Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Somalia: Al Shabab's Leadership Links to Al Qaeda

Al Shabab, the Islamist militant group active in Somalia, is tied closely to al Qaeda through its senior leaders, many of whom trained with and carried out operations in the name of al Qaeda prime. Its leaders’ training and experience lend al Shabab strength. Furthermore, al Shabab is organized in such a way that if a senior leader is killed, operations suffer minimal long-term disruption.
Analysis
Editor’s Note: This is the second in a four-part series on the rebuilding of a key al Qaeda node in Somalia.
The main link between Somalian Islamist militant group al Shabab and al Qaeda is al Shabab’s senior leadership. Many of al Shabab’s senior leaders both trained with and conducted operations in the name of al Qaeda prime:
Aden Hashi Ayro is known to have traveled to Afghanistan sometime before 2001. While he was there, al Qaeda prime trained him in explosives and insurgent tactics. He ultimately returned to Somalia around 2003, where he established his own network and launched a series of operations. He is credited with multiple attacks against foreign aid workers and also is suspected in the murder of a journalist for the British Broadcasting Corp. He has since been described by multiple sources as al Qaeda’s military commander in Somalia. Ayro was killed in a May 1 U.S. airstrike.
Fazul Abdullah Mohammed was involved with al Qaeda prime. He was instrumental in training warlord Mohamed Farah Aidid’s militia in 1993 and helped plan and organize the 1998 bombings of the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania as well as the hotel bombing in Mombasa, Kenya, and a surface-to-air attack on an Israeli jetliner in 2002. He went on to become a part of the leadership of the Supreme Islamic Courts Council (SICC) and subsequently a senior operational commander in al Shabab. U.S. forces have targeted him on numerous occasions.
Abu Taha al-Sudani, also known as Tariq Abdullah, was al Qaeda’s leader in East Africa and received training from al Qaeda prime in explosives. He is thought to have had close ties to Osama bin Laden and other high-level al Qaeda and al Shabab commanders. The United States has also implicated him as the main financier for various al Qaeda operations in East Africa.
Hassan Turki and SICC leader Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys are longtime allies and are believed to be orchestrating the Somalian insurgency. Turki also has links to al Shabab and al Qaeda. He operated a training camp in southern Somalia and was targeted in a March 2007 airstrike but is thought to have survived. His camp was known to have housed al Qaeda-linked militants and trained al Shabab fighters. In 2004, the U.S. government formally designated Turki as a financier of terrorism.
Gouled Hassan Dourad was part of an al Qaeda cell operated by al-Sudani and has links to al Qaeda prime. The U.S. government implicated him in a mid-2003 plot to bomb Camp Lemonier, a U.S. Special Forces base in Djibouti that hosts the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa contingent. Camp Lemonier has served as a the main U.S. operating base in the region — along with forward operating bases in Ethiopia — for many of the U.S. airstrikes on militant targets in Somalia. Dourad is currently being held at the U.S. detention center in Guantanamo Bay.

(click image to enlarge)

Most members of al Shabab’s senior command and control structure also developed links with al Qaeda prime through their involvement in a now-dissolved group that operated in Somalia. Aweys, al- Sudani, Dourad and Turki were all members of al-Itihaad al-Islamiya (AIAI), a precursor to the SICC. It was known to have supported al Qaeda prime’s operations in East Africa in the late 1990s and even into the early 21st century, helping to establish militant training camps near Ros Kamboni, a desolate marshland along the Somalian border with Kenya. When the SICC was formed, the members of AIAI dissolved their group and folded into the new organizations.
Al Shabab’s senior leadership clearly has extensive experience and involvement in al Qaeda prime operations. These links have helped the leaders arrange support for their group through arms shipments from Eritrea and Yemen and through increased numbers of foreign fighters sent in to support their cause. Al Qaeda prime has also voiced support for al Shabab. In a March 2007 al Qaeda statement, Abu Yahya al-Libi encouraged the use of suicide and roadside bombings — tactics commonly associated with al Qaeda-affiliated groups — against Ethiopian troops and pro-Somalian government forces. Bin Laden and his second in command, Ayman al-Zawahiri, have also made mention of Somalia in past recordings. This indicates that al Qaeda prime has recognized al Shabab as a capable entity and has taken a proactive stance in order to help promote the group’s continued growth.
Al Shabab’s Structure
Typically, al Shabab operates in groups of 100 or so fighters when raiding local villages and towns. Within the urban areas, their organizational structure tightens up, and there is more control over small-unit actions. They have proven highly successful in urban combat — a skill perfected through years of conflict, and one the United States experienced firsthand during Operation Gothic Serpent in 1993, when the militias managed to kill 18 U.S. military personnel.
Related Link
Somalia: Al Qaeda and Al Shabab
Al Shabab is a somewhat loosely organized group. While there is a set command and control structure, the senior commanders usually only issue broad directives and leave the day-to-day operations to the lower-level commanders. This style of structure — along with the fact that many of the militants and low-level commanders have been working together since serving in the military wing of the SICC — means that replacing upper-level leaders such as Ayro will be fairly easy and should not greatly affect operational capabilities. In fact, some preliminary reports indicate that Sheikh Mukhtar Abu Zubayr has assumed a more senior leadership role after Ayro’s May 1 death.
Yet Ayro’s death is likely to create some short-term disruption in terms of organization within the group. This has been the United States’ tactic of late: targeting key leadership in airstrikes as a means of slowing down the growth of groups such as al Shabab and trying to keep them in a relative state of disorganization. The United States has employed a similar strategy with success in Pakistan and Yemen, utilizing Predator drones to deliver tactical strikes on key leadership targets.
Judging from the success of the May 1 strike, the United States likely had “eyes on the target,” either via Predator drones or Special Forces personnel on the ground. The United States has also received intelligence on the location and movement of high-value targets from the Somalian government, although this intelligence is often delivered late and is difficult to act upon in a timely manner. Still, the number of successful strikes since January 2007 suggests that coordination is improving.
Next: Implications of the Al Qaeda-Al Shabab Relationship
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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
Somalia

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