Sunday, July 18, 2010

'At your service, Osama' - the African Bin Laden behind the Uganda bombings

As Somalia's al Shebab militants claim responsibility for bombings in Kampala, the Telegraph profiles their spiritual leader, accountant-turned-jihadi Ahmed Abdi Godane.

Al-Shabaab fighters provide security during a demonstration in Suqa Holaha neighborhood in Mogadishu, Somalia Photo: AP

A man attends to an injured women after a bomb went off in a restaurant in Kampala's Kabalagala district Photo: AP

As befits a man who fears he has a US missile with his name on it, Ahmed Abdi Godane knows the importance of keeping a low profile. The leader of Somalia's al-Shebab militant movement, he prefers to be heard rather than seen, ranting away in radio broadcasts from his group's strongholds in northern Mogadishu. Thanks to his fatwahs against pop music, foreign films and even televised football, he already has a captive audience - as of last week, though, he made the rest of the world take notice too. "What happened in Kampala was just the beginning," he warned in his latest broadcast, gloating over Sunday's twin suicide bombings in the Ugandan capital, in which Shebab-backed "martyrs" slaughtered 76 people as they watched the World Cup final. "If Uganda and Burundi do not withdraw their troops from Somalia, there will be more bombings like these." Delivered with the same fiery rhetoric with which he recently declared himself "at Osama bin Laden's service", Godane's warning confirmed what many outside Somalia have long dreaded: that the Shebab, which has imposed a Taliban-style regime across much of the anarchic, war-torn land, would one day begin exporting its brand of Islamist violence to the wider world. Last Sunday's attacks, designed to punish both Uganda and Burundi for providing troops to support Mogadishu's shaky Western-backed provisional government, marked the first time the group had struck outside its own borders. Now, having proved the Shebab's credentials as the world's newest international terrorist group, security officials fear it is only a matter of time before Godane, also known as Abu Zubayr, orders similar attacks against the West. "This is a move into a different league altogether, and will put Godane and al Shebab on the world map," one Nairobi-based security official told The Sunday Telegraph. "He is very much of the international jihads mindset, and wants Islamic rule across the world, from Somalia to Alaska." Just like the piracy crisis off Somalia's coastline, the Shebab's declaration of wider war is a sign of how Somalia's problems are becoming those of the wider region. The Ugandan president, Yoweri Museveni, whose security forces yesterday arrested 20 people in connection with the bombings, has called for more troops to be sent Somalia, this time not as bodyguards to the government, but to hunt down the Shebab. "We are going on the offensive and will get these people," he vowed, calling on other African nations to help beef up the force from its current 5,000 to at least 20,000. But many fear that would play directly into Godane's hands, allowing him to raise the spectre of a foreign "invasion" against which more Somalis would flock to the Shebab. Such a scenario could ignite a region-wide conflict, pitting the mainly Christian nations of the rest of East Africa against the predominantly Muslim population of Somalia. Until now, the Shebab - which means "youth" - has thrived through the very fact that the rest of the world has left Somalia to its own devices. Just like the Taliban in Afghanistan, its leaders first won credibility by imposing a degree of law and order in a land plagued by warlords and criminals, and devoid of proper government for 20 years.
Today it controls much of southern Somalia, as well as parts of the capital, Mogadishu. But the relative security it provides has proved a Faustian pact for those who live under its rule. As well as harsh Sharia punishments, such as stonings and amputations, the Shebab imposes religious edicts as extreme as anything the Taliban dreamed up. The list of "banned" activities, for example, goes well beyond just the obvious targets like music, drink and fraternisation between the sexes. It also includes banning women from wearing bras - on the basis that they showcase the chest - and banning men watching the World Cup: in the stern words of a Shebab spokesman, "they will not benefit anything or get any experience by watching mad men jumping up and down." Instead, the Shebab encourages more wholesome forms of recreation, such as last year's notorious Koranic recital contest, in which a teenaged winner was awarded prizes of an AK-47, two hand grenades and an anti-tank mine. Until recently, Western diplomats took comfort that such an odious vision at least had no ambitions beyond Somalia's borders. The focus of the Shebab's military efforts was mainly against the Western-backed transitional government, which it sees as Western stooges, and which currently controls little more than a few blocks of Mogadishu. But in the past year, the Shebab has taken on a more internationalist outlook, recruiting hundreds of foreign fighters into its ranks and advertising Somalia as a safe base from which to wage global jihad. Much of that dramatic change in direction is put down to Godane, who last year issued a blood-curdling jihadist video called entitled "At your service, Osama". In it, he urged all Somalis to follow the al Qaeda leader, and vowed that "the wars will not end until Islamic Sharia is implemented in all continents in the world." He is, nonetheless, an unlikely contender to become Africa's answer to bin Laden: born in the breakaway republic of Somaliland, he is described as small, slightly-built figure in his late 30s, whose early career included a spell as an accountant for an airline. In the late 1990s, he joined al Itihad al Islamiya, a now-defunct militant group, and went to Afghanistan to fight. He and his followers quarrelled with Itihad's leadership when it mooted the idea of peaceful politics after September 11, producing the nucleus of what would go on to become the Shebab today. However, last week's bombings were not their first taste of foreign blood. In 2003 and 2004, the same splinter group were responsible for a string of murders of Western aid workers, including Richard and Enid Eyeington, a British couple who ran a popular school in Somaliland. While eight men were subsequently sentenced to death for the murders, Godan, according to the US State Department, was "implicated" in the planning. Today, his main role is as the Shebab's spiritual leader, although like Mullah Omar, the one-eyed ruler of the Taliban, he is extremely reclusive. He rarely appears in public, and is careful never to have his photograph taken - mindful, it seems, of the fate of his comrade Adan Hashi Ayro, who was killed by a US missile strike in 2008. "Apparently he turns up on the battlefield quite often, but comes dressed just in jeans and a baseball cap to blend in," said Abdi Aynte, the author of a recent research paper on the Shebab, who has interviewed some of Godane's former comrades. What makes him effective, though, is not his battlefield experience but his background in finance and airlines. "He knows how to move money and people, both of which have been useful in building up links with foreign jihadists", said Mr Aynte. Western intelligence officials estimate Godane may now have recruited up to 500 foreign jihadists in Somalia, some drawn from warzones like Iraq and Afghanistan, others from diaspora communities in Britain and America. The former bring a wealth of guerrilla expertise, but it the latter that cause Washington and London the real worries - they give the Shebab the potential to spread their mayhem to the streets of London and elsewhere. "Despite all the West's talk about the war on terror, al Shebab has been allowed to become much more powerful and extreme than it used to be," said Rashid Abdi, a Naroibi-based Somali expert with the International Crisis Group thinktank. "Countries with big diaspora communities, like the US and Britain, should now be especially concerned." Such fears are shared by British police, who claim to have detected evidence of Shebab funding networks within the 100,000-strong Somali community. The British government points out that the vast majority support only moderate Islam, but to quote Godane, it only needs a few people "at Osama's service" to cause the damage – and judging by a recent trip that Mr Abdi made to London, already some are showing signs of radicalisation. "I was in Shepherd's Bush, where five years ago, all the young Somali men were wearing jeans and trainers," he said. "Now many are growing beards and wearing robes. Sure, a change of wardrobe proves nothing. But I have seen how communities get sucked into the al-Qaeda web, and I was worried by what I saw."
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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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The Foundation is dedicated to networking like-minded Somalis opposed to the terrorist insurgency that is plaguing our beloved homeland and informing the international public at large about what is really happening throughout the Horn of Africa region.

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We Are Winning the War on Terrorism in Horn of Africa

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

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