Sunday, January 31, 2010

Problems in the VOA-Somali Service..Abdirahman Yabarow former cab driver is said to have fabricated his journalistic background


  A VOA-critical article, A View of Our Community. VOA was very dismissive of our complaint...  VOA response to my article, on Voice of America Somali Service letter to the editor Dear Editor: American Voice of America Somali Service
two years after i wrote that  article VOA Issues come to light

To: Somali Service, Africa Division, VOA, IBB and BBG top executives

 30. january 2010

Re: Resignation Letter
Date: Tuesday, January, 27, 2010
My name is Farhia M. Absie. I am a contractor for the Somali Service of Voice of America (VOA). I write this letter with heavy heart knowing that I have no choice but to officially give up on a job in which I love doing with all my heart. However, my boss, Mr. Abdirahman Yebarow Weheliye left me and other reporters before me no choice but to leave the Somali service of VOA. Not to do this at this time enables to diminish my credibility as Journalist and as a human being.
Mr. Weheliye’s Abusive Behavior
Mr. Weheliye is aggressive, and he continuously insults and demeans me as well as others at the service. He is unprofessional and the most incompetent boss I have ever worked for. He tries to make up for his short comings by putting others down. He is inferior to anyone who is not from his clan. This behavior has baffled me for the longest time knowing that he is responsible to lead a service that was supposed to be impartial to what’s happening in Somalia. A service that’s deeply needed by Somalis that hungry for fair and unbiased news and information. However, I just recently discovered the roots of his hostility towards me: I have made strong friendships with several of my coworkers (one was forced to resign few months ago) who Mr. Weheliye sees as enemy and people to be fought and resist against because of his clans political and historical grievances against them.
This behavior made the news room an uncomfortable battle zone because of Mr. Weheliye’s constant harassment of others he did not like due to their tribal affiliations. Indirectly, he tried to turn me against some of these people at the service that belonged to other tribes. These staff members that he wanted me to turn against were from the same tribe as my mother, and when I rejected this to his face, he took it as I siding with them and against him. I reminded him that this is the United States of America and the Somali Service doesn’t belong to any particular clan. I told him that this was a news organization, and the mission of the U.S for this Service was to help deliver accurate news on the plight of the Horn of Africa. I warned Mr. Weheliye privately many times to disengage from his clannish hostility towards me and others. I told him that I don’t like the clan system that continues to destroy Somalia to this day to become an issue in our workplace in the United States of America.
It was at this time that Mr. Weheliye saw me as an enemy to be rid off as he has done to others before. But I resisted, and some of the employees including me begun to complain about being signaled out because of our friendships or tribal affiliations. Some have now left VOA because of this targeting, but I have decided to fight against his behavior which fueled his actions towards me even further. I however, stood up to him many times letting him know that no matter how much he tries to demean me or demote my duties by eliminating my air time, the Somali people are not blind, deaf and dump. They know who the most talented broadcasters at the service are. It’s not something he can cover up with the nurturing and promoting of those that he thinks are not threat to him. Those that he knows owe him because they were hired unfairly and unjustly from the beginning. The most incapable and incompetent people at the service are those from his tribe. Most of them are uneducated and have no natural talent; they know that they would have never got any other job that’s not in a factory if it wasn’t VOA. That’s why they take his abused.
Mr. Abdirahman Yabarow Weheliye him self is a fraud in many ways and he know it. The reason why he can’t tolerate and gets intimidated by others and anyone else who is not like him is because the only job he has ever held more than few years was driving a Taxi in Washington DC. Somali people know who he is and the fact that his broadcasting record is completely fabricated.
I do not prescribe to the whole tribal thinking, I consider myself Somali and a citizen of the world—and I am deeply disturbed by the cruel mismanagement and clannish behavior of Mr. Abdirahman Yebarow Weheliye and some of his newly arrived clan members at the service.
The reasons mentioned above and many others mention bellows are the reasons why my integrity will not allow me to remind with this Service. Therefore, I am here by resigning from VOA.
I understand that those above Mr. Yebarow have chosen to turn a blind eye and to file behind him no mater what. However, I am hopeful that those of you at the top will have the integrity to open your eyes and seek out the truth of why he is having problems with everyone who is not from his clan, but not anyone from his clan. It’s the Somali way of life. When it comes to someone from your clan member against someone else, its common to always filed and stand shoulder to shoulder with your clan member, right or wrong.
The Somali service has no Somali intellectuals that listen to, it’s a joke. And the way it’s going now, it only contributes to the fire in Somalia. And will no way help the message that the U.S wants to send or share with the Horn. Most people have no respect for the service because they quickly realized how corrupt it is and the fact that it feeds to the same propaganda agenda that is responsible for the demise of the southern Somalia.
My future is too bright for this service. I have dreams that Mr. Weheliye and his small minded friends alike cannot even imagine. That’s why I am moving on. I list the following for future reference if anyone is ever interested. I’ll also attach an invoice that Mr. Weheliye asked me to do last year for someone who was not at the time a member of the Somali service. This information has been forwarded to the members of the media and the office of the Inspector General. This work was never done by this person who is a close relative of Mr. Weheliye. He decided that he wanted to reimburse her the money in which she bought her flight ticket to America.
1- Abuse of federal Contract
2- Unfair hiring practices
3- Discrimination on the basis of Clan and retaliation
4- Miss use of the VOA Somali Service to attain and to fulfill certain agenda which clearly undermines the U.S policy towards Somalia and the goals of the Somali Service.
5- Fraud.
It won’t be long before all the others or at least most others that don’t belong to his tribe follow me and those that left before me. I Have faith that justice will prevail and the U.S tax payers will not continue to fund the very same practices that keep on fueling the conflict in the Horn of Africa.
I thank you for giving me the opportunity to be able to serve my deeply wounded people and fellow Somalis.
Farhia M. Absie

Somalia Special report: The rise of 'the African Taliban'

he plaque on the State House building in Hargeisa, capital of  Somaliland. somalia is an oblique commemoration to an event that never occurred. It was built in 1952 for a visit to the then British protectorate by the newly crowned Queen Elizabeth II. The Queen never came. These days the half-ruined structure is known for another reason than as the former seat of gin-sipping British colonial officials.
The grounds, including parkland once laid out as a golf course, have bred domed shelters – "bool" they are called – thatched with plastic and segments of scavenged cloth. In places, walls have been tiled with panels of flattened cooking oil cans, which in their repetitions resemble Warhol prints. The bools are low, windowless huts through which the harsh light bleeds messily at the sewn seams to illuminate the kicked up dust. The occupants of this camp sit at the far end of the planet's social spectrum from the State House's first intended guest. Not a monarch and her retinue but refugees from war.The huts are so densely packed together they block the State House from sight. It is barely visible when approaching the camp, but the monument marks the centre of a labyrinth of winding, narrow lanes where cockerels scrabble. When I reach it at last, I find the State House is not occupied itself save for a single wing of outbuildings. Its rooms are open to the sky, floors scattered with detritus. Glassless window frames swing in the wind.But it is far from empty. Children clamber over walls of square-cut honey-coloured stone, partly demolished by fighting in the city in 1988. They sit on the floor of what once was a grand reception room to play complex games with piles of pale round pebbles, tossed and snatched from the air by competing hands. Outside, a few young men sit on a veranda painted with graffiti, listening to music. They pull jackets over their heads to hide their faces at our approach and warn against photography.It is a clue to the identity of many living inside the State House camp: the still anxious victims of the war in the south, in Somalia proper, the country from which Somaliland – recognised by no other state – split in 1991. Victims of the world's worst humanitarian disaster. And conflict, even at a distance from the running gun battles on Mogadishu's streets, imposes its own hierarchies.The most recent refugees, the poorest, live at the periphery, farthest from the State House itself. Which is why it is surprising to find Sarida Nour Ahmed, aged 31, a recent arrival, occupying one of the building's few habitable rooms, a few metres square. Once used to house the British governor's staff, these days it is roofed with corrugated metal which leaks in the rain. A bool would be much better, she explains.Sarida fled from Somalia in March, abandoning three of her 10 children in the chaos of flight. "The situation was unbearable. Mortars were landing during the day. At night there was torture, rape and beatings. At first we thought it was because of the Ethiopian invasion. But things got worse. They came to our houses. Robbed and raped." I ask her who? The Shabaab, she says. The Shabaab. The word means literally "the youth". And it is the story of the victims of the Shabaab's continuing war that I have come to the camps of Somaliland to find...more..
Somali Jihadis chop off hand and foot of 17-year old boy. His crime? He refused to join the Al-Shabaab 

Al Shabab's reign of terror grips Somalia

Al Shabaab Terrorist bases attacked

Two towns controlled by al shabaab militants have been attacked by pro gunmen overnight, witnesses said on Sunday. Bulo Hawo town near the border between Kenya and Somalia under the control of al Shabaab was attacked by pro Ahlu Sunna Walajam’a and one person has been killed in the fighting. Two other people have also been wounded in the fighting which lasted more than two hours. An official for Ahlu Sunna Waljama’a group claimed the responsibility of the attack and added that they will continue their fighting against the Shabaab. On the other hand, fighting erupted in Afmadow town in Lower Jubba region in southern Somalia managed by al Shabaab.

Snuff out militant Islam's lethal spark - kill bin Laden

When the World Food Program suspended operations in south Somalia earlier this month because Islamic extremists were hassling and murdering aid workers, 1 million people were threatened with imminent starvation.



"The situation for these people may become dramatic," Giorgio Bertin, an African Catholic bishop, warned a few days ago.

Who holds the lion's share of blame for this? The easy answer is Somalia's al-Shabab militia, the Islamic extremist group. But look deeper, and a large share of blame falls on Osama bin Laden and President George W. Bush.
How's that? Think back to the days before the Sept. 11 attacks. Osama bin Laden was brewing trouble. Al Qaeda attacked the U.S. guided missile destroyer Cole, Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia and the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, among other sites. Bin Laden was the face of Islamic terrorism. There were few imitators; al Qaeda had the field largely to itself. In 1998, the United States offered $5 million for bin Laden's capture - the highest bounty Washington had ever offered.
Then came Sept 11, 2001, and bin Laden became the world's most prominent villain. "I want justice," Bush declared on Sept. 18. "There's an old poster out West that said, 'Wanted, dead or alive.' "
The rest of the history is well known. Bin Laden had ordered the most serious attack on the United States since Pearl Harbor. The United States attacked Afghanistan, bin Laden slipped over the border to Pakistan, and two years later Bush more or less dropped his interest, transferring his attention and troops to Iraq. Today, bin Laden still resides in western Pakistan - and serves as an inspirational symbol for Islamic militants worldwide.
In Vietnam, the United States could not defeat a determined enemy that had tens of thousands of troops and regional allies that supplied it with sanctuaries and unlimited weaponry. This time, one miscreant attacked the world's only superpower, permanently altered the nation's domestic and foreign policies - and got away with it. Is it any wonder that Islamic terrorists inspired by him have sprouted like mushrooms in the forest after a summer shower?
The al-Shabab militia in Somalia is one of the vilest of these new sects. Its fighters are kidnapping and killing aid workers whose only mission is to care for the nation's poor. It is imposing the most virulent form of Islamic law. The prototypical example of that last year: Al-Shabab adherents stoned a 13-year-old girl to death as penalty for telling police that she had been raped.
Well, on Sept. 10, 2001, al-Shabab didn't exist.
On Sept. 10, 2001, Europeans were not particularly worried about Muslim immigrants. "Western Europe today has a Muslim population of 10 (million) to 12 million," the journal Middle East Policy wrote in June 2001. "In a democratic Europe, an anti-Muslim pogrom seems quite unlikely." What's under way today is not a pogrom. But it's close.
On Sept. 10, 2001, Jemaah Islamiyah, a militant Islamic group in Indonesia, was writing letters to the editor to make its points. The next year it began blowing up hotels.
Today, bin Laden must wake up every morning with a smile on his face for all he has inspired. Sitting there in Pakistan, this man mocks us. He does not need to plan new attacks, only issue a new tape every once in a while, as he did last Sunday, lauding the attempted bombing of a plane bound for Detroit on Christmas Day. But it doesn't really matter what he says. The point of these tapes is to show: I am still alive. The United States is powerless against us!
Right now, the most effective thing the United States could do to turn the tide in the so-called war on terror is to capture or kill Osama bin Laden, the terrorists' shining symbol. We know where he is, more or less - in North Waziristan. Pakistan refuses to go after him. Last week, the Pakistani military told U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates that it would not attack North Waziristan "for six to 12 months." Read that: never.
Now the United States and NATO need to do the job, as President Obama has warned. Pakistan won't like it. But nine years of working with them, at a cost of more than $14 billion, has produced few if any useful results. I'm not talking about an invasion. Infiltrate the region with special-operations forces, as the Bush administration did in 2008. Pakistanis screamed in protest.
Let them scream. Over almost a decade, we have given Pakistan every chance to do the job. Now it's time to do it ourselves.
Joel Brinkley, a professor of journalism at Stanford University, is a former foreign correspondent for the New York Times. To comment, e-mail Contact us via our online submissions form at

African summit hears world ignoring Somalia crisis,Sub-regional group calls for international support for Somalia, OIC Meeting in Uganda Calls for End of Hostilities in Volatile Somalia‎

An African Union (AU) peacekeeping tank is parked outside the Somalia presidential palace in the capital Mogadishu, January 29, 2010. REUTERS/Feisal OmarADDIS ABABA (Reuters) -  

The worsening crisis in Somalia is as big a threat to global security as Afghanistan but is being ignored by the world, delegates told an African Union summit on Sunday.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon attended the AU's annual summit in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on Sunday and again failed to pledge peacekeepers."In Somalia, recent events have tAn African Union (AU) peacekeeping force of 5,000, provided by Burundi and Uganda, is struggling to hold back the rebels. The AU has repeatedly asked for U.N. peacekeepers to bolster its efforts but has only been given funding.Somalia's U.N.-backed transitional government is fighting an Islamist insurgency and has been hemmed into a few streets of the capital Mogadishu..N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon attended the AU's annual summit in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on Sunday and again failed to pledge peacekeepers."In Somalia, recent events have tragically shown that the conflict has a direct bearing on global security," Ban told about 30 African leaders.Later at a news briefing, Ban said the United Nations was still considering "whether conditions are right for a peacekeeping operation."Violence in Somalia has killed 21,000 civilians since the start of 2007 and uprooted 1.5 million people, a contributing cause of one of the world's worst humanitarian emergencies.PIRACY Heavily armed pirates from the lawless Horn of Africa nation are terrorizing shipping lanes in the Indian Ocean and strategic Gulf of Aden, which links Europe to Asia.Ramtane Lamamra, AU Commissioner for Peace and Security said Somalia was now as big a threat to global security as Afghanistan and should not be ignored."The international terrorism is the same and there is the link to the same mother organization, al Qaeda," Lamamra said. "And there is also piracy."Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero told delegates he admired the work of the AU in Somalia but that it was not "sufficient.""If we do not support the transitional government more, Somalia could become a place that could destroy humanity," Zapatero said in Spanish."The proper response is a strong response from the international community, led by the U.N. Somalia is suffering."Al Qaeda's Yemen-based branch became a global security priority after it said it was behind a failed December 25 attack on a U.S. airliner, and concerns have been raised about its ties to Somalia's al Shabaab militants.

Addis  Ababa Ababa(Ethiopia) The Inter-governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) on Saturday called on the international community to extend its support for the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of Somalia, which remains within a tense security situation for 18 years.The call was made during IGAD’s 34th extraordinay session held in parallel with the on-going African Union (AU) Commission summitForeign Ministers from Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Djibouti and Sudan attended the session during which they discussed the prevailing situation in Somalia and the Sudan.The Ethiopian Foreign Affairs Minister Seyoum Mesfin, who is also the current chairperson of IGAD said that the international community’s support for peace making efforts in Somalia is crucial.Currently, the Ugandan and Burundi peacekeeping forces are in Somalia under the African Mission In Somalia (AMISOM) to stablize the TFG of Somalia, which is fighting with insurgents and the al Shabab fighters.On the ocassion, IGAD also promised to give appropriate support to the national elections and referendum to be held in Sudan in 2010 and 2011 respectively.

OIC Meeting in Uganda Calls for End of Hostilities in Volatile Somalia

Explosions Raise Fears Over Somaliland region of somalia Stability

Hairgeisa(somalia ) - The latest bomb explosion in Somalia's self-declared independent republic of Somaliland.  raises concerns over the lack of government presence in the Las-anod area, says an analyst.Among those injured in the blast, which killed one person and injured five on 28 January, was the governor of Sool region, Askar Farah Hussein, who was admitted to a hospital in the town of Las-anod. Commenting on the bombings that have hit the region since October 2009, Somaliland President Dahir Rayale Kahin told reporters: "I have heard the opposition accusing the government of being behind the bombs; this is unfortunate, the government is investigating, but we need to know that the enemy wants [to stage] more attacks against Somaliland...". The latest incident brings to five the bombings since October 2009 in Las-anod, capital of a region in contention between Somaliland and Puntland. Las-anod is part of Sool and Sanag region, to which the governments of Somaliland and Puntland both lay claim.According to EJ Hogendoorn, the International Crisis Group's Horn of Africa Project Director, the Somaliland government is strong enough to get the situation under control in Las-anod "but the problem is that there is minimal government presence in the area".
 "The area remains largely unadministered by both Puntland and Somaliland," Hogendoorn said, adding that the region is inhabited mainly by the Dhulbahante clan, which has family ties to the ruling Harti clan in Puntland."The Sool and Sanag region is disputed by both Puntland and Somaliland for several reasons; the Dhulbahante are unhappy with both Puntland and Somaliland, and Islamist radicals have taken advantage of this to try to cause instability in the area," Hogendoorn said. "Moreover, it is likely that there are significant oil deposits in Sool and Sanag, so both governments lay claim to the region."Hogendoorn said it appeared the violence was inspired by Islamist elements among the Dhulbahante that are sympathetic to Al-Shabab, the main Islamist group that has been waging war against the government in Somalia."The interest of these Islamist elements is to foment instability. What is clear is that they have links with Al-Shabab in south and central Somalia," he said. "There is a similar dynamic going in Puntland, where the Islamist radicals have also targeted government officials in the past."However, Hogendoorn said analysts did not have any evidence that the bombings in Las-anod were orchestrated by Al-Shabab.

Habar-Gidir Hawiye Kidnap British hostages poorly treated, need urgent help

AMARA, Somalia — A British couple kidnapped by Somali pirates in October said they were not being well treated and needed urgent help, according to an AFP reporter who met them in captivity."Please help us, these people are not treating us well," said Rachel Chandler, captured by pirates with her husband Paul as they sailed their yacht, the Lynn Rival, in the Indian Ocean on October 23.They were brought ashore and have been held in separate locations in central Somalia.Rachel Chandler made her plea to a surgeon who was allowed to briefly examine the pair on Thursday, accompanied by an AFP photographer, the first journalist to see the Chandlers since their capture.The surgeon, Mohamed Helmi "Hangul", said she was in poor mental and physical health."She is sick, she is very anxious, she suffers from insomnia," Hangul told AFP.
"But I think she's mainly mentally unwell, it seems. She's very confused, she's always asking about her husband -- 'Where's my husband, where's my husband? -- and she seems completely disorientated," he added.
The pair are being held in separate locations in rugged areas between the coastal village of Elhur and the small town of Amara, further inland.During the visit Chandler looked pale, tired and distraught and pleaded to be reunited with her husband."I'm old, I'm 56 and my husband is 60 years old. We need to be together because we have not much time left," she said.She spoke to the doctor in the presence of the AFP photographer, the first journalist to see the hostages since their kidnapping, from a tent where she is being guarded by pirates armed with assault rifles.Surrounded by trees, her tiny hideout consists of orange netting, tarpaulin and a few rugs.For his part Paul Chandler appeared psychologically more robust than his wife but admitted the conditions of their separate detention were difficult and he also pleaded for help."Please help us, we have nobody to help us, we have no children... We have been in captivity for 98 days and we are not in good condition," he said, also on Thursday.Hangul said Paul Chandler "had a bad cough and seemed to have some fever".The surgeon, who had initially travelled to his hometown of Hobyo in early January to start building a hospital there, explained that it took him three weeks to obtain an authorisation from the kidnappers to visit the Chandlers.
Hangul, a respected figure in the Somali clan to which the kidnappers also belong, said he was not allowed to bring drugs with him but left a prescription with the captors."I gave them some advice and told them: 'Your hostages can die, all you want is money so treat them well, let them re-unite'," the doctor said. "They said that they agreed but I cannot be sure what they've done."Neither the Chandlers nor their kidnappers made any reference to a ransom."We do not know what is happening right now, we have spoken to people and we are still waiting," Rachel Chandler said, without elaborating.A Foreign Office Spokesman did not comment on the status of the negotiations but stressed that Britain was actively trying to secure the couple's freedom.
"We are monitoring the situation very closely and doing everything we can to help secure a release. We remain in regular contact with the family and are providing support. We call for the safe and swift release of Paul and Rachel," he said.The hundreds of Somali sea bandits plying the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden generally hijack merchant vessels among the 20,000 ships that sail each year off the Somali coastline on one of the world's busiest maritime trade routes.Those ships -- which have included supertankers worth hundreds of millions of dollars -- and their crews are generally released for a ransom after a few weeks or months.
But in the relatively rare occurrences of small sailing yachts being taken, with no insurance companies and wealthy maritime operators to foot the ransom bills, the crew is the pirates' only bargaining chip.
Copyright © 2010 AFP.

Chasing peace in Somalia

An African Union soldier takes a picture of a Star reporter taking a picture of him from his post guarding the prime minister's compound in Mogadishu. (Jan. 27)

MOGADISHU, Somalia–Major Ba-Hoku Barigye has two cellphones and both constantly buzz with text messages. One he looks at religiously. The other he often ignores; he knows what it will say.
"You are going to die today," went one message last Sunday, as he donned a flak jacket and helmet and boarded an armoured vehicle for the journey to the president's compound.Later, another: "Yo are the begest enimy of Somalia so you have too go to the country ergently otherwise you will meet consequence.""It's the Shabab," says Barigye, chief spokesman for the African Union peacekeeping mission,in Somalia. He guesses he's had 900 such messages in the past two years.He keeps most of them, including one that makes him laugh: "Al Shabab very very good."Friday marked one year since Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, the teacher-turned-politician, was declared Somalia's president and members of a new transitional government were appointed.But without the 5,300-strong presence here of the Ugandan and Burundian peacekeepers (known as AMISOM), Somalia's Transitional Federal Government would not survive.Even with African Union's protection, the government's reach in the city appears to only extend from the airport to the seaport and to pockets along the road that leads from the AMISOM base to Villa Somalia, where the president and prime minister work and reside.Al Shabab, a radical Islamic guerrilla movement that has pledged allegiance to Al Qaeda, has managed to hit those areas, too. Twin suicide bombers killed 17 peacekeepers in September, and as recently as Monday, a bomb exploded at an AMISOM-run medical outpost, killing one peacekeeper and at least four Somali patients.Two mortars interrupted a government ceremony Friday to celebrate the anniversary. A Somali civilian and Ugandan peacekeeper were killed. A government press release later said the ceremony went on "undaunted."Sharif came to power last January with the backing of the UN and blessing of the West, praised by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as "the best hope we've had in quite some time."But it is hard to see hope on Mogadishu's battered and sparsely populated streets. Gun battles, mortar attacks and bombings happen daily in certain neighbourhoods as the Shabab fights Hizbul Islam, a breakaway rival Islamic group, or the AMISOM forces, which have a mandate to hit back if attacked first. They often hit back harder, with heavy artillery and Katyusha rockets, and there are civilian casualties.Along Al Mukarama Rd., the city's main thoroughfare where a 2008 bomb killed 21 women who had gathered to collect the never-ending rubbish, government soldiers hang off jeeps or walk with Kalashnikovs and belts of ammunition, resembling militias of the past rather than a uniformed force.The most jarring sights are lines of bright laundry strung between crumbling buildings, or schoolgirls in matching lime green hijabs – signs that life goes on where is seems impossible that it could.AMISOM's forces roar along the streets in Casspirs, behemoth South African-made vehicles built to withstand the mines and improvised explosive devices the Shabab has buried along the roadside. Part of their route to the president's compound passes K4 – kilometre four – a chaotic yet vital intersection that's much fought over.One day last week, as the convoy kicked up sand navigating around blast barriers at the intersection, passing AMISOM's small, sandbagged outpost, children ran out and waved, as their parents just stopped to stare.Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke – a Canadian citizen, like so many members of the transitional government and their advisers – agrees the government only controls a small part of the city and the Shabab has a strong presence in the south. Then he quibbles over the use of the word "control."
"For the Shabab to control, it's to intimidate and kill, nothing else," he said in an interview with the Star last week at his guarded compound at Villa Somalia."But for us to control, we must bring law and order. We must perform all the services the government must do and we must deliver basic services like health and education."That's what Sharif did the first time he came to power four years ago.Since Mohammed Siad Barre's was overthrown in 1991, Somalia has been at the mercy of its warlords, squabbling clans and failed foreign interventions. But for six months in 2006, Sharif led a self-appointed government called the Islamic Courts Union, which managed to cross clan lines, conquer the warlords (who were covertly backed by the CIA), and bring some sense of stability.There were concerns with the ICU, dubbed by some in Washington as "Somalia's Taliban." Among its members were radicals on international terrorism watchlists. Women's rights and press freedom were curtailed.But there were also moderates in the leadership, hoping to cooperate with the West. If nothing else, the movement had widespread support and credibility within Somalia – a first in 15 years of war.In the end, the voices raising alarm were louder. A U.S.-backed invasion by Ethiopia, Somalia's predominantly Christian neighbour, dismantled the ICU and the much-despised warlords were back in power.Rather than conquering the ICU's militant wing, the invasion by Somalia's historic rival only bolstered the ranks of al Shabab and drew foreign fighters from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Chechnya, Yemen and neighbouring African countries. There was a time when the U.S. even contemplated targeting Sharif as he fled with other leaders.Two years of devastating war later, with Ethiopia's defeat and a change in the White House, Sharif suddenly emerged as Somalia's best hope.There's a slight defensiveness when government and AMISOM leaders talk about what they've managed to accomplish in a year."You'll forgive me," Sharmarke said, "if I point out the international community doesn't control Afghanistan, regardless how much has gone into keeping it safe and secure."Ahmedout Ould Abdallah, the UN special envoy to Somalia, made the same comparison in a surprise visit last week, chastising outside critics who provide little help but wag their fingers at Somalia.There's no doubt 19 years of war and 14 reconciliation conferences are a testament to how difficult Somalia's problems are to solve.But in many ways, the Shabab has been the most savvy in learning from past mistakes, both in how to deliver its message and provide for its people – key factors in winning over a war-weary population.For instance, the first time the rebel group took over the strategic port town of Kismayo in 2006, it shut down businesses and banned the use of the ubiquitous and much-loved leafy narcotic khat. Today, businesses may operate if they pay a security tax, and there are reports that Shabab tolerates khat vendors dealing outside the city limits, provide they turn over part of their income to the rebels. (In principle, Shabab still deems khat non-Islamic.)Shabab and Hizbul Islam leaders have also preached violent jihad in southern mosques, and foreign fighters have trained young recruits since 2006, building a force of willing martyrs. Their message, mainly transmitted through the Internet, has extended into the U.S., Britain, Sweden, Australia and most recently Canada, luring much-prized Western recruits...more..

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Somali president off to Addis Ababa for AU summit

President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of Somalia on Saturday flew from Mogadishu’s Aden Adde airport on his way to the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa for the African Union Heads of state meeting.

The State Minister of the Presidential Affairs Dr. Hassan Moalim told reporters in Mogadishu that President Sheikh Sharif will brief African leaders on the latest developments in Somalia where the fragile government is struggling with Islamist rebel groups who want to topple it.
“The president will ask the AU to complete the already pledged 8,000 peacekeeping forces for the African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia (AMISOM)” the State minister told reporters Saturday after the President’s departure.
He said that in the presence of the AU heads of state and world leaders including the UN Secretary General, President Sharif will thank the governments of Uganda and Burundi for their troop contributions to the AU peacekeeping mission in Somalia.The AU has currently 5,000 troops from only Uganda and Burundi while 450 others from the neighboring Djibouti are expected to be deployed to the lawless nation in the early weeks of next month, according to sources at the Somali Prime minister’s office who asked not to be named.Somalia has lacked a functioning central government since warlords toppled Mohamed Siyad Barre in 1991 and then turned on each other for power struggle. More than half a million people have been killed in the prolonged armed confrontations and thousand have been displaced since then.

Kenya Deports 16 Somalis

The Kenyan government has deported at least sixteen Somali men that have crossed over the border into Somalia, clan elders in the border town of Dhoobley confirmed on Saturday.According to Hajji Mohamed Yusuf an elder in the city, the sixteen Somalis were brought on the Kenyan side of the border aboard on a Kenyan military vehicle and then were told to cross the border over into the Somali side."The men aged between 19-27 years are now in Dhoobley and we will help their safe return to Mogadishu from where they had fled" the elder said during a telephone conversation with from the city on Saturday afternoon."The Kenyan police arrested us from East Leigh in Nairobi during a crack down on Somali people living in Nairobi just two weeks ago and we have been held in custody since then" said one of the deported men who identified his name as Yaasiin."They dealt with us badly and they sometimes tortured us" he stated adding that he is calling on those who are now willing to go to Kenya to remain in the country to escape from what he called "humiliation".In Mid January scores of Muslim protestors mainly Somalis demonstrated in the streets of Nairobi demanding the release of a Jamaican Muslim cleric who is in the list of international terrorists held in Kenya. Most of the protestors had carried the black flag of Al shabab, the Al Qaeda proxy in the horn of Africa which has bases in Somalia and that lead to the Kenyan police to arrest hundreds of Somalis including 16 MPS during a crackdown in the aftermath of the violent demonstrations that rocked in the centre of Nairobi about two weeks ago.

Al Shabab's reign of terror grips Somalia

He said no when fighters from Somalia's notorious al Shabab militia came to recruit him. A month later, he was tied down in a stadium while his hand and foot were hacked off. The Star 's Michelle Shephard talks to the victims and butchers in the world's most failed state


MOGADISHU, Somalia–Ismael Khalif Abdulle was on his way home from school when they came to get him.He feared this might happen, as did every teenager who lived in the neighbourhood of Dayniile, where al Shabab has a stronghold. That's why kids joined, Abdulle says. They didn't believe in a religious obligation to fight; they were just scared, poor and, like him, had grown up with nothing but war. Joining a militia with big guns and deep pockets seemed like a smart thing to do.But Abdulle wanted to go to school and said so. The two Shabab members who tried to recruit him came back a few days later to teach him a lesson, and this time they brought four truckloads of fighters."They pointed their guns at me and told me I was a thief and I was robbing people and took me to their prison," the slight 17-year-old said, his eyes widening as he recounted his capture in an interview with the Toronto Star this week.In the house where they were held, he met three older boys who said they, too, were told they had committed crimes.Twenty-five days later, the four hungry and thirsty captives were taken to a stadium where a crowd had gathered. "They were holding me tight on my arms and I said, `Please don't hold me that tight. I'm not running anywhere.' They didn't even answer," Abdulle recalled.Men in white coats, with masks and surgical gloves, stood around a dirty mattress on the stadium ground. Abdulle was held down first, suddenly thankful for the strong arms on him. "I asked, `Please tie me tight because when you start I don't want to mistakenly move too much.'"He doesn't remember when they cut off his left foot because the pain and blood from losing his right hand made him pass out. The severed limbs of the four boys were later hung in the town as a warning.In the years since the 9/11 attacks on the U.S., intelligence agencies worldwide have scrambled to keep ahead of growing insurgencies around the world. Security officials often glibly describe it as a game of whack-a-mole – make inroads with one group only to have another pop up elsewhere.Al Shabab, a group Washington believes is Al Qaeda's proxy in the Horn of Africa and has listed as a terrorist organization, is now demanding attention. With international pressure bearing down on the Yemen-based Al Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula, the problem here, just across the Gulf of Aden, is expected to grow worse.And, as is always the case in this city that has not seen peace in nearly two decades, it's those like Abdulle who are trapped.
ISMAEL MAHMOUD laughs when asked what he would do had he met a Western reporter under different circumstances."That would be a problem," the 21-year-old Shabab member says in English.
The circumstances now, however, have Mahmoud lying on a cot, with an African Union soldier standing by. He was captured after a recent mortar attack shredded his left leg and has been recovering at the AU base hospital since.He is still what officials here would call "hard core," even though he says he can no longer fight because of his injury. Asked if he is still a member of Shabab, he nods.
"That's my religion to be a guerrilla, a jihadi," he says.Then, he adds: "All of us al Shabab, we don't like muzungus, white people." Again, he smiles.Al Shabab, meaning the Youth, began as a loosely organized group of militia in 2006, fighting to conquer corrupt warlords and implement a strict interpretation of sharia law throughout Somalia. They were not sophisticated at first and had trouble recruiting members, since most Somalis traditionally follow a mystical Sufi interpretation of Islam, not the dogmatic Wahabbi practice al Shabab demanded.But the 2007 Ethiopian invasion that ousted Mogadishu's self-proclaimed government of the Islamic Courts Union was a gift for al Shabab. The presence of troops from Somalia's historic and much hated rival attracted recruits not just from within Somalia and the Horn of Africa but from countries like Canada and the U.SBy the time Ethiopia withdrew in late 2008 and President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed was declared president of a Transitional Federal Government, al Shabab had grown. In January, they publicly pledged allegiance to Al Qaeda.But why was the Shabab carrying on its fight against a Somali government and president that vowed to incorporate Islamic law?"Those people are not Muslims. They've changed their religion. They are kafir," Mahmoud says, using the Arabic term for non-believers.When Mahmoud's wounds heal, he will return to his family. The 5,300-strong AU peacekeeping mission here of Ugandan and Burundian troops, known as AMISOM, has neither the authority to try captured fighters nor the mandate to turn them over to Somalia's transitional government. Mahmoud says although he considers himself a member of Shabab he will not go back to the fight. "I would have to fight AMISOM and they have helped me," he says. Others aren't convinced.A short drive from the tents that make up the AU hospital is a medical outpost where the women, children and elderly gather for treatment. Some have walked for hours to reach it, since what they get at the AU-run facility is the only free health care they can receive. Ugandan doctor Ronald Mukuye says he has seen women come from Kismayo, a port town 550 kilometres away.Somali interpreters who help AU forces live in the hospital due to security concerns. "Hello, welcome," calls one as a Star reporter passes. He wants to talk, but cannot give his name as his family still lives in town and would be targeted by al Shabab if it was known that he was helping the AU. "I want to work for my country," the 50-year-old explains simply when asked why he takes the risk.The mid-afternoon Monday line to get into the clinic is long. Mothers cradling limp babies in the sun plead for attention from AU armed guards. The clinic is open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and AU officials estimate about 1,200 patients come each week.
Hours later, just as the clinic was getting ready to close, a man reportedly joined the line of patients. As forces prepared to search him a bomb went off, killing at least four and injuring more than eight others. One Ugandan peacekeeper was among the dead.An al Shabab spokesperson claimed responsibility for the attack.
SOMALIS REFER to it as "flashing," as in the common practice of calling someone's cell and hanging up so they'll know to call back. To receive a call requires fewer pre-paid minutes than making one.
Applied here, flashing is the name given to the reaction of AMISOM forces to Shabab provocation. As a peacekeeping mission, AU forces are unable to attack unless attacked first. But this happens daily, as al Shabab routinely fire mortars at Villa Somalia, where the president works and resides, and at the AU base near the airport. Before dawn this week, the morning call to prayer echoing throughout the city was accompanied by the booming of tanks and the sound of gunfire.Somalis are tired of the fighting. They complain that while the Shabab attacks kill dozens, the retaliation of much higher-grade AU weapons also kills civilians. And when mortars are raining down on shopkeepers in the Bakara Market, where al Shabab hides, all that matters is their impact, not who's firing. There are no good or bad guys – just ones with weapons and those without.In this fragile state, survival is the only goal. That's one reason Shabab is able to get money from residents whom government or AU forces can't protect."Whether you support them or not, if you're in a Shabab area you might get security, but this security is based on intimidation," says Abdusalam Omer, a Somali-born American who served as the chief of staff for Washington's mayor in the late 1990s and now advises the finance minister in Somalia's transitional government.

Somali President Vows to Defeat Insurgents

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) -- Somalia's president says government troops are ready to launch major military operations this year to expel insurgent groups from the war torn country.President Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed spoke late Friday after Islamist insurgents launched multiple attacks on government bases and African Union peacekeeping troops, killing at least 19 people. His speech, however, was broadcast on state radio Saturday because of the attacks.The insurgents also bombed the presidential palace with mortars to disrupt a ceremony marking Ahmed's first year in office. More than 30 people were wounded in the fighting, said Ali Muse, the head of the ambulance service in Mogadishu.Ahmed said the government would defeat al-Qaida and al-Shabab and restore peace and stability to the country.

Bloodshed mars Somalia presidency’s anniversary

Al Qaeda-linked Somali insurgents rained mortar rounds yesterday on a ceremony feting the first year of President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed’s shaky rule after a night of fighting that at least killed nine.
As poetry was being read inside a newly renovated theatre in Mogadishu’s presidential compound, Al Shabaab Islamist rebels and their allies pounded the area, drawing heavy retaliatory fire.There were surreal scenes of Sharif and his prime minister Omar Abdirashid Sharmarke watching a video celebrating their first year in office as the smell of gunpowder filled the room after a night of deadly clashes.Four people were wounded on the compound but Sharif was unshaken despite the sound of explosions, outgoing or incoming mortar rounds and artillery shells drowning the show, an AFP reporter at the scene said.A few metres away from the freshly whitewashed walls of the theatre a seriously wounded man was being evacuated in a carpet.One mortar round smashed into the nearby Ethiopian embassy and another struck at an Amisom checkpoint but it was not immediately clear whether anybody was killed in the shelling.Artillery exchanges and automatic weapons fire first broke out around 2am (2300 GMT on Thursday) between the African Union’s peacekeeping mission (Amisom) and Islamist insurgents and ran through the night.“Around seven civilians died in the clashes, including women and children. Most of them were killed by mortar shells and stray bullets,” Abdi Adan, an eyewitness, told AFP.
The fighting was concentrated around the strategic K4 junction halfway between the Somali capital’s airport and the port, on the edge of an area controlled by the African Union peacekeeping mission (Amisom).
The Shabaab in a statement said two of its fighters died in the overnight clashes.“Four civilians died in Wardhigley district and three others were killed in Holwadag and Bakara area. It was the worst fighting we have seen recently,” Mohamoud Ahmed, another local resident, said.“Kilometre Four” (K4) in southeastern Mogadishu is where the airport road meets several other key thoroughfares and is a major flashpoint in the war-ravaged coastal city.
Civilians living in the densely-populated neighbourhoods clamped between Amisom-protected areas and the strongholds of the Shabaab Islamist insurgents are often caught in the crossfire.“We have collected around 22 injured from several locations in Mogadishu and several other people have died,” Ali Musa, head of Mogadishu’s ambulance services, told AFP.“I don’t have the full figures but I know that three of the dead are a mother and her two children,” he said.The Shabaab issued a statement claiming responsibility for the shelling.“Our holy warriors launched a fierce offensive on several locations in Mogadishu where the apostate militias and their Christian backers were stationed,” the statement said.They were referring to government troops, whom they accuse of being puppets of the West, and to Amisom’s Ugandan and Burundian troops, whom they describe as crusaders bent on introducing Christianity to Muslim Somalia.On January 30 last year, Somali MPs gathered in Djibouti to elect a new president and Sharif was declared the winner the next day and hailed by many in his country and abroad as Somalia’s best chance of peace in years.Officials had spent the week preparing for yesterday’s celebrations, which included dancing, singing and poetry reading.The ceremony was attended by most of the embattled transitional federal government (TFG) as well as clan leaders.Amisom’s Ugandan spokesman Ba-Hoku Barigye told AFP two men were arrested after being caught phoning in instructions to insurgents on where to fire their mortar rounds.Sharif, a moderate Islamist cleric, came to power a year ago pledging to bring Islamist rebels back into the fold, but the Shabaab and his former allies from the Hezb al-Islam group turned against him.
The two insurgent movements in May last year launched a bruising military offensive aimed at toppling the government.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Law official: Passenger on flight not terroris

WASHINGTON -- A law enforcement official says the passenger on a diverted flight was not a match to a person listed on the government's list of suspected terrorists who are banned from flying.
Continental Flight 881 was diverted mid-flight to Jacksonville, Fla., because officials thought one of the passengers might be someone on the government's no-fly list.The official said that after the plane landed the government determined there was no match. The official was not authorized to discuss the matter and spoke on condition of anonymity.An airline is not supposed to issue a boarding pass to a person on the no fly list.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.WASHINGTON (AP) - Government officials say a flight was diverted to Jacksonville, Fla., because a passenger on board was an apparent match to a name on the terrorist watch list

UN urges new approach to fight Somali piracy,Navies agree on 'set areas' for Somali patrols‎

New York, Jan 30 (TF.SF) A senior UN official urged a comprehensive, cohesive and broad-based strategy to fight piracy off the coast of Somalia, noting that the continued spread of the scourge points to the limits of a solely sea-based approach, WAM news agency reported.In recent years, pirates operating from Somalia have been hijacking ships in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean and holding their crews and cargo for ransom, according to the UN.Charles Petrie, the UN’s deputy special representative for Somalia, Friday told a meeting of the Contact Group on piracy off the coast of Somalia that improved coordination between the international maritime community and military forces in the region, among other elements, has contributed to a decline in the rate of successful pirate attacks and raised the cost of pirate operations.“And yet piracy continues to expand further out to sea, at times more than 1,000 nautical miles from the coast of Somalia,” he said at the meeting in UN headquarters.Petrie added that the rising costs of these attacks are met by ever more innovative financing mechanisms, including the establishment of stock exchanges which allow local investors to earn returns on their investment in piracy operations.Meanwhile, the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia Friday formally adopted a mode of cooperation between China and the Western naval coalition patrolling the Gulf of Aden, Carl Salicath, its Chairperson was quoted by UN Department of Public Information (DPI) as saying.“This cooperation is open for any nation that patrols these waters in order to prevent piracy,” Salicath said at a press conference at the UN headquarters. Some countries escorted their own ships in convoys, as China had done before the agreement. “This will make the patrolling more efficient,” added Salicath.
Navies agree on 'set areas' for Somali patrols‎ 

Weekly Homeland Security News Briefing

This weeks  Headlines

Pirates looted Sh45bn last year: report

Ship owners paid Somali pirates over Sh45 billion ($60 million) in ransom money last year, a report from a regional anti-piracy watchdog has revealed.The Seafarers’ Assistance Programme report indicated that 47 vessels and nearly 300 crew members were captured by the pirates.Programme co-ordinator Andrew Mwangura said that despite existing international efforts to counter piracy, 12 vessels and their crew, including a yachting couple, have so far fallen captive this year as piracy continued to threaten commercial activities in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian ocean.“During the first weeks of the new year, large ships continued to be attacked by the daring pirates,” he noted.Mr Mwangura said Global Peace Organisation, The World Peace Foundation and the Cambridge Coalition to Combat Piracy, have released 38 recommendations on how various stakeholders can combat the scourge on land and in the sea.Some of the stakeholders identified to partner in the new strategy include allied navies, ship owners and their crews and the countries affected.Pirate activities, believed to be perpetrated by suspected Somali nationals from the war-torn country, have caused untold suffering and losses to thousands of crews and owners of vessels, some of who have been forced to pay colossal sums as ransom money to secure the release of their ships.Recently, a Greek flagged tanker, VLCC Maran Centaurus and her 28 crew members that had been held captive off the Somali coast, was only released after the owners reportedly paid out a ransom of over $7 million, reportedly the largest ransom ever paid out to pirates.Piracy has impacted negatively on efforts by the World Food Programme to send humanitarian aid to starving families in Somalia, with some merchants refusing to hire out their vessels to ferry the food rations to that country.

Heavy fighting in Somali capital kills 19,Islamic Insurgents Attack Troops in the Somali Capital‎ -

HARGEISA, Somalia – Islamist insurgents launched multiple attacks on government bases and African Union peacekeeping troops Friday and at least 19 people, including women and children, were killed in the heaviest fighting in a day seen in Somalia's capital in months.The battle came two days before President Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed marks his first year in power and underscored that his goal of ending violence in a nation shattered by nearly two decades of war remains as elusive as ever.More than 30 people were wounded in the hours-long fighting, said Ali Muse, the head of the ambulance service in Mogadishu. Residents cowered in their homes, unable to venture out as the warring sides pounded each other with artillery, mortars and machine guns.Sheik Ali Mohamud Rage, a spokesman for the insurgent al-Shabab group, said the early morning attacks were aimed at pre-empting an anticipated offensive against the Islamist militia, which controls much of southern regions, most of the capital and some central regions.Rage said two fighters al-Shabab fighters were killed. Barigye Bahoku, spokesman for the AU peacekeepers, said one of the force's 5,100 soldiers was injured. Muse said women and children were among those killed but didn't know how many.
Somali police spokesman Col. Abdullahi Hassan Barise said the insurgent attack was beaten back.
After a lull throughout the day, fighting resumed for about 30 minutes Friday evening. Gunshots could be heard in the southern part of Mogadishu.Ahmed Hassan said mortar shells hit the homes of his neighbors, killing four of them. Hassan said he and other men moved the bodies away from the wreckage to another house nearby. He also said there were five people wounded, but they could not take them to a hospital because it was night and it wasn't safe to move around.When Ahmed was sworn in on Jan. 31, 2009, world leaders touted his government as the "best option" for Somalia. At the time, Ahmed was co-leader of an Islamic insurgency and there was hope he and his supporters would be able to draw in more of the Islamists and help stabilize the capital, which has been the epicenter of the Somali conflict.,,more..
Islamic Insurgents Attack Troops in the Somali Capital‎ -

How al-Shabaab Targets Western Youth

To read the tragic account of one of the estimated 20 young Somalis recruited away from Minneapolis for al-Shabaab, click here.

As the new year begins, al-Shabaab, a terror group fighting to overthrow the government of Somalia, has served notice that it intends to play an increasingly prominent role in international jihad. Al-Shabaab fighters declared their support for Al Qaeda in Yemen following the attempted Christmas Day bombing of Northwest Flight 253, allegedly by a terrorist linked to that group. And police in Denmark said a man charged with the attempted New Year's Day murder of Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard (who drew a controversial 2005 cartoon depicting the Prophet Mohammad) was a member of al-Shabaab with "close links" to leaders of Al Qaeda in East Africa. Al Qaeda and al-Shabaab made official their alliance in September.
"It was a brave step taken by a brave Somali man; he attacked a devil who insulted our honored Prophet Mohammed," an al-Shabaab spokesman told the London Daily Telegraph. "Surely an honored Muslim brother or sister will kill that devil on the next attack."
On Monday, an al-Shabaab terrorist killed seven people and wounded 11 others during a suicide bombing at a clinic near the Mogadishu airport.
It appears that the group intends to carry on that fight with recruits from the United States. Between September 2007 and October 2009, 20 young men (all but one of Somali descent), left the Minneapolis area for Somalia to fight for al-Shabaab.
Thus far, Congress and the intelligence community have been reluctant to conclude that Americans who train with al-Shabaab could return and stage terrorist attacks in the United States or threaten American interests outside the Horn of Africa.
Perhaps the most detailed discussion of al-Shabaab recruiting efforts in the United States was a March 11, 2009 Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing where Andrew Liepman of the NCTC and Philip Mudd of the FBI expressed doubt that al-Shabaab could evolve into a major threat to U.S. interests.
But Mudd, associate executive assistant director of the FBI's National Security Branch, provided one significant caveat when asked how serious a problem the group is.
"I would talk in terms of tens of people, which sounds small but it's significant, because every terrorist is somebody who can potentially throw a grenade into a shopping mall," he said. Mudd added that information about the number of American recruits for al-Shabaab is "fuzzy" because "[t]here are thousands of people - thousands - going to the Horn of Africa every month. You can go to Kenya to look at game parks, and it's hard for me to tell you if somebody's going to a game park or going to Shabaab. So I am sure that there are people out there that we're missing."
At least six Americans have been killed after going to Somalia to join al-Shabaab. One of those was Shirwa Ahmed, who left Minnesota in December 2007. Ten months later Ahmed blew himself up, apparently becoming the first American citizen to carry out a suicide bombing. Another is Jamal Bana, 20, who in July was reported killed in Somalia. He was studying engineering at two Minneapolis schools when he disappeared in November 2008. Bana's family said it learned of his fate when a photograph of his body appeared on a website. Burhan Hassan, 17, also disappeared from his Minneapolis home in the fall of 2008 and flew to Somalia to join al-Shabaab. He, too, was shot to death in June. Read more here.
Criminal prosecutions in the United States

Read more at: least 14 people have been charged in federal cases related to al-Shabaab recruitment in America, including attending terror training camps, fighting for - and providing support to - the group, designated a terrorist organization. The Justice Department announced the indictment of eight men alone on November 23.
Four defendants have pled guilty and await sentencing. One, Abdifatah Yusuf Isse, admitted in April to training with al-Shabaab, building a terrorist training camp and learning to fire weapons. In July, Salah Osman Ahmed pled guilty to traveling to Somalia in December 2007 to fight Ethiopians. During his time fighting alongside al-Shabaab, Ahmed built a training camp and learned how to fire an AK-47.
Court documents unsealed by federal prosecutors in Minneapolis on November 23, 2009 provide a detailed look at how al-Shabaab recruits and raises money in the United States. The documents examine the case of Burhan Ahmed, who was part of a group of four men who left the Minneapolis area in December 2007 to fight against Ethiopian forces that had invaded Somalia. He first went to Saudi Arabia to participate in the pilgrimage to Mecca, then joined the other three at an al-Shabaab safe house in Somalia...more.

Premier discusses with Danish State Secretary

January 29, 2010 -- Prime Minister Meles Zenawi here on Thursday held talks with State Secretary of Denmark, Michael Zilmer-Johns.The two parties discussed on various issues related to Ethiopia, Africa , as well as continental and international issues. Meles on the occasion confirmed that the government is committed to make the upcoming national elections free, fair, transparent and credible. The Premier and the State Secretary exchanged views on issues related to the situation in Sudan and Somalia as well as in the African continent in general, according to a senior government official. The State Secretary on his part lauded contribution and constructive role of PM Meles at the Copenhagen climate change conference. The conference is a base for the agreement, he said, adding, contribution of Meles leading the African delegation to the Conference was center of attention. The Copenhagen conference has laid foundation enabling to reach binding agreement at a similar conference to be held in Mexico. The State Secretary said Ethiopia followed strong, accurate and constructive policy to avert the situation in Somalia, which was threat to Africa and European countries.Michael Zilmer-Johns said existing economic growth, improved democracy and good governance indicate promising situation in the continent.iThe African Union and other sub regional institutions have been able to take strong measures to find solution to problems in the continent.The measures taken to find solution to problems occurred in Guinea-Bissau and Madagascar are some of the examples in this case, he said. (ENA)

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

About Us

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.

Blog Archive

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.

Terror Free Somalia Foundation