Friday, January 29, 2010

Al-Qaeda's Yemeni branch reveals links to Somalia insurgency

[MOHAMED DAHIR/AFP/Getty Images] Somalis burn an al-Shabab flag last December in Mogadishu to protest bombing that killed 24 people.
The announcement by Somalia’s al-Shabab movement that it is prepared to send fighters to help al-Qaeda in Yemen sheds light on the expansion of a movement viewed as an agent of al-Qaeda in the Horn of Africa.
The announcement could be nothing but moral support. However, it would be a big mistake to underestimate this movement which controls large parts of southern Somalia and its ability to offer logistical support to al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
Sheikh Mukhtar Al-Rubu (Abu Mansur), one of the main leaders of the "Shabab" movement, told Somali media on January 1 that his group is ready to "come to the aid" of al-Qaeda fighters in Yemen in case they are attacked by the US. Abu Mansur said during an al-Shabab fighters graduation ceremony in Mogadishu that his group is ready to cross the Gulf of Aden to assist al-Qaeda in Yemen. The latter recently suffered major losses, especially among its leaders who seem to have been killed by air and land raids. The group claimed the air strikes have been carried out by the United States, but the Yemeni government assured that it was its troops who carried out these attacks.
Sending fighters from the al-Shabab movement to Yemen will not be impossible. The distance between the two coasts of the Gulf of Aden can be crossed easily as hundreds of Somali refugees cross it in small boats every year to the south Yemen shores. The Somali government is absent in the south of the country, allowing al-Shabab to organise its fighters and send them to Yemen which welcomes Somali refugees fleeing the civil war in their homeland.
But sending Somali fundamentalist fighters to Yemen could represent a change in the equation. Al-Shabab was previously receiving assistance from "foreign mujahideen" who fought against the transitional government and foreign troops—these troops came from Ethiopia initially and were later replaced by the African Peacekeeping forces from Burundi and Uganda.
While there are no accurate accounts on the number of these "foreign mujahideen" who fight alongside the al-shabab fighters, the Somali government announces periodically that it has killed a number of foreign fighters in attempts to reveal to Somali public opinion that al-Shabab is directly linked to an ideology that is alien to Somali traditions, a clear reference to the influence of al-Qaeda.
The link between al-Shabab and al-Qaeda is obvious, even though the nature of this link is not always apparent. On many occasions last year, the leaders of al-Qaeda and specifically Osama bin Laden and Abu Yahya al-Libi pledged their support for al-Shabab in its quest to overthrow the current Somali government. Al-Qaeda leaders offered justifications allowing al-Shabab to continue fighting even though many of their demands were met, including withdrawal of Ethiopian troops and election of the Islamic leader Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmad as president of the country, who promised to fulfil their demands to implementing Sharia law in Somalia.
Even though the Al-Shabab movement was not known until 2005, links between the two groups can be traced back to the early nineties when al-Qaeda, which was also recently formed at the time, sent a number of its fighters to Somalia to train local fighters for "jihad".
But the support lent by al-Qaeda to al-Shabab did not include granting them the title "Exclusive al-Qaeda agency" in the Horn of Africa as occurred with the al-Qaeda Organization in the Islamic Maghreb and al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and in Iraq. This lack of integration is perhaps a choice made by leaders of al-Shabab who have not yet decided whether or not to be an al-Qaeda branch, probably because they will have to change their whole strategy and objectives. By uniting with al-Qaeda they would be expected to fight the West and not simply concentrate on fighting the Somali government.
But not turning into an al-Qaeda branch does not mean that the two groups do not maintain excellent relations and are not fully co-operating. The clearest relationship is one that ties al-Shabab to the al-Qaeda's Yemen branch. Some information appeared lately which shows a much stronger relationship between the two groups then what is seen on the surface.
There were many similarities between the last attempt by al-Qaeda to blow up an American plane in Detroit last month and a similar attempt that Somali security forces aborted without realizing its significance at the time. Somali officials revealed recently that a young Somali man was not allowed to board a plane on November 13th, 2009 heading from Mogadishu to Dubai (making two stops, one in Hargeysa in Northern Somalia and another in Djibouti) after finding out that the passenger had chemical products and a suspicious syringe. Somali officials said that the young man had ties with al-Shabab and that a Somali tribunal had dismissed a case against him for lack of evidence.
As it was later discovered, the Nigerian young man Omar al-Faruk Abdul Mutalib used a chemical substance similar to the one carried by the young Somali.
Security forces are undoubtedly trying to connect the dots between the two attempts and investigating whether the young Somali was on an "experimental" trip to discover how easy it was to smuggle these substances through security checkpoints and onto a plane. The result of this investigation will also determine whether the Somali young man was acting only on behalf of the Somali group, or if this operation was carried out in co-operation with al-Qaeda in Yemen. Al-Qaeda sent the young Nigerian to blow up the American plane.
Camille Tawil is a Lebanese journalist who specializes in Islamist groups. He has authored two books, "The Story of the Arab Jihadists", and "The Armed Islamic Movement in Algeria - From the FIS to the GIA". He wrote this analysis for Al-Shorfa.
This content was commissioned for Magharebia.com.
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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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