Saturday, October 31, 2009

J. Peter Pham: Ethiopian warlord’s “Intellectual for Hire”


By Sophia Tesfamariam
On my flight back from London, UK, I decided to catch up on my reading and began by going through some articles that were compiled for me by a friend. It was amongst the pile that I found the piece on Somalia by J. Peter Pham; it turned out to be yet another lazy analysis… I say lazy because his entire piece was a patching together of “cut and paste” paragraphs collected from various dubious self-serving sources. Pham´s incoherent piece was an elaborate apologia for Meles Zenawi, the only terrorist lurking in the Horn of Africa, who bears full responsibility for the carnage in Somalia. Pham has become one of the most vocal apologists for the minority regime in Ethiopia and his latest “cut and paste” piece is a regurgitation of the regime´s often heard narration (tantrums), as it scrambles to get itself out of yet another self-created quagmire.
Those of us who have been observing development in the Horn region know Meles Zenawi´s modus operandi. This latest piece by Pham is a desperate and transparent attempt to divert attention away from the ill-advised, illegal and immoral US-backed Ethiopian invasion and 2-year occupation of Somalia, and international crimes committed by Meles Zenawi´s regime in Somalia. Sanctioning Eritrea (for not toeing Washington´s line on Somalia) is supposed to give Meles Zenawi a respite from his self created quagmire. For Pham and his cohorts, blaming Eritrea is somehow supposed to absolve Meles and those responsible for the crimes committed in Somalia. It may take time, but sooner or later, Meles Zenawi and his handlers will pay for the destruction of Somalia and the deaths of thousands of innocent Somalis. It is Meles Zenawi´s hands that are drenched with the blood of Somalis, not Eritrea´s. Pham is barking up the wrong tree.
My first instinct was to ignore the dishonest individual and his “cut and paste” propaganda piece, which he attempts to pass of for an intellectual analysis on Somalia. But since there may be some lawmakers who might take his statements for fact and believe his misinformation, once in a while, as we have done in the past, it’s important that Eritreans, Ethiopians and Somalis, as citizens of the Horn, call him out and expose his hypocrisy and intellectual dishonesty. This ordained Catholic priest (a credential rarely mentioned in his articles) has traded his priestly collar for a “falfalina” (bow tie), and replaced the morals and teachings of the Catholic Church, with lies and deceptions in his new found (much more lucrative) vocation as a hired gun (or is it hired pen). This embedded priest exposes the ugly side of academia and how much US Foreign Policy is damaged by self serving, morally bankrupt operatives such as Pham who have no qualms about deceiving the US public and lawmakers in order to advance their own illicit (often illegal) agendas.
Horn residents are not surprised by J. Peter Pham’s latest piece in defense of Meles Zenawi and the minority regime in Ethiopia. One of the “intellectuals for hire” that has provided the minority regime political shield in Washington with “testimonies in Congress”, Pham has deliberately lied to, and misled, lawmakers and the American public with is faulty analysis on Somalia, Somaliland, the UIC and more. Pham´s thinking is not just beyond the pale, it´s willfully dangerous and evil. This self appointed “expert” on Africa believes his brief stint as a “Vatican envoy to East Africa” gives him the credentials to write at will, without providing a single shred of evidence to support his far fetched assertions. “Cut and paste” paragraphs fit together to fit Meles Zenawi´s narratives will not cut it. Distorting the facts, omitting the truth and fabricating lies is not a Christian thing to do…as a former priest, he ought to know better.
It is no secret that Pham is closely associated with the conservative neocolonialist cartel; a dubious alliance of fundamentally different and even ideologically opposed religious and political factions such as the coalition of evangelical Christians (also known as the New Christian Right) and the aggressive political ideologues commonly known as the Neoconservatives who have launched an unprecedented evil campaign against Eritrea for the last 10 years in order to advance their hegemonic agendas in the region. Pham is also closely associated with Joseph Greibosky, the author of several erroneous reports on Eritrea and Iran and whose organization, the Institute for Religion and Public Policy, enjoyed a lucrative arrangement-to the tune of a quarter of a million dollars –with the Bush Administration´s State Department.
As a consultant for U.S. intelligence agencies who has helped place former students in intelligence positions, Pham knows a thing or two about that industry and its connections in Somalia. Pham, more than anybody else, knows that Eritrea has no interest in destabilizing Somalia. Despite what Jendayi E. Frazer and her cohorts purport, neither she, nor her hired guns have been able to provide any evidence to back up their evil allegations against Eritrea. It has been almost three years since Frazer and her accomplices fabricated the outlandish UN reports on Somalia, and to this day, neither Frazer nor her accomplices(Ethiopia, Kenya and the illegitimate TNGs), or any other independent party has been able to substantiate its contents-none. Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, the UN Envoy for Somalia for Somalia, has admitted as much.
Pham, who in a recent Washington Post article had the audacity to preach to President Barack Obama about the law, continues to justify Meles Zenawi’s lawlessness and belligerence in Somalia and numerous violations of international law and over two dozen UN Security Council resolutions. Exposing his bias and pro-Ethiopia stance, distorting the facts and deliberately omitting from his latest piece, the Final and Binding decision of the Eritrea Ethiopia Boundary Commission (EEBC) which was delivered on 13 April 2002, which unequivocally awarded Badme, the casus belli for the 1998-2000 border conflict to Eritrea, Pham attempts to divert the issue by mentioning the Eritrea Ethiopia Claims Commission (EECC), a body that chose to address an issue in 2005 that was outside of its Algiers Agreement mandate.
Had Pham done his homework, instead of parroting Meles Zenawi’s tantrums, he would have known that the Algiers Agreement, in addition to the EEBC and EECC, also called for the establishment of a Commission by the African Union and the Secretary General of the United Nations, whose mandate was to investigate the origins of the conflict. The African Union, now an appendage of Menelik Palace has yet to fulfill its obligations under the Algiers Agreements-ditto for the UN. Ethiopia continues to occupy sovereign Eritrean territories, including Badme, in violation of international law.
Eritrea´s principled position on Somalia has been consistent from day one. As far back as 1993, Eritrea has been consistently calling for non-interference in the internal affairs of Somalia and has repeatedly called on the international community to respect Somalia´s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Eritrea does not recognize the Transitional National Government of Somalia, not because of the individuals involved, but because it is an illegitimate regime that has been imposed on the Somali people against their wishes. The previous externally imposed TNGs that have been “propped up” in Mogadishu have been repeatedly rejected by the Somali people, who want to choose their own leaders. Eritrea’s non-recognition of the externally established TNG is not what is destabilizing Somalia; rather it is the Ethiopian invasion and occupation of Somalia and the installing of illegitimate TNGs in Somalia that will be amenable to the West and its allies that has threatened the peace, security and stability in the region.
Like Meles Zenawi, Pham is a flip flopping street smart “intellectual for hire” and knows how to sell his services. The man has no principles. He says one thing today and something different tomorrow, as long as it suits his handlers. There was a time when Pham opposed externally imposed TNGs in Somalia. Here is an excerpt from a piece he wrote before his conversion. On 25 May 2007, in a piece he wrote for the National Review, he said:
“…If anything, the very existence of the TFG – or any central government which in the Somali context is always viewed as an imposition from the outside – is a provocation that invites resistance and gives destabilizing forces an easy entry…”
In another article (”Do Not Resuscitate,” The National Interest Mar.-Apr. 2008) Pham went further to explain why an externally imposed TNG in Somalia would not work. He wrote:
“…It should be clear that the way forward in imported states is not to mindlessly repeat mantras about dialogue aimed at shoring up “transitional governments” that are congenitally incapable of governing. Rather, what is needed is the clarity of vision and the political courage to squarely face the facts on the ground. The interests of the international community, as well as those of great powers (like the United States) most likely to become involved in the conflicted regions like the Horn of Africa, require security and stability. That will not be achieved by propping up inherently illegitimate and destabilizing regimes constructed at some international conference center…”
In a June 2009 article he mocked the TNG led by Sheikh Sharif Ahmed:
“…Even as it was struggling to maintain control of what little bits of its capital it still holds, the TFG continues the charade of being a sovereign government…”
This embedded priest ought to know about charades.
On 02 Jul 09 Pham wrote the following in World Defense Review:
“…What this approach ignores, however, is that if the failure so far of no fewer than fourteen internationally-sponsored attempts at establishing a national government indicates anything, it is the futility—indeed, hubris—of the notion that outsiders can impose a regime on Somalia, even if it is staffed with presumably moderate Somalis duly vetted and anointed by the international community. Instead, in the context of the decentralized reality among the Somali, the concerned international community in general and the United States in particular need to invest the time and resources to seek out local partners who are actually capable of partnering to create a modicum of stability—societal, economic, and, ultimately, governmental—rather than throwing money and arms at a “Transitional Federal Government” which, as a former U.S. ambassador who dealt with Somali issues told me last week, “is neither transitional, nor federal, nor a government.”…”
Is Pham going to accuse this anonymous “former US ambassador”, as he did Eritrea, of being a spoiler, of destabilizing the Horn region? I doubt that.
Pham’s latest hypocritical piece is a perfect example of the dangers inherent in using “intellectuals for hire”. In pursuit of myopic political agendas such greedy, fame seeking individuals like Pham who have no qualms manipulating and distorting the fact lack scholarly integrity and credibility. Seldom held to account for the ramifications of their writings which are always shaped to advance a particular agenda-in this case, absolution of Meles Zenawi’s regime for its numerous international crimes, these “intellectuals for hire” have damaged US credibility and integrity in the world. US Policy for Africa is incoherent and racist because of self serving “advisors” and “analysts” like Pham.
This Islam phobic, incoherent US policy for Somalia is precisely what is threatening to destabilize the entire region. Pham and the other “intellectuals for hire” should be held accountable for the fire they helped fuel in Somalia with their faulty “analysis” and incessant lobbying on behalf of the regime in Ethiopia. With Meles Zenawi, Jendayi E. Frazer instigated and planned the invasion and occupation of Somalia. The pulverization of Somali villages and farms, the deaths of over 12000 innocent civilians, the displacement of over 2 million Somalis, the extra judicial massacres of individuals labeled by Pham and others as being “fundamentalists” and “extremists”, the indiscriminate bombings of Somali markets etc. etc. that followed is the cause behind the greatest humanitarian disaster in the history of Somalia.
The Obama Administration can do itself a favor by investigating Pham´s role in this sordid and destructive affair and ask him why he is hell bent on fueling the carnage in Somalia and campaigning for the dismemberment of Somalia. Whose interests/agenda is he promoting? Certainly, his agenda is not in the best interest of the United States or Somalia…
The rule of law must prevail over the law of the jungle.

Response To Dr. J. Peter Pham ??Shabaab lobbyist for Terrorism in Pseudo-State Somaliland ,

Peter Pham From World Defense Review, Exposing liars and Lobbyists . For this week's segment

 

J. Peter Pham: A Professor ?? or Tabloid Writer! Please make that call asking them to Fire shabaab aka Secessionist lobbyist

Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi agrees to election rules

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and three opposition parties have signed a set of rules for next year's national elections amid accusations of a crackdown on dissent ahead of the poll. The code of conduct was negotiated over two months under the observation of Western diplomats in the capital Addis Ababa. It will become Ethiopian law before parties begin registering in December for the May 23 poll. "This puts us all on equal footing and forces us to have an election that reaches the standards of a democracy," Meles told an audience of politicians and diplomats late on Friday. "It will be conducted peacefully," Meles said. But a coalition of eight parties called Medrek refused to participate in the talks. The group is demanding bilateral negotiations on issues they say were left out, including electoral board reform. The government says Medrek is the most significant threat to Meles, despite holding only 80 of parliament's 547 seats, and that it can still sign up to the code. "We will sign only if we are satisfied on substantive issues we want to discuss around the rule of law and we want bilateral talks," Medrek spokesman Gebru Asrat told Reuters. "Our party members are harassed and jailed."
NEW CODE..more. http://in.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idINIndia-43577520091031?pageNumber=2&virtualBrandChannel=0
Leaders of EPRDF, CUD, AEUP and EDP code of conduct signing ceremony Aiga Forum

POLITICIANS, PIRATES AND PAPARAZZI - MONEY HYPE IN SOMALIA A SIGN OF FINAL FALL

"How much you got" - is the first and often enough the only sentence the caller into the pirate dens of Somalia hears these days on the other side of mostly crackling phone-lines, and the right answer to this question decides about the fate of the call - to be continued or to be just hung up. No hard feeling in the latter case, just business.The Pirate-101 handbook of Somalia has since yesterday a new page with a job-description for a newly created position in the world of corporate piracy. Besides Main-Investor, Commander-in-Chief, Target-Informer, Communications-Officer, Pirate-Captain, GPS-Navigator, Mothership-Handler, Skiff-Racer, Boatman, Spiderman, RPG-launcher, AK-47-gunner, Booby-Trapper, Arms-Supplier, Khat-Supplier, Food-Supplier, Negotiator, Translator, Banker, Money-Courier, Message-Courier and very importantly in all this mess: Accountant - the new job on the pirate-block is that of the Pirate-Media-Stringer or a group of Pirate-Paparazzi with a classical connotation to the origin of this fashionable vice as well as the former Italian colony of Central and Southern-Somalia A year ago at least four different "Sugule Ali" presented themselves as "the" spokesperson for the pirates to the world media and volunteered to freely - without any money being involved - divulge snappy sentences and clever perspectives to the media or served involuntarily as reference for the weird fantasies of numerous journalists, who didn't have the right mobile- or satellite-phone numbers to get them or the real pirates onto their lines. That continues until today with Reuter's "Hassan" or AP's "Mohamed" leaking the latest wanted or unwanted news - undisturbed by issues of accuracy and mostly just for small stringer fees. The business developed to a higher level with Somali videographers trying to sell their clips from crews on abducted ships, whereby only recently a major scoop was achieved by the pirates, when an Italian shipowner reportedly paid up front a substantial amount just to keep any documentation and thereby any critical information concerning the vessel, which had been accused of dumping toxic waste, off the media grid.But now with the Chandler case - the British couple sea-jacked from their small yacht they sailed on the Indian Ocean - the situation of piracy information has most likely and irreversibly at least for a certain time changed into a golden opportunity for added value to the one-stop profit-centre of Somali piracy... ..To read the rest of the piece from John Bamau ..POLITICIANS, PIRATES AND PAPARAZZI - MONEY HYPE IN SOMALIA A SIGN OF FINAL FALL http://bit.ly/2UfR1I

Al-Shabab Terrorist says they will attack Israel

watch video from Hawiye shabaab Jehadist mouthpiece Universal TV masquerading news source yesterday jehadist mandate rally to protest Israel..come out or get killed ..
Translation ..
Al-Shabab Terrorist U.S.-designated terrorist group with ties to al-Qaida an Islamist faction in Somalia which is Al-Qaida proxy in Somalia has disclosed that they will sooner or later attack Israel They said Israel. is a country which is against the interest of the Muslim people??, and has included it the list of the countries which they have sent their threat massages. In their statement they also said that Djibouti is not a friend and has no relationship with the Muslim countries in the world wide and in this case they will attack her. “Somalia consists of 18 provinces and 10 out of the 18 are in our hands and soon we shall bring the others into our hands, these regions we are talking about include the semi-autonomous region of Puntland and the breakaway state of Somaliland” said .Terrorist Sheikh Suldan Mohammed Aalla Mohammed addressing a huge crowd in the town Marka in the lower shabelle region in southern Somalia. Apart from Israel. the other countries they said that they will attack include Djibouti, Ethiopia, Sudan, Kenya, Ghana , Burundi,USA , and South Africa. Al-Shabab has earlier threatened to attack the capital cities of Uganda and Burundi, and after their declaration of the attacks on these two cities the government of Uganda has putted extra oppressions on the Somalis in Kampala the capital of Uganda. ..our source ..http://www.calanka.com/Wararki-Maanta/warka287
Also yesterday Habar Gidir own radio station shabelle Hawiye Jehadist mouthpiece masquerading news source. reported Large demonstrations against destroying of Al-aqsa mosque and Israeli happens in Somalia

Friday, October 30, 2009

Top Mountie worried about radicalization of Canada's Somali community

OTTAWA — Islamic radicalization of Canada's Somali community is becoming a national security concern, RCMP Commissioner William Elliott said Friday.
The potential of Somali-Canadians adopting the extremist ideology of the Islamist insurgency ravaging the failed state is on an evolving list of national security issues and threats Elliott outlined in a sobering speech to an Ottawa conference of security intelligence specialists. Despite such recent successes such as thwarting the Toronto 18 and Momin Khawaja terrorism plots, he said the current threat environment remains severe, from a resurgent al-Qaida and fugitive Tamil Tigers to nuclear technology smuggling and border concerns.
Success in countering the dangers will require police to take on more of national security role and "put more terrorism cases before the courts and more terrorists in jail." That includes possibly arresting people involved in the trafficking and use of Afghan heroin, a major source of Taliban revenue, and charging them under Canada's terrorism financing laws, he said. "The Taliban survives, and is able to continue to kill Canadian soldiers, because it is funded by the Afghan drug trade," he said. Arresting those involved in Canada "would help send a strong message to the world that we are serious about prosecuting accomplices to terror."
While disrupting credible and imminent threats without sufficient evidence to justify criminal charges is sometimes necessary, he said, "counter-terrorism measures based exclusively on intelligence that falls short of the evidentiary threshold are fraught with danger and difficulty."
Without mentioning the federal government's now-discredited security certificate regime for jailing and deporting immigrants suspected of terrorism that relied on secret intelligence rather than open criminal courts, Elliott said "I believe that law enforcement and criminal prosecutions will be the new paradigm of national security in democratic nations the world over.
"Most democratic nations have realized that infringing on the very rights and freedoms we seek to protect from terrorism is ultimately untenable. It is also not very effective in countering terrorist threats." Canada hosts one of the largest Somali diaspora communities in the western world. Somali-Canadians are at risk of being radicalized and recruited to fight with Islamist al-Shabaab (the youth) extremist movement in Somalia's civil war...more..http://www.montrealgazette.com/news

Warden Message: Burundi Focus of al Shabaab Terrorism Threats

Consular Affairs Bulletins Sub-Saharan Africa - Burundi 30 Oct 2009
U.S. Embassy Bujumbura issued the following Warden Message on October 30:

This Warden Message responds to news reports of al Shabaab threats against Burundi for its participation in the African Union Mission in Somalia. The Embassy takes this threat seriously and has reviewed the current security posture for U.S. Government personnel and travel warnings for U.S. citizens in the region.

The Embassy would like to take this opportunity to remind Americans to remain vigilant while performing their daily activities and traveling outside of major cities in order to decrease the likelihood of becoming a victim of crime or other violent acts. Americans are advises to use caution when traveling, paying particular attention when traveling to and from frequent destinations including work, home, and popular shops or restaurants. Travelers should also avoid establishing routines and vary their routes between regularly-traveled destinations in order to reduce their vulnerability to targeted criminal or terrorist acts. In general, Americans should pay close attention to their personal security at locations where Westerners are commonly known to congregate and avoid demonstrations and large gatherings. Americans living and working in Bujumbura should take this opportunity to ensure their security and emergency action plans are up-to-date.

Wherever you travel, stay alert and depart the area if you notice suspicious behavior, including attempts to block the road, slow your movement, or place you under any type of surveillance. Report any such incidents to the Embassy’s Regional Security Office immediately. In vehicles, keep doors locked and windows up at all times. When driving, do not allow pedestrians or other vehicles to stop your movement. Remember you usually have the choice to turn around, drive in reverse or take other evasive action rather than stopping. ..more..https://www.osac.gov/Reports/report.cfm?contentID=109650

Somalia: Pirates Seek $7 Million for British Couple,Bangkok Post Somali pirates say they hijacked Yemeni vessel‎

The BBC reported that a man claiming to be a spokesman for Somali pirates had demanded a $7 million ransom for a British couple seized from their 38-foot sailboat off the Seychelles a week ago. In a taped telephone call to the BBC, the man demanding the payment, speaking English, said that “We only need a little amount of $7 million,” and that the couple, Paul and Rachel Chandler, 58 and 55, would not be harmed unless the pirates were attacked by the Western naval task force that was shadowing them. Asked why so much money had been demanded for the crew of a private sailboat, the pirate said past “NATO operations” had “destroyed a lot of equipment” and resulted in the deaths and capture of other pirates. “So when you consider the amount of damage, the sum is not big,” he said. Earlier, Mrs. Chandler, above left, in a telephone call to relatives, said the pirates were treating the couple well. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/31/world/africa/31briefs-Somalia.html?_r=1&src=twt&twt=nytimesworld
Somali pirates say they hijacked Yemeni vessel
Somali pirates: Western boats 'loot' Somali fish

Ugandan security agencies foil bomb plot in capital Kampala, Somalis rush to register‎ ,Bomb scare causes panic in Kampala

KAMPALA, Oct. 30 (Xinhua) -- Ugandan security agencies on Friday foiled a bomb plot in the capital Kampala just a week after Somali militants threatened terror attacks on the city.
Gerald Olengor, a night watchman who found the bomb at Bhatia Tower located on the main street of the capital told Xinhua at the scene that it was wrapped in old newspapers and chains around “When I was patrolling at around 6 in the morning, I found something inside the entrance which looks like a small wall clock with chains around it, I was scared,” he said. Olengor then called in his supervisor Joseph Ochieng, together with whom he reported the situation to the Police. According to Olengor, there are 15 shops and 14 storerooms in the building. Police cordoned off the building and part of the road in front of it. The Bomb Squad arrived shortly to remove the bomb from the building and took it in a special vehicle to an unknown place before traffic and business returned to normal. However, the Police was not readily available for a comment. It is not clear whether this was a terrorism attempt but it comes just a week after Somali hard-line Al Shabaab insurgents threatened to launch assaults on the capitals of Uganda and Burundi to avenge what they called an indiscriminate attack in Mogadishu by African Union peacekeepers. Uganda and Burundi have over 4,300 peacekeeping troops in Somalia who have lately come under attack by the Somali militia. Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni last Friday warned the insurgents that they would pay heavily if they dare attack Kampala. “Those terrorists I would advise them to concentrate on solving their problems. If they try to attack Uganda then they will pay because we know how to attack those who attack us and they are not in heaven,” he said. Security agencies are not yet linking this attempted attack to the insurgents’ threats but Lt. Col Felix Kulayigye, army spokesman told Xinhua that the threats are real and the agencies were not taking them lightly. “For us in security we never ignore anything nor do we panic. All I can assure is that we are prepared, anybody who dares we shall deal with him and we shall take the war where they have come from,” he said.
Editor: Deng Shasha http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-10/30/content_12362299.htm
Somalis rush to register
Bomb scare causes panic in Kampala
Some background information
Uganda, Burundi raise security on Somali threats,VOA News - Uganda Tightens Security Following Al-Shabab Threat
Ugandan Somalis distance themselves from Al Shabaab
Museveni warns Somali terrorists
Islamists threaten to strike Burundi, Uganda, Uganda rebukes Somali Islamists‎,Burundi taking Islamist attack threat 'seriously'‎
Somalia's al-Shabaab threatens Uganda, Burundi

Somali women beaten for violating Islamic law, officials say

  • (CNN) -- Militants who control parts of Somalia's capital city are beating women in broad daylight for violating their radical brand of Islamic law, according to local officials and witnesses in Mogadishu."Just today, Al-Shabaab dispatched men with whips to the streets around Bakara market and they are flogging any woman who is found not wearing socks," according to a female maize trader at the Mogadishu market, who spoke Thursday.
    She did not want to be named for security reasons.In the past two days, more than 130 people, including women who were not wearing headscarves and men chewing dried khat leaves, have been detained for violating Al-Shabaab's interpretation of sharia, or Islamic law, according to witnesses and officials.Hooded Al-Shabaab gunmen rounded up 50 women on Wednesday from Mogadishu's Bakara market for not wearing the veil that is required for women under some interpretations of Islamic law, according to the maize trader."Most of these women were vegetable traders, so they are poor and can't afford to buy veils for 600,000 shillings [about $23 U.S.]," she said.
    She said she saw more women being detained Thursday.Another 80 Somali civilians were detained in the southwestern town of Luuq, near the Kenyan and Ethiopian border, "because they turned deaf ear to orders we imposed on the town," said the local Al-Shabaab commander Sheikh Hussien al-Iraqi.Al-Shabaab is considered a terrorist organization by the United States because of its ties to Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network.It has been imposing stricter rules on Somali civilians living in the areas it controls.Earlier this month, Al-Shabaab militants whipped women for wearing bras in an area of northern Mogadishu that they control, shocking residents who have been besieged by the ongoing insurgency. The militants believe the female undergarments are a deception to men.http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/africa/10/29/somalia.women.flogged/index.html

Somali pirates allow kidnapped couple to phone home


Paul Chandler, who was kidnapped by Somali pirates, has spoken of the moment he and his wife were taken from their yacht at gunpoint in a phone call from the ship where they are being held hostage.

Mr Chandler, 59, a retired quantity surveyor, and his wife, 55, an economist, were captured after sailing from the Seychelles towards Tanzania on Friday.
Speaking over the phone to ITV news, Mr Chandler said:"I was asleep and men with guns came aboard.""I was off watch. I was asleep and men with guns came aboard. It was on Friday last week at 0230." His brother-in-law, Stephen Collett, 58, confirmed that it was his voice which was heard during the call. Mr Chandler said the couple were forced to sail towards Somalia after their boat was captured by pirates . He and wife Rachel were now being held "hostage" on a container ship called the Kota Wajah, he said. His captors have not asked for a ransom, he said: "Not officially - they kept asking for money and took everything of value on the boat."
The latest dramatic twist came as British officials were attempting to secure the couple's release amid reports they were now held in Somalia. Earlier on Thursday the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said the Chandler's £60,000 boat, the Lynn Rival, had been located but the couple were not on board. ..more..http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/seychelles/6460550/Somali-pirates-allow-kidnapped-couple-to-phone-home.html

Jihad's motley crew

ON a building site in Melbourne's western suburbs, an unlikely group of characters found themselves working together. Yacqub Khayre arrived in Australia from Somalia as a young boy and spoke good English, worked hard but could not communicate with his Turkish-speaking boss. Nayef El Sayed was young but had a fair share of responsibility with three children and a newborn baby. Wissam "Omar" Fattal, a former kickboxer and Muslim convert, used to complain about music played on the site because it was forbidden under Islamic law. They were all described by their boss as gentlemen who got their work done and seemed to get along.
So how did this group, along with two others, Saney Aweys and Abdirahman Ahmed - best described as a motley crew of individuals from different backgrounds and life experiences - end up being charged with conspiring to plan a terrorist attack on the Holsworthy army base in Sydney?
Seven volumes of prosecution evidence was tendered this week to the Melbourne Magistrates Court after four of the five men pleaded not guilty, waived the right to a committal hearing and were ordered to standtrial. The fifth man, El Sayed, was not obliged to enter a plea and has reserved his right to have a committal proceeding next May. The substantial brief - including lengthly police interviews - traces the life story of each leading up the fateful morning of the dramatic police raids that put an end to their alleged terror plot. Each is a tale of immigration and resettlement in a new country, and none is quite like the other. Aweys, Ahmed and Khayre came as humanitarian refugees with their families from Somalia when they were children, with Khayre growing up among Italian and Greekmigrants. He cannot speak Somalian orArabic. Fattal and El Sayed came to Australia from Lebanon, Fattal on the urging of a boxing promoter as he was a prize kickboxer and El Sayed returning here after doing one year of military service. The group got to know each other when they started attending the Preston Mosque in Melbourne's northern suburbs. The Australian Federal Police allege that, despite their differences, these five men were planning to die together, to launch a suicide attack on Holsworthy in which they would storm the military base and gun down as many soldiers as they could before they themselves were shot. ..To read the rest of the piece.....http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,,26277847-28737,00.html?from=public_rss

Loosening of F.B.I. Rules Stirs Privacy Concern

WASHINGTON — After a Somali-American teenager from Minneapolis committed a suicide bombing in Africa in October 2008, the Federal Bureau of Investigation began investigating whether a Somali Islamist group had recruited him on United States soil. Instead of collecting information only on people about whom they had a tip or links to the teenager, agents fanned out to scrutinize Somali communities, including in Seattle and Columbus, Ohio. The operation unfolded as the Bush administration was relaxing some domestic intelligence-gathering rules.
The F.B.I.’s interpretation of those rules was recently made public when it released, in response to a Freedom of Information lawsuit, its “Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide.”; The disclosure of the manual has opened the widest window yet onto how agents have been given greater power in the post-Sept. 11 era.In seeking the revised rules, the bureau said it needed greater flexibility to hunt for would-be terrorists inside the United States. But the manual’s details have alarmed privacy advocates.One section lays out a low threshold to start investigating a person or group as a potential security threat. Another allows agents to use ethnicity or religion as a factor — as long as it is not the only one — when selecting subjects for scrutiny.“It raises fundamental questions about whether a domestic intelligence agency can protect civil liberties if they feel they have a right to collect broad personal information about people they don’t even suspect of wrongdoing,” said Mike German, a former F.B.I. agent who now works for the American Civil Liberties Union.But Valerie Caproni, the F.B.I.’s general counsel, said the bureau has adequate safeguards to protect civil liberties as it looks for people who could pose a threat.“Those who say the F.B.I. should not collect information on a person or group unless there is a specific reason to suspect that the target is up to no good seriously miss the mark,” Ms. Caproni said. “The F.B.I. has been told that we need to determine who poses a threat to the national security — not simply to investigate persons who have come onto our radar screen.”The manual authorizes agents to open an “assessment” to “proactively” seek information about whether people or organizations are involved in national security threats.
Agents may begin such assessments against a target without a particular factual justification. The basis for such an inquiry “cannot be arbitrary or groundless speculation,” the manual says, but the standard is “difficult to define.”Assessments permit agents to use potentially intrusive techniques, like sending confidential informants to infiltrate organizations and following and photographing targets in public.F.B.I. agents previously had similar powers when looking for potential criminal activity. But until the recent changes, greater justification was required to use the powers in national security investigations because they receive less judicial oversight.
If agents turn up something specific to suggest wrongdoing, they can begin a “preliminary” or “full” investigation and use additional techniques, like wiretapping. But even if agents find nothing, the personal information they collect during assessments can be retained in F.B.I. databases, the manual says. When selecting targets, agents are permitted to consider political speech or religion as one criterion. The manual tells agents not to engage in racial profiling, but it authorizes them to take into account “specific and relevant ethnic behavior” and to “identify locations of concentrated ethnic communities.”Farhana Khera, president of Muslim Advocates, said the F.B.I. was harassing Muslim-Americans by singling them out for scrutiny. Her group was among those that sued the bureau to release the manual.“We have seen even in recent months the revelation of the F.B.I. going into mosques — not where they have a specific reason to believe there is criminal activity, but as ‘agent provocateurs’ who are trying to incite young individuals to join a purported terror plot,” Ms. Khera said. “We think the F.B.I. should be focused on following actual leads rather than putting entire communities under the microscope.”
Ms. Caproni, the F.B.I. lawyer, denied that the bureau engages in racial profiling. She cited the search for signs of the Somali group, Al Shabaab, linked to the Minneapolis teenager to illustrate why the manual allows agents to consider ethnicity when deciding where to look. In that case, the bureau worried that other such teenagers might return from Somalia to carry out domestic operations.2

Suspected Somali al-Qaeda man arrested in Yemen

SANA'A, Oct. 29 (Saba) - Yemeni Security authorities have arrested suspect of al-Qaeda member in Taiz, Interior Ministry said on Thursday.The Somali Nour Omar has been held along with five other Somalis in Mocha district of Taiz governorate.A laptop and a stamp of al-Manhal Charitable Society in Mogadishu, Somalia, were in the possession of the accused.
All the six Somalis, including the al-Qaeda suspect, are under investigation currently ..
H/T from Jane Novakwebsite: http://armiesofliberation.com/
Yemen Arrests al-Qaida Suspect Among Six Somalis
Some background

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Somali road trip to Islamist heartland

Islamist militia in Afgoye, Somalia

The BBC's Mohamed Dore reports on a rare road trip out of Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, into territory run by Islamist militants.

The first thing I notice when I head out of Mogadishu is the number of roadblocks.Most of war-ravaged central and southern Somalia is now controlled by al-Shabab, an Islamist group which the US believes has links to al-Qaeda.Yet their fighters are not completely in control; I see roadblocks run by three different groups as I head to Agfoye, a town 29km (18 miles) north-west of Mogadishu.Despite intense and bloody battles, the government is still in charge of parts of the capital and they run the first checkpoint where passengers have to pay them money to carry desperately needed goods in and out of the city.Then just a little further along I come across the first checkpoint manned by al-Shabab, the very secretive but well-organised militia at the centre of the conflict in Somalia.They do not collect money but they check goods and search people.Not far from this checkpoint is another run by al-Shabab's supposed allies, Hizbul-Islam.Earlier this month, the two groups fell out over the southern port of Kismayo - and Hizbul-Islam was driven out of the city...To read the rest of the piece.news.bbc

French vessel exchanges fire with Somali pirates

Somali pirates fired on a French fishing vessel and guards on board returned fire, prompting a military helicopter and warship to rush to the scene, authorities said Wednesday. Seven Somali pirates were arrested.Pirates in two skiffs fired on the French vessel about 350 miles east of the Somali capital of Mogadishu, said Cmdr. John Harbour of the European Union Naval Force.

French military personnel on board the trawler, the "Cape Saint Vincent," returned fire, French military spokesman Rear Adm. Christophe Prazuck said. It did not appear that any of the shots hit the pirates, he said.A German warship was dispatched to the scene, as was a helicopter, which fired warning shots at the pirates, who then were seen throwing items on the boat overboard. Once the warship arrived, seven pirates were detained, the EU Naval Force said...more..http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2009/oct/28/french-vessel-exchanges-fire-with-somali-pirates/

Somalia rebels attack airport as president arrives.Somalia president escapes surprise attack

Somalia's President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed escapes an attack by Islamic militants as he returned from a trip to Yemen when insurgents began firing mortars at his convoy.. Watch this video .news
Somalia president escapes surprise attack
October 28, 2009 -- Updated 1152 GMT (1952 HKT)
Somali President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, pictured at the United Nations, New York, in September.
Somali President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, pictured at the United Nations, New York, in September.Previous Home Next

(CNN) -- Somalia's president escaped an opportunistic attack by Islamic militants Wednesday as deadly fighting erupted in the center of Mogadishu, officials said.Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed was returning from a trip to Yemen when insurgents began firing mortars, resulted in a clash with African Union peacekeepers..more..Somalia president escapes surprise attack‎ -

Somalia is al-Qaeda haven

Somali Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Sharmarke says his country is a haven for al-Qaeda and the terrorist group is using his country to train, regroup and plan further attacks.
Prime Minister Sharmarke, addressing the Royal Institute of International affairs at Chatham House in London, says the situation is beginning to threaten regional stability. The Somali PM told the gathering, "we cannot be certain of the precise size of their presence in our country but al-Qaeda here, they are training and planning in our land. Somalia is serving as an ideal place to them to regroup and redeployed". Mr Sharmarke compared the situation in the East African country to Afghanistan in the 1990s, saying Somalia does risk of being taken over by al-Qaeda. Large swathes of Somalia are under the control of the al-Qaeda-inspired Shabab organisation group and other militant Islamist groups allied to it. Mr Sharmarke said defeating the insurgency was important not only to his country but the whole world, adding that the insurgency is spreading and is starting to threaten regional stability. The prime minister said a purely military response would not work, "an insurgency needs chaos, discontent and poverty, we must take that away," adding that strong government and regeneration was needed to provide an alternative.source rnw.

Alaa Al-Aswany: When women are sinners in the eyes of extremists

The Shabaab movement in Somalia controls large parts of the south and centre of the country, and because officials in this movement embrace the Wahabi ideology they have imposed their views on Somalis by force and have issued strict decrees banning films, plays, dancing at weddings, football matches and all forms of music, Some days ago these extremists carried out a strange operation: they arrested a Somali woman and whipped her in public because she was wearing a bra. They announced clearly that wearing these bras was unIslamic because it is a form of fraud and deception.
We may well ask what wearing bras has to do with religion, why they would consider them to be a form of fraud and deception, and how they managed to arrest the woman wearing the bra when all Somali women go around with their bodies completely covered. Did they appoint a special female officer to inspect the breasts of women passing by in the street? One Somali woman called Halima told the Reuters news agency: “Al Shabaab forced us to wear their type of veil and now they order us to shake our breasts… They first banned the former veil and introduced a hard fabric which stands stiffly on women’s chests. They are now saying that breasts should be firm naturally, or just flat.”
In fact this excessive interest in covering up women’s bodies is not confined to the extremists in Somalia. In Sudan the police examine women’s clothing with extreme vigilance and arrest any woman who is wearing trousers. They force her to make a public apology for what she has done and then they whip her in public as an example to other women.....To read the rest of the piece..parentpages.

Working towards peace and stability in Somalia

( TF.SF )LONDON, United-Kingdom, October 28, 2009 watch
David Miliband met the Prime Minister of Somalia and reaffirmed the UK’s commitment to the TFG’s efforts to work towards the return of peace and stability in the region.On 27 October, Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, met with the Prime Minister of Somalia, Omar Adbirashid Sharkmarke and other key ministers.The Foreign Secretary reaffirmed the UK’s commitment to the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) in its efforts to work towards the return of peace and stability to Somalia and welcomed the Prime Minister’s ongoing focus on advancing the political process and transition, reconciliation and recovery. He deplored attempts by insurgents to undermine through violence the reconciliation efforts by the TFG and underlined that instability in Somalia is a threat to regional peace and security. The Foreign Secretary also raised the case of the two British nationals that have reportedly been seized by pirates off the Seychelles. Prime Minister Sharkmarke agreed to work closely with the British Government to resolve this issue urgently.

SOURCE
United Kingdom – Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Jehadist Shabab and Hisbul Islam Turn on Each Other.

The Somali jehadist group is splitting, with loyalists to the Hisbul Islam now fighting al-Qaida-backed Al-Shabab . Could it be a turning point in the country´s 18 years of civil war?There are two very different opinions about what happened. "One of Hisbul Islam men was going To return to the Yaqshid police station," is the Shabab version of events. "The Hisbul Islam Army shot him and that started the battle." The Hizbul Islam Army tells a different story. "We went to the Yaqshid police station to take back," they say. "It is no longer acceptable what these people are doing to our neighborhoods: They´re ghost town where nobody can live. That´s why it came to a fight."The battle in Yaqshid district currently Mogadishu´s most dangerous district, is still continues. according top the residents, the dead littered the streets and even the last inhabitants of the Yaqshid area had fled. No one counted the actual number of casualties, since the Somali police, army and others no longer come to this part of Yaqshid north Mogadishu .. Here terror, insurgency, murder and violence are left to fester undisturbed.Still, the carnage in Yaqshid and Port city of Kismayu is a cause of hope for some. Until recently, the Shabab branch of the global terrorist network al-Qaida had good ties to the Hsibul Islam leaders Terrorist Hassan Dahir Aweys , is a radical islamist who was taking part in the country´s insurgency. The two groups used to congratulate each other on the Media whenever they managed to commit suicide or blow up AMISOM trucks or attach a group of government and AMSIOM troops.But that has all changed. Now the two sides are locked in a bitter battle in the cities of KIsmayu lower juba and now Mogadishu. Instead of offering mutual congratulations, they use the media as a platform to condemn each other over the battle for the Kismayu and now Yqashid.Shabab now calls the members of the Hisbul Islam "dogs," while they warn the Madooba Hisbul Islam leader who fought against Shabab in Kismayu to prepare for Qiyamah -- the Last Judgment -- and the wrath of Allah.The Somali government and the AMISOM military have both acknowledged the new internal Islamist´s internal conflict with cautious optimism. They consider Alshabab to be the worst of the problems plaguing the war-torn country. The terrorist offspring of the late Islamist leader Terrorist ADAN HASHI FARAH(AYROW OR AYRO) who was killed, last year -- aren´t interested in Somalia as a nation, nor do they care about the plight of the Somali people. What they want is the war that they´ve successfully fueled through a series of attacks and suicide bombings. For some, groups like the mostly habar -gidir Hawiye Hisbul Islam Terrorist , are a lesser evil. They too murder, kidnap and execute with abandon, but what differentiates them from Alshabab is that they are Somali outfits. Many of their leaders are former Hawiye Warlord . Ther is a fundamental disagreements between the groups, which had been papered over in common cause against the Ethiopian , are now surfacing again. And, according to reliable sources the jubbaland commanders are now arming Ahlu Sunah wajamaca a Somali Sufi section central regions to help them fight al-Shabab."We have three enemies," says Somali parliamentarian MP Barre Aden Shire . our "Enemy number one is al-Qaida, enemy number two is Alshabab, number three is the Eretria." Many Somalis inside and outside the country now feels al-Shabab is fundamentally un-Somali: "They kill Somali civilians, they kill our imams, and they slay honored 1977 war veterans. They become a global organization that exists only to destroy Somali and Islam´s reputation."Many Somalis quickly adds that, more than anything, al-Shabab allows for no gods other than themselves. Whoever refuses to join their umbrella organization "Islamic talban State of Somalia´ can be executed simply on suspicion, without trial or evidence, he says. Hisbul Islam Terrorist Hassan Dahir Aweys habar -gidir hawiye old loyalists apparently have a problem with al-Shabab´s totalitarianism. “Let them kill each other”: The only good terrorist is a dead terrorist

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Militias and Insurgency in Somalia

Policy Watch #1593
is the first in a two-part series discussing trends in Somalia. This piece focuses on the country's growing insurgency, while PolicyWatch #1594 addresses peacebuilding efforts and Somalia's ties to terrorism.
During her recent tour of Africa, U.S. secretary of state Hillary Clinton held a press conference with Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, president of Somalia's transitional federal government (TFG). Her statements mark a major public commitment by the Obama administration to support Sharif's flagging government against the country's armed opposition groups, some of which are tied to al-Qaeda and threaten security across the greater Horn of Africa.
Transitional Federal Government
The TFG was created by an internationally supported peace process in Kenya in 2004. Before the TFG could negotiate its arrival in Mogadishu, a civil society-supported amalgam of various Islamic and tribal interests united to form the Islamic Courts Union (ICU). After fifteen years of rule by unpopular, clan-based warlords, the ICU temporarily brought security and hope to the war-ravaged capital city. The ICU, however, was an unwieldy creation. Under the influence of hardline Islamists, ICU militia extended control over most of southern Somalia, surrounded the TFG's rear base in Baidoa, and threatened to extend its holy war to Ethiopia. In response, Ethiopian forces invaded southern Somalia in December 2006, defeated the ICU, and installed the TFG in Mogadishu. This dispersed, but did not destroy, ICU forces across southern Somalia. They reemerged in many forms, notably the Hizb al-Islamiyah and Harakat al-Shabab groups, which slowly reinfiltrated Mogadishu in piecemeal fashion. The militias engaged in classic guerilla tactics to intimidate, harass, and wear down their opponents. Over time, they imported sophisticated attack methods into Somalia, including the use of improvised explosive devices and suicide bombings.
Even with Ethiopia's military support, the TFG was unable to defeat the insurgents and became hampered by leadership conflicts and clan-based schisms over power-sharing. In January 2009, the first TFG president, Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, was replaced by Sheikh Sharif -- a more moderate Islamist leader of the ICU -- in a move to split opposition forces and dilute the armed opposition. Nonetheless, the TFG remains a paper tiger. The parliament rarely meets, and many of its members have fled Mogadishu out of fear for personal security. TFG is unable to deliver desperately needed social services and has no civil service to speak of -- cabinet ministers are often the only TFG ministry staff. Force protection for the TFG is provided primarily by 5,000 Ugandan and Burundian troops that are in Mogadishu as part of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).
The TFG was almost pushed out of Mogadishu in June 2009 by a concerted insurgent offensive. The TFG controls only a fraction of the capital and has influence in other parts of southern Somalia through loose alliances with clan-based political leaders and militias. Even in Mogadishu, the TFG has extremely weak command and control over the militia forces that support it, including strongmen in the security services and Ahlu Sunna wa Jamaah, a Sufist movement that recently spawned several armed militias. These groups function with almost complete independence, are constituted by different and competing sub-clans, and control their own patches of Somali territory -- much as the country's warlord-based factions did in the 1990s.
Armed Opposition Groups
The insurgency in Somalia is comprised of two major groups: Hizb al-Islamiyah and Harakat al-Shabab, both of which have leaders associated with al-Qaeda's East Africa cell. Hizb al-Islamiyah is a loose amalgamation of several militant movements in southern Somalia that emerged from the ICU. The group is led by Hassan Dahir Aweis, the former military commander of al-Itihad al-Islamiyah (AIAI), Somalia's first modern Islamist militant movement in the 1990s and a U.S.-designated terrorist organization. Hizb al-Islamiyah is viewed by many as a vehicle for Aweis's personal ambitions to become the first leader of an Islamist state in Somalia. He was joined by the Ras Kamboni group, led by Hassan al-Turki -- another former AIAI leader -- and based in the Darod clan areas of the lower and middle Juba region. Hizb al-Islamiyah also includes two smaller militia groups: the Somali Islamic Front and the Anole group.
Harakat al-Shabab (The Youth Movement)
is a decentralized and violent Somali jihadist movement that aspires to create a fundamentalist Islamist emirate across the Horn of Africa. This contrasts with Hizb al-Islamiyah, which has maintained a more nationalistic, Somalia-focused agenda. Although al-Shabab did not come to the attention of analysts until mid-2006, the group's core leadership had been active since at least 2003. Al-Shabab evolved from a small group of committed Somali militants working with Aweis and AIAI to provide protection and support to al-Qaeda's East Africa cell. Al-Shabab eventually gained autonomy from the AIAI leadership, began "manhunting" operations against warlord militia commanders supporting Western counterterrorism efforts, and conducted a spate of murders of international aid workers and peace activists. The movement then became the elite fighting force of the ICU, and is now the backbone of the anti-TFG insurgency. Thus far, the group's most devastating attacks took place in the relatively peaceful northern regions of Somaliland and Puntland in October 2008. The five simultaneous explosions at local government offices, a UN compound, and the Ethiopian consulate demonstrated both the sophistication and reach of al-Shabab's network. ..To read the rest of the piece, click here

Uganda, Burundi raise security on Somali threats,VOA News - Uganda Tightens Security Following Al-Shabab Threat

BUJUMBURA, Oct 27 (Reuters) - Burundi and Uganda have beefed up security and are closely monitoring Somalis living in their countries after hardline rebel group al Shabaab threatened to attack the east African countries' capitals. Al Shabaab, which Washington says has links to al Qaeda, said last week it would strike Kampala and Bujumbura in revenge for deadly rocket attacks in Somalia's capital by African peacekeepers from Uganda and Burundi. The two countries both have some 2,500 peacekeepers in Mogadishu with the African Union's AMISOM force which is protecting key sites and the fragile Western-backed government. "We took the threat seriously, that is why we decided to reinforce controls of movements at all entrance points and inside the country," said Pierre Channel Ntarabaganyi, interim spokesman for Burundi's public security ministry. "This includes borders and the Bujumbura international airport," he told reporters late on Monday, urging the population to be vigilant and report suspicious people. Burundi has lost 24 soldiers in Somalia since it first deployed, including the deputy force commander who was killed when al Shabaab struck at the heart of the AMISOM headquarters with twin car suicide bombs. In Uganda, Somali community leaders said they met Ugandan intelligence officials after the threat to discuss security measures and were in the process of registering the some 15,000 Somalis living in the country. "(We) offered our support to help deter any attacks by the al Shabaab elements. Even amongst ourselves we've decided to increase vigilance for suspicious characters," said Hussein Hassan Hariire, leader of the Somali community in Uganda. Al Shabaab has also threatened to attack Kenya's capital Nairobi, where there is a thriving Somali community. There are also some 300,000 Somalis living in refugee camps in Kenya. Uganda's military spokesman declined to comment on reports security officials had met with Somali community leaders. "Terrorism is always and remains a real threat in this region and we're constantly vigilant against infiltration by wrong elements," said Felix Kulayigye. "But yes, we certainly need the cooperation of the every one in Uganda." (Additional reporting by Elias Biryabarema in Kampala; Editing by David Clarke)
Uganda Tightens Security Following Al-Shabab Threat

Ransom fears as Royal Navy continues search for British couple kidnapped by Somali pirates

The family of a British couple thought to have been hijacked by Somali pirates were awaiting a ransom demand tonight as the Royal Navy continued its urgent search for the missing pair.Paul and Rachel Chandler, from Tunbridge Wells, Kent, went missing after sailing from the Seychelles towards Tanzania.Counter piracy rescue teams from the Royal Navy are scouring the area after a distress signal was received from their yacht, the Lynn Rival, on Friday.


Fears: Paul and Rachel Chandler are believed to have disappeared while sailing between the Seychelles and Tanzania

Fears: Paul and Rachel Chandler are believed to have disappeared while sailing between the Seychelles and TanzaniaReuters news agency was contacted by a pirate this morning to say the couple were 'in our hands now'.The pirate, who gave his name as Hassan, said the captives were healthy and ransom demands would follow. No ransom demands have yet been made.He added: 'We captured them as they were touring in the Indian Ocean.'Relatives have said they fear the worst. Leah Mickleborough, the couple's niece, insisted the couple were not naive.Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1223243/Fears-British-yacht-couple-missing-pirate-infested-seas.html#ixzz0VAq1ICSS

Monday, October 26, 2009

Somaliland history

Image

peaceful coexistence with the European colonizers.
 

Anti-terror laws hinder Somali immigrants,?..no

Use Western Union and moneygram agent locations throughout the world,
no to hawala Jihad system, .The Hawala system allows funds to be exchanged with a handshake, piece of paper or on trust and leaves few clues.


For months, Somalis living in Columbus have complained that it has become increasingly difficult to send money home to family members because of banking-industry fears that the funds could end up with terrorists.
Huntington, JPMorgan Chase and Charter One are among the banks that have closed accounts set up by remittance companies, said Omar Tarazi, a local lawyer who has worked with the Somali American Chamber of Commerce and several remittance companies.
Somali leaders said remittances that refugees send home are a lifeline to families and friends struggling in the war-torn African nation. It has few banks, so remittance companies are crucial to sending money home.
The leaders say banks fear being held liable if authorities discover that the money is funding extremists. The Patriot Act requires due diligence of banks in making sure that funds are tracked...more..http://www.dispatchpolitics.com/live/content/local_news/stories/2009/10/26/copy/REMIT.ART_ART_10-26-09_B3_PEFFS0A.html?type=rss&cat=&sid=101&title=Anti-terror+laws+hinder+Somali+immigrants

Al Shabaab militants flog soccer players in southern town

Al-Shabaab militants have flogged young teenagers in Jowhar town, 90 km north of the Somali capital Mogadishu, witnesses said on Monday.

The Shabaab accused the teenagers of wasting their time in playing football. An ad hoc court of al Shabaab sentenced the teenagers to be whipped 38 lashes each person.

Ugandan Somalis distance themselves from Al Shabaab

The Somali community in Uganda yesterday distanced itself from what it called the “barbaric and anti-humanity” warning by the Al Shabaab terror outfit that it would attack Uganda and Burundi.

During a grand meeting of clan elders and Somali community leaders in Kampala, speaker after speaker condemned the threats and pledged to offer voluntary help to ensure peace in the country.

Al Shabaab last week warned that it would strike the Uganda and Burundi capitals in revenge for rocket attacks on Thursday by African Union peacekeepers from the two countries that killed at least 30 people in and around Mogadishu’s Bakara Market.

Uganda is our home
Mr Hussein Hassan Hariire, the chairman of the Somali community and elders in Uganda, said: “Uganda is our second home and we cannot allow our peace to be interfered with. If anything happens right now and they bombard any place here, the blame will be directed to us. We are assuring the people of Uganda that we are one and we should act as one people to stop these terrorists from entering the country.”

Secretary for information Mohammed Hassan apologised to the government of Uganda for the threats and said the Somali community is ready to help in whatever form to ensure peace.

“We appreciate the help the government has given to us and we cannot be part of a group that wants to bring death and turmoil in the country,” he said. “We are ready to give assistance in any form so that we can trace any element of terrorism here because we want utmost security in the country.”,,more..http://www.monitor.co.ug/artman/publish/news/Ugandan_Somalis_distance_themselves_from_Al_Shabaab_93588.shtml

Black Saturday 'Allah's revenge', said terror accused


THE global financial crisis, crippling drought and the Black Saturday fires that killed 173 people were all part of Allah's will to punish the "filthy people" of Australia, one of the men accused of plotting to attack Sydney's Holsworthy army base has claimed.


In a telephone conversation intercepted by federal police shortly after last summer's devastating bushfires, accused terrorist Saney Aweys urged a friend fighting in Somalia to "be strong" and declared that Australians were already "copping (it) hard, man" from Allah."Thanks to Allah, we say Allah bring the fitna (trouble), Allah bring them calamity," Mr Aweys said, according to a transcript of a conversation with Walid Mohamed Osman tendered yesterday in the Melbourne Magistrates Court."When the whole nation is coming down, first the economy comes down, first. By Allah, factories shutting down ... I've never seen Melbourne like this then fire coming to them, no water, the water storage is empty. They are copping (it) hard, man. Thanks to Allah."The transcript was tendered as part of the prosecution brief against four of five men charged over the alleged planned attack on the NSW army base, after they waived their right to a committal hearing and were sent straight to trial.Melbourne men Mr Aweys, 26, Abdirahman Ahmed, 25, Wissam Fattal, 33, and 22-year-old Yacqub Khayre all pleaded not guilty to the charges. The fifth member of the alleged conspiracy, 25-year-old Nayef El Sayed, did not enter a plea and is still deciding whether to have a committal hearing next May...more..http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,26264827-601,00.html