Finally, three months ago, his elder brother Bashir received a phone call from Somalia. It was Aliow calling to explain, in a voice so clear it was unsettling, that he'd joined al-Shabaab, a radical Islamist militia that's allegedly linked to al-Qaida.
"He said, 'I'm fighting for jihad,' " or holy war, said Bashir, 29, seated on the floor of his dingy apartment in a rough immigrant enclave in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital. "He said, 'I'm not coming back, so you should forget about me.' "
Aliow's indoctrination into jihad, which his brother said occurred over many months in mosques and religious schools that Somalis frequented in Nairobi, was one more small triumph for the wide-ranging ambitions of the Islamic extremists in al-Shabaab.
More than two years into their vicious and increasingly sophisticated insurgency, the organization is finding recruits from all over the world: in neighboring Kenya, among the large Somali Diaspora in the United States and in poor Somali communities in countries as far-flung as Sweden and Australia.
The arrival in Somalia in recent months of what United Nations officials estimate to be several hundred foreign fighters is a sign that the insurgency has radicalized a small but battle-hungry segment of the more than 1 million Somalis who live abroad, experts say. It also suggests serious miscalculations by Bush administration officials, who backed an Ethiopian military campaign and then periodically launched missiles at suspected terrorist targets in Somalia, policies that Somalis and many analysts think fueled the insurgency...more..http://www.kansascity.com/451/story/1364262.html
CANBERRA - The global reach of violent Islamic extremism and the power of jihadist ideology have been hammered home to Australia by the arrests yesterday of men allegedly plotting suicide attacks against military bases in Sydney and Victoria.The group allegedly intended to rush the bases with automatic weapons and kill indiscriminately until they were themselves killed.Federal Police Acting Commissioner Tony Negus said yesterday's early-morning raids across Melbourne's northern suburbs "disrupted an alleged terrorist act that could have claimed many lives".One man, 25-year-old Nayes El Sayed, has been charged with committing an act in preparation for a terrorist act, police have been given more time to question another man, and three others have so far been detained.The men are believed to be linked to the Somali-based al-Shabaab terror group that is waging a bloody war against the African nation's interim Government, and which has links to the international al Qaeda network.Although primarily engaged in its national campaign, al-Shabaab regards itself as active in the global war against "enemies of Islam" and recruits and trains foreign fighters from countries including Australia, Britain and the United States...more..http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10588711
Terror sting unfolds
IT was just after 1pm on Thursday, July 30, that Cameron Stewart decided he had enough to take his story to the Australian Federal Police
Stewart, an associate editor with The Australian, had been working for some time on a piece about a suspected cell of Somali and Lebanese extremists operating out of Melbourne. He had a lot of detail.
Stewart knew the AFP was preparing to raid addresses across Melbourne. He knew more than 100 police were flying into the state to help execute the warrant. And he knew Somali terror group al-Shabaab was at the centre of the operation and that Australian-based Somalis had travelled to Somalia for training.
Stewart even knew the codename of the job: Operation Neath.
About 2pm, the AFP's head of media, Superintendent Dave Sharpe, phoned Stewart in his Melbourne office to discuss the story. When Stewart told him what he had, Sharpe knew instantly a serious breach of operational security had occurred. In the frantic hours that followed, one of the first things the veteran officer would do would be to alert the AFP's professional standards unit about what was obviously a significant leak. Attorney-General Robert McClelland's office was also briefed on the unfolding drama. But first the AFP had to ensure the security of the job. During their conversation, Stewart told Sharpe he was prepared to hold the story if the AFP believed it would jeopardise the operation. But, he said, it wasn't his call; the paper's editor would make the decision. At about 5pm AFP acting commissioner Tony Negus phoned The Australian's editor Paul Whittaker in Sydney, asking him to hold the yarn. Negus's argument was simple: if The Australian published the story the next day it could "place lives in jeopardy". Whittaker told Negus he'd have to check with The Australian's editor-in-chief Chris Mitchell, and Stewart, before agreeing to pull the story. ..more..http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25898258-7582,00.html