirale stronghold of Goob Weyn which lies a few kilometers away from the southern port city of Kismayo. A two-hour deliberation on the fate of the former warlord led to the Thursday’s return to Kismayo by clan militia. Meanwhile, Jubaland insisted it welcomes the move but put condition on the arrival of militiamen. Jubaland administration accepted that Hiiraale and his special bodyguards be returned to Kismayo and demanded the reintegration and rehabilitation of other armed clan militia who could pose security threat to the peace process. Somali government delegation escorted the commanders of  Bare Hiirale militia Col. Abdi Egal, Mohamed Ali and Abdirashid Moallim to strategic Kismayo seaport. He refused to lay down arms and renounce armed violence as Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed arrived in Kismayo in an effort to consolidate jubaland peace process in April this year. Militia loyal to . Bare Hiiraale engaged in a deadly battle with local forces loyal to the President of Jubaland administration jihadi  warlord Shiekh Ahmed Mohamed Islam (Madobe) in Kismayo and subsequently fled to unknown vicinities in the outskirts of Kismayo following the seizure of Kismayo by Jubaland forces in June 2013. Kismayo suffered from two decades of bloody stalemate, with rival warlords and armed clan militias competing for the lucrative seaport and the fertile hinterland near Jubba River. -

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

American jihadist who traveled to Syria reportedly killed, US official says - Stripes

American jihadist who traveled to Syria reportedly killed, US official says - Stripes

Mogadishu youth stage demonstration to denounce Al Shabaab activities

Somali youth groups in the capital Mogadishu have marched in the major streets in the capital today to show their support for the government while denouncing Al Shabaab militant group actions.
The peaceful demonstration which was organized by center for community dialogue brought together youth groups, women organizations and all district commissioners of Mogadishu municipality.
The protesters chanted anti Al Shabaab slogans while carrying placards that contained messages of peace and patriotism.
The chairman of center for community dialogue Issa Ahmed Omar has urged members of youth to take part in the stabilization of the country.
“The population of the young people in this country is 75 percent and they have important role to play in security and peace building,” He said.
This is not the first time that a protest to denounce Al Shabaab militant group activity in the country was held in Somali capital Mogadishu.
Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh and Mogadishu Mayor Mohamed Hussein Mungab attended anti Al Shabaab protest after the group’s deadly assault on the Somali presidential palace and parliament on july.

Somalia military court sentences man to jail for being father of alleged Al-Shabaab fighter

Mogadishu (terrorfreesomalia) – In the first verdict of its kind in Somalia, a military court in Mogadishu sentenced the father of an alleged Al-Shabaab member to six months of jail time, while his son was sentenced to death by firing squad.
Osman Ali Malin aged 45, was accused by prosecutors of being the father of 18-year old Dahir Osman Ali also known as “Dahir Dayah”, an alleged Al-Shabaab fighter who was charged with the killing of traffic police officer, Yusuf Hassan Adow more commonly known “Yusuf Tarafiko” in Mogadishu, the court heard.
The sentencing of Osman Malin by the military court comes weeks after the chairman of Somalia’s military court Col. Abdurahman Turyare publically declared that parents of suspected Al-Shabaab members would be arrested and sentenced, accusing them of “failing in parenthood”.
The declaration by Col. Turyare however received criticism from human rights activists and civil society workers alike, who said this was akin to collective punishment and was unconstitutional to punish individuals for the actions of others. They further argued that the Al-Shabaab is a secretive movement, and that the likelihood of parents knowing that their children were involved in the movement is very slim. The criticisms however fell on deaf ears, as the military court insisted on going ahead with their decision.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Amisom to withdraw from Somalia in two years

African Union peacekeepers will withdraw from Somalia in two years according to a road map contained in the latest daily updates by Amisom Daily Media Monitoring.  The African Mission in Somalia ( Amisom) would end the intervention in Somalia in 2016, according to the latest assessment by stakeholders.

African Union Acting Special Envoy to Somalia Lydia Wanyoto and Somalia ambassador to Uganda Sheik Sayid Ahmed Dahir say the road map will be adhered to. They expect that by that time the federal government will have the capacity to independently run the affairs of the war-torn state. Ahmed said Somalia is on the right path and thanked regional governments, especially Uganda for ensuring the conflict is subdued. The Kenya Defence Forces contribute a substantial number of troops to Amisom. Other nations are Uganda, Burundi, Sierra Leone and Ethiopia. Meanwhile, Amisom and the Federal Government of Somalia have concluded a three-day conference to educate the Somalia civil society on the role they can play in the implementation of the country's Vision 2016. Somalia has no functional civil society since the collapse of the central government. In the recent past, due to improved security attributed to the Somali National Army (SNA) supported by  Amisom, there are functioning institutions. See also: Suspected Al-Shabaab militia kidnap Kenyan driver ''The objective of the conference was to identify the role of civil society in supporting inclusive political dialogue and initiation of processes of social reconciliation, to restore trust between communities through review,'' Amisom reported. Amisom said this would help identify the role of civil society towards the finalisation and adaptation of a federal constitution by December 2015 and to identify how civil society can participate in the processes leading to elections by 2016. The conference gave the civil society an opportunity to create awareness among themselves on recent political developments in Somalia. It was presided over Labor and Social Affairs Minister Luqman Mohamed and was attended by 58 participants including, six members of Parliament. "I can assure you that the Federal Government of Somalia is willing to work with all civil society groups to move the country forward. The efforts of the Government should be complemented by the civil society," he said.

US General lauds UPDF role in pacifying Somalia

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

EXCLUSIVE: AMISOM command in Kismayo officially taken from KDF

 In an unannounced move by the African Union the AMISOM command in Kismayo has officially been transferred from the Kenyan Defense Forces to Sierra Leonean forces a few weeks ago, as a top Somali government official confirmed to Terror free Somalia.
The government official, who requested that his name not be disclosed, stated that the decision to transfer the AMISOM command in the seaport town of Kismayo from the Kenyan forces to the Sierra Leonean forces came after the Somali government requested so from the African Union, after accusing the Kenyan forces of violating Somalia’s sovereignty.
“The African Union accepted the request by the Somali government to remove the Kenyan forces from the AMISOM command in Kismayo, I can confirm that the command has been handed to Sierra Leonean troops” the government official told Terror Free Somalia. “The Somali government filed a complaint to the AU in regards to the Kenyan forces after involving themselves in several violations, including preventing senior government officials such as ministers and MPs from accessing Kismayo without any right, whilst detaining some of them at the airport for days. The Kenyan forces were also involved in taking sides of certain clans during conflicts in the city, and have further been involved facilitating the illegal trade of charcoal from Kismayo’s seaport, which was banned by the  UN and Somali government” he further stated.
The move by the African Union is believed to have angered leaders in the Jubba interim administration, including Ahmed Mohamed Islam “Madobe”, a former Islamist leader turned KDF ally, who visited the Somali capital several times to meet with government officials and members of the international community to convince them to prevent this decision. However, his efforts were futile as the African Union decided in favor the Somali government’s request.
The Kenyan Defense Forces invaded southern Somalia in late 2011 and moved on to take southern seaport town of Kismayo in 2012 along with a host of other towns, before it joined the AMISOM in that same year. Ever since there has been a friction between Mogadishu and Nairobi on how Kismayo would be administered and by whom, with the Somali government at times openly accusing the Kenyan forces of fulfilling their own agendas alongside illegal activities without the consent of the Somali government.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Japanese Man Captured Reportedly Executed by ISIS in Iraq

Japanese Man Captured Reportedly Executed by ISIS in Iraq

Islamic State of Losers Having Very Bad Week

Islamic State of Losers Having Very Bad Week

My SMS relationship with Al-Shabaab

Al-Shabaab, the militant Islamist group operating in Somalia and Kenya, likes to communicate with journalists by SMS. But receiving their text messages and talking to them on the phone can be an unnerving, and at times surreal, experience.
The other morning I woke up to a text message and missed call from Al-Shabaab.
As always, the message was written in perfect English. It informed me about a film Al-Shabaab has made called Beyond the Shadows. It said the film gave an "accurate portrayal" of what happened when French commandoes last year tried - and failed - to rescue a suspected French intelligence agent held hostage by the group.
A few days later I got another call from Al-Shabaab. The clear, relaxed voice on the other end of the phone told me I was about to receive a text message about the group's role in the killing of a senior police official in Somalia earlier that day.
Sure enough, a few seconds later the text message arrived. Then came a second call to confirm I had indeed received the message.
This is the usual pattern. A call, a text message, then another call to check the message - or the SMS press release, as Al-Shabaab calls it - has arrived.
Scrolling through these messages on my phone, I can chart the history of Al-Shabaab attacks.
Many of the recent ones are in Kenya. One five-part message, written in the style of a news agency report, claims responsibility for an attack on a restaurant in Djibouti popular with foreigners (or, as Al-Shabaab calls them, "Western crusaders").
I have seen Al-Shabaab's violence at close hand.
Lazy Sundays
Earlier this year, I was just a few buildings down from the Jazeera Palace Hotel in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, when it was attacked, first by one suicide car bomber, then another, who waited for the emergency services to arrive before driving his vehicle into them and the hotel to ensure maximum casualties.
The blasts from the exploding cars were huge. Bullets cracked down the street as the security forces tried to beat back Al-Shabaab fighters who had come - in a minibus, I was told - to try and storm the hotel. In the middle of all this, the main target of the attack - a senior security official - came with his entourage to the place where I was. We set up a circle of chairs for them, and they sat there like statues, in stunned, stony silence.
I sometimes find it difficult to relate these acts of extreme and terrifying violence to the calm, measured voice of the Al-Shabaab official on the other end of the phone - to the precise, clinical wording of those text messages.
What started as brief calls about particular attacks have over time developed into longer, wider discussions about the movement's practices and philosophies.
Sometimes there is room for debate. But when I ask about certain subjects - the treatment of spies or adulterers for example - the tone of voice changes. It becomes cold and mechanical, as if the words are learned by rote.
I had the conversation about spies one lazy Sunday morning when I was still in bed.
I got a call from Al-Shabaab, and as I sat in my safe, comfortable bedroom, I heard the voice say: "If you are found guilty of spying, there is only one punishment. You will face the firing squad in a public place. Everybody must witness the killing of a spy. The spy must receive three, four or five bullets to the head."
But perhaps the strangest conversation I had was one sunny day outside the Houses of Parliament in London.
I was due to attend an event there but as I was early, I was sitting in a park outside, in the shade of those grand buildings. My phone rang. I saw the words Al-Shabaab flash on to my screen. What started as an update on the latest attack on the Kenyan coast ended up as a lecture about my faith.
Physical scars
"Have you thought about the afterlife?" asked the official. "You know, Mary, you won't be around in 20, 30, 40 years' time. I seriously recommend you consider converting to Islam," he added. This man seemed genuinely concerned, as he urged me in a gentle voice to take up the Muslim faith.
All the time, images of people I know or have known, who have been caught up in Al-Shabaab attacks, flashed before my eyes.
Some of them are now dead. Others have suffered horrific physical injuries, like a politician I met whose body was ripped apart in an explosion. His black skin is now mottled with raw, angry, bright pink scars. He can't hear anything now because of the damage the blast did to his ears.
Others don't bear any physical scars but jump every time they hear a bang, even if it's just a door. They shudder when they walk past a parked car in Mogadishu, afraid it might explode. Their hearts miss a beat whenever someone they don't know approaches them for fear they might be a suicide bomber.
They, like me, have received texts from Al-Shabaab, only the nature of the messages is very different, as they often contain death threats.
I never quite know when I am going to receive the next message from Al-Shabaab.
I might be on holiday with family, having supper with friends, when all of a sudden, a text message will burst on to my screen, bringing two very different worlds into sharp collision.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Al-Shabaab leader arrested

Somalia’s Information Ministry website published a photos of Hassan Hanafi showing bullet scares of his face. The Ministry says Hassan Hanafi went to Kenya to receive treatment following bullet injuries he sustained after military offensive by Somalia government forces and AMISOM on Buloburte town in central region of Hiran

BBC News reports that police believe the suspect is former journalist Hassan Hanafi, who is accused of killing journalists in Somalia. However, the man has denied under interrogation that he is Hanafi, according to the report. Al-Shabaab has carried out a spate of attacks in Somalia and Kenya, states the report which notes that last September, 67 people were killed when the group's fighters laid siege to the upmarket Westgate shopping centre in Kenya's capital, Nairobi. According to the report, Somalian security sources said Hanafi was arrested in Nairobi following co-operation between the intelligence services in both countries. Hanafi was reportedly receiving medical treatment when police swooped on him, marking a rare cross-border arrest of a terror suspect.
Full BBC News report

Ex-Somali Police Commissioner General Mohamed Abshir

Ex-Somali Police Commissioner  General Mohamed Abshir

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre with general Mohamad Ali samater

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre with general Mohamad Ali samater
Somalia army parade 1979

Sultan Kenadid

Sultan Kenadid
Sultanate of Obbia

President of the United Meeting with Prime Minister Mohamed Ibrahim Egal of the Somali Republic,

Seyyid Muhammad Abdille Hassan

Seyyid Muhammad Abdille Hassan

Sultan Mohamud Ali Shire

Sultan Mohamud Ali Shire
Sultanate of Warsengeli

Commemorating the 40th anniversary of Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre

Commemorating the 40th anniversary of Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre
Siad Barre ( A somali Hero )

MoS Moments of Silence

MoS Moments of Silence
honor the fallen

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre and His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre  and His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie
Beautiful handshake

May Allah bless him and give Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre..and The Honourable Ronald Reagan

May Allah bless him and give  Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre..and The Honourable Ronald Reagan
Honorable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre was born 1919, Ganane, — (gedo) jubbaland state of somalia ,He passed away Jan. 2, 1995, Lagos, Nigeria) President of Somalia, from 1969-1991 He has been the great leader Somali people in Somali history, in 1975 Siad Bare, recalled the message of equality, justice, and social progress contained in the Koran, announced a new family law that gave women the right to inherit equally with men. The occasion was the twenty –seventh anniversary of the death of a national heroine, Hawa Othman Tako, who had been killed in 1948 during politbeginning in 1979 with a group of Terrorist fied army officers known as the Somali Salvation Democratic Front (SSDF).Mr Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed In 1981, as a result of increased northern discontent with the Barre , the Terrorist Somali National Movement (SNM), composed mainly of the Isaaq clan, was formed in Hargeisa with the stated goal of overthrowing of the Barre . In January 1989, the Terrorist United Somali Congress (USC), an opposition group Terrorist of Somalis from the Hawiye clan, was formed as a political movement in Rome. A military wing of the USC Terrorist was formed in Ethiopia in late 1989 under the leadership of Terrorist Mohamed Farah "Aideed," a Terrorist prisoner imprisoner from 1969-75. Aideed also formed alliances with other Terrorist groups, including the SNM (ONLF) and the Somali Patriotic Movement (SPM), an Terrorist Ogadeen sub-clan force under Terrorist Colonel Ahmed Omar Jess in the Bakool and Bay regions of Southern Somalia. , 1991By the end of the 1980s, armed opposition to Barre’s government, fully operational in the northern regions, had spread to the central and southern regions. Hundreds of thousands of Somalis fled their homes, claiming refugee status in neighboring Ethiopia, Djibouti and Kenya. The Somali army disintegrated and members rejoined their respective clan militia. Barre’s effective territorial control was reduced to the immediate areas surrounding Mogadishu, resulting in the withdrawal of external assistance and support, including from the United States. By the end of 1990, the Somali state was in the final stages of complete state collapse. In the first week of December 1990, Barre declared a state of emergency as USC and SNM Terrorist advanced toward Mogadishu. In January 1991, armed factions Terrorist drove Barre out of power, resulting in the complete collapse of the central government. Barre later died in exile in Nigeria. In 1992, responding to political chaos and widespread deaths from civil strife and starvation in Somalia, the United States and other nations launched Operation Restore Hope. Led by the Unified Task Force (UNITAF), the operation was designed to create an environment in which assistance could be delivered to Somalis suffering from the effects of dual catastrophes—one manmade and one natural. UNITAF was followed by the United Nations Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM). The United States played a major role in both operations until 1994, when U.S. forces withdrew. Warlordism, terrorism. PIRATES ,(TRIBILISM) Replaces the Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre administration .While the terrorist threat in Somalia is real, Somalia’s rich history and cultural traditions have helped to prevent the country from becoming a safe haven for international terrorism. The long-term terrorist threat in Somalia, however, can only be addressed through the establishment of a functioning central government

The Honourable Ronald Reagan,

When our world changed forever

His Excellency ambassador Dr. Maxamed Saciid Samatar (Gacaliye)

His Excellency ambassador Dr. Maxamed Saciid Samatar (Gacaliye)
Somali Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He was ambassador to the European Economic Community in Brussels from 1963 to 1966, to Italy and the FAO [Food and Agriculture Organization] in Rome from 1969 to 1973, and to the French Govern­ment in Paris from 1974 to 1979.

Dr. Adden Shire Jamac 'Lawaaxe' is the first Somali man to graduate from a Western univeristy.

Dr. Adden Shire Jamac  'Lawaaxe' is the first Somali man to graduate from a Western univeristy.
Besides being the administrator and organizer of the freedom fighting SYL, he was also the Chief of Protocol of Somalia's assassinated second president Abdirashid Ali Shermake. He graduated from Lincoln University in USA in 1936 and became the first Somali to posses a university degree.

Soomaaliya الصومال‎ Somali Republic

Soomaaliya الصومال‎ Somali Republic

About Us

The Foundation is dedicated to networking like-minded Somalis opposed to the terrorist insurgency that is plaguing our beloved homeland and informing the international public at large about what is really happening throughout the Horn of Africa region.

Blog Archive

We Are Winning the War on Terrorism in Horn of Africa

The threat is from violent extremists who are a small minority of the world's 1.3 billion Muslims, the threat is real. They distort Islam. They kill man, woman and child; Christian and Hindu, Jew and Muslim. They seek to create a repressive caliphate. To defeat this enemy, we must understand who we are fighting against, and what we are fighting for.

Terror Free Somalia Foundation