Sunday, February 28, 2010

AU wants Somalia declared no fly zone, Somali Official Condemns Insurgent Threat to WFP

By Cyprian Musoke

THE Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU) has asked the UN to impose a no-fly zone on Somalia and block sea ports through which foreign groups supply logistics to the insurgents. Eritrea, in particular, has been accused of serving as a conduit for arms, logistics and foreign fighters to the Islamist group Al Shabaab in Somalia. On December 23 last year, the UN Security Council imposed an arms embargo on Eritrea and vowed to slap financial and travel restrictions on its leaders for arming Al Shabaab. The resolution, which was introduced by Uganda, passed by a vote of 13 to 1 in the 15-nation council, with Libya voting “no” and China abstaining. At its meeting held in Addis Ababa on Thursday, the council hailed all the countries and institutions providing support to the AU peace keeping mission, especially Uganda and Burundi, calling on other member states to join. Uganda and Burundi are the only countries that have contributed soldiers to the AU peace keeping force, known as AMISOM, but the 5,000 strong force falls short of the 8,000 soldiers required to secure the capital Mogadishu alone. The AU council stressed that the deterioration of the situation in Somalia is proof of the increased internationalisation of the conflict. It, therefore, called for the deployment of UN staff to help stabilise the situation and support the reconstruction of the country. “The council noted that the current support remains below what is required on the ground and called for more mobilisation of the international community,” an AU release said over the weekend. The group reiterated its support to the Somali government and asked for more support, including military, to enable the government neutralise the armed element and deliver basic services. In that respect, it welcomed the recent commissioning of eight battalions of the Somali security forces, who had been trained by AMISOM. It also welcomed the completion of the induction course for the AMISOM police trainers from Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Uganda who will in turn train the Somali police. The council again condemned the acts of violence and terrorism by Islamist militant groups Al Shabaab and Hizbul Islam “with the active support of foreign elements in defiance of the peace overtures of the government and the international community”. It reiterated its call to all the Somali parties to join the peace process without any precondition and delay. It also demanded that armed opposition groups ensure unrestricted access and assistance to needy civilians in areas under their control. Meanwhile, World Food Programme has reported that Al Shabaab militants are stopping convoys of food reaching more than 360,000 displaced people. Al Shabaab says World Food Programme is ruining local farming by forcing Somalis to rely on imports. But the UN says Somali farmers cannot supply enough food.

Somali Official Condemns Insurgent Threat to WFP

Yacht Briton held by Habar-gidir Hawiye pirates 'could become blind in weeks' after catching severe eye infection, Yacht couple held by Somali pirates speak of 'torment'‎

A British man kidnapped with his wife by Habar-gidir Hawiye Jehadist barbaric pirates,is suffering from a severe eye infection that could leave him blind.Paul Chandler is understood to have contracted the infectious disease trachoma, which is prevalent in East African countries such as Somalia. The condition could lead to him becoming blind within weeks.It is feared that he may have had the disease for months and it is now at an advanced stage, causing severe pain in the eyes so that he is unable to keep them open. He is in desperate need of medication.
Ilness: Both Paul Chandler and his wife Rachel have seen their health deteriorate since they were kidnapped in October last year
Ilness: Both Paul Chandler and his wife Rachel have seen their health deteriorate since they were kidnapped in October last year
Mr Chandler, 60, and his wife Rachel, 56, were kidnapped in October while sailing in their 38ft yacht the Lynn Rival from the Seychelles to Tanzania.
Mrs Chandler's health is also said to have deteriorated. Last month, video of the couple showed that she had become very thin. She is said to be very distressed because of cruel treatment by the pirates and because she is being kept apart from her husband.

Somalia piracy sparks windfall for Kenyan fishermen

Fishermen in Kenya are enjoying bumper catches -- and they've got the Somali pirates who terrorise the Indian Ocean to thank. Fear of attack by armed raiders is keeping many foreign trawlers away, ...    Kenyan fishermen
Malindi is a small fishing town on the coast of Kenya. Most of the surrounding villages are mired in poverty. But for the fishermen, life is looking up for they are netting huge catches of fish



Carson Articulates Obama Policy on Afric

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The top U.S. envoy for Africa, Assistant Secretary of State Johnnie Carson, met with reporters February 24 and answered questions on a wide
array of issues: Ethiopia, Kenya, Niger, Cote d’Ivoire, Somalia, and China’s operations in Africa.

Carson spoke at the Foreign Press Center in Washington and took questions from journalists there and in Johannesburg and New York through a video feed. Carson’s briefing followed his trip to Europe and Africa, which included stops in Spain for meetings with European Union officials, attendance at the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and stops in Ghana, Togo, Benin and Nigeria.

Asked to offer his view on the 2010 election in Ethiopia, Carson said it would be premature to comment prior to the voting. “Let’s see how they turn out. What we do say to Ethiopia, to the government, to the opposition parties and to the citizens is that we hope that this election will be run freely and fairly and that there be a level playing field for all — that the government and the opposition take their responsibilities seriously, that both sides respect the political rights of the others and that both carry out their responsibilities.”

Carson said the United States also has strongly urged that these elections be “substantially better in their aftermath than the 2005 elections, in which there was very bitter and serious violence in their wake. We all want Ethiopia to continue to move along an upward and more inclusive and stronger democratic trajectory,” he said. “Elections are simply an important process in the selection of democratic leaders. We want this to go well” and are “looking for an outcome that makes things better for everyone: free, transparent and open, with both sides taking their responsibilities seriously.”

On Kenya, Carson, a former U.S. ambassador to that country, said “we continue to encourage” that country’s president and prime minster to work toward the full implementation of the Kofi Annan Agreements that were worked out at the conclusion of violence in that country in 2008 following the “very difficult” elections there.

“It is important that in the run-up to the next elections in Kenya that there be a consensus … especially around the constitution. Both of those individuals — as leaders of their parties — have a responsibility to ensure that there is not a repetition of the violence there that followed the presidential and parliamentary elections. Constitution making is at an advanced stage. It is important that both men form a consensus behind it and that they deal with the issues of executive power … issues of impunity and issues of corruption” and land as well.

Carson added: “If we see individuals like [Attorney General] Amos Wako who are standing in the way of justice and progress and who violate our statutes in the United States, we will not hesitate to pursue action against them through all available means.” The career diplomat said that any action taken against Wako by the United States was done for “very, very clear and manifest reasons.” (While relevant U.S. law does not permit disclosure of these actions, the attorney general has publicly announced the measures that the United States has taken against him.)

“He has been attorney general in Kenya for a decade and a half. During that decade and a half, we have seen both grand corruption and minor corruption. We saw a billion-dollar scam shortly after he was named attorney general, and we saw most recently … another scam … in which another $150 million to $200 million in government money was stolen. During his term in office as attorney general, he has not successfully prosecuted one — not a single one — senior government official. No ministers. No deputy ministers. No permanent secretaries. Yes, he seems to be able to find the stockroom clerk but he cannot find the senior officials who are there.”

Additionally, Carson said, there has been a rash of high-level crime in which “impunity seems to be the rule of the day” and in which civil society leaders have been gunned down in the streets of Nairobi. “He [Wako] has not successfully prosecuted any of those individuals as well.”

On Niger, Carson said the United States has been “deeply concerned and troubled” by events since July and August of 2009, when the former president, Mamadou Tandja, started to unravel his country’s democratic institutions in pursuit of a constitutionally prohibited third term. The United States encouraged Tandja not to move in that direction, Carson said. When Tandja extended his term of office illegally on December 23 of 2009, Carson said, the United States suspended Niger’s participation in the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), ended the Millennium Challenge Corporation program there, terminated all U.S. assistance with the exception of humanitarian aid and asked Nigerien military officers studying in the United States to return home.

“We said we were opposed to the hijacking of democracy, even by civilians, and we meant it.” The coup that has just taken place, he said, offers an opportunity to move Niger back into the ranks of democracy. He quickly cautioned, however, that “no coup, whether it is a civilian or military coup, is a good coup. Coups by their nature are bad” and a “disruption of the political process,” he said.

Carson said the United States is looking to the military junta in Niger to restore democracy there expeditiously, within six months.

On Cote d’Ivoire, Carson said the United States remains very much concerned about the eruption of violence that occurred when President Laurent Gbagbo dismissed the government and suspended the movement toward elections in that country — which have been “too long in the coming.”

There is a need to return swiftly to the Ouagadougou Accords, Carson said. National elections have been postponed six times in the last two to three years, he said. “It is time for a serious effort to be made to resolve the political disagreements that have continued to tear apart what once was the most important economic country in Francophone Africa,” Carson said.

Asked about Somalia, Carson said the United States has been the largest contributor of food aid and humanitarian assistance there for much of the last decade. “We remain … committed to providing as much food assistance as we possibly can,” he said.

The continuing conflict in the South between the Transitional Federal Government and al-Shabaab warlords, Carson said, makes food delivery extraordinarily difficult. Despite this, he said, the United States remains committed to getting food there to feed the hungry.

Asked to comment on China’s rapidly expanding operations in Africa, Carson acknowledged that China has been focused on trying to acquire hydrocarbon and mineral resource rights to fuel its economic growth at home. Equally, he said, China is looking for markets for its own products. “In this context, Africa is a place where they see enormous opportunity.” Carson stressed that it is “up to African countries to manage very skillfully and carefully” their own particular economic and commercial relationships with China.

For this reason, he said, it is more important than ever that democratic institutions are present in African countries so that the voices of people throughout society can speak effectively about the consequences of this relationship. “This is what good governance is all about,” he said.

Carson also was asked if President Obama planned to attend the 2010 World Cup tournament in South Africa. Carson said he is not aware of any such plans.

Islamist militia 'bans' UN food aid work in Somalia

An internally displaced Somali woman cradles her malnourished child as they await rations at a food distribution centre in Mogadishu. The hardline Islamist Shebab militia has announced it has "banned" World Food Programme operations in famine-plagued Somalia, where the UN says half the population needs aid.
MOGADISHU (AFP) - – The hardline Islamist Shebab militia announced Sunday it had "banned" World Food Programme operations in famine-plagued Somalia, where the UN says half the population needs aid.The Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab movement, which controls most of central and southern Somalia, charged that food distributed by the UN agency had disadvantaged local farmers and accused it of political motivations."Given the problems caused by the food WFP distributed, the movement of Shebab Al-Mujahideen banned the operations of the agency in Somalia generally starting from today," the group said in a statement."The contractors working with WFP must avoid collaborating with the agency otherwise anyone working with the agency will be seen serving the interest of WFP," it added.The Shebab said they had received complaints from Somali farmers that the quantity of the WFP food aid prevented them from selling their own products at a fair price.The group also charged that the food was past its expiry date, and had caused people to fall ill, and alleged that it was disguised support for the formation of pro-government forces in Somalia.A senior member of the rebel outfit confirmed the ban to AFP."We have already given (WFP) chances to operate in Somalia but after failing to comply with the conditions we put forward, we totally banned WFP operations in Somalia," he said on condition of anonymity...more..

 

Susan Rice of US Insists UN “Misconstrues” Somalia Aid

UN. Probes if Somali (hawiye) Contractors Are Diverting Aid, Funding Rebels .United Nations Feeding Terrorist Groups

 

Somalia, Again, The Rise of Extremism in Somalia

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Somali community rally behind Mohamed Ali Samatar,expressed its strong condemnation,Somalis in the US stand up in Support of Former Vice President

Minneapolis, MN

Mohamed Ali Samatar case a ring of classic scapegoating.. in front of Supreme Court of the United States

Somalis in the US stand up in Support of Former Vice President

Columbus, Ohio

A huge storm of controversy brews over a lopsided program aired by ABC’s 20/20, dubbed: The Monster Next Door.Hundreds of Somalis in the United States watched in disbelief as the channel aired the program on Friday, February 19. The program discussed a civil case involving the Vice President of the last legitimate Somali government, Mohamed Ali Samatar, and Bashe Yousuf who alleges to represent the people of Somaliland, a region in northern Somalia which unilaterally declared independence from the rest of Somalia .
“It is sad that a channel of that stature could display that low level of professionalism” said Ahmed Ahmed, an American citizen of Somali origin and a former member of the Somali military, who currently lives in Minnesota . “This was the most unfair and unbalanced coverage I have watched in recent times” he added.
The program had only interviewed Mr. Yousuf and the director of the CJA, an organization that represents Mr. Yousuf in this case. The story alleges that Mohamed Ali Samatar committed atrocities against the Isaaq clan that Mr. Yousuf hails from.“This is an attempt to scapegoat Mr. Samatar and the allegations are baseless and unfounded” said one Somali American. “The accusations leveled against Samatar are unfounded and he is being accused because of his ethnic origin.” He continued.Somali-Americans in various locations throughout the United States agreed on various facts including that Mr. Samatar was a national leader who never authorized any form of human rights violations. He is a living symbol of Somali unity they stated. In 1989, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights gave a commendation to Somalia for its handling of the descent of the Isaaq clan.Samatar’s government drew its biggest support from the United States . In the 1970s and 1980s, the United States provided the highest level of support for any African nation to the government of Somalia in response to democratization efforts undertaken by Samatar’s government.The basis for his prosecution is his membership in a marginalized Somali tribe. He comes from a tribe that was historically isolated. On the other hand, Mr. Yousuf comes from the tribe that initiated the armed conflict in Somalia and which continues to spread anarchy. It is worth mentioning that the leader of Al-Shabaab, a terrorist organization, comes from the same Isaaq tribe that Mr. Yousuf claims to represent in his allegation.
The current leadership of Somaliland is composed of high-ranking officials of Samatar’s government. The President of the self-declared state of Somaliland , Mr. Dahir Riyale Kahin, was a colonel in the Secret Service Agency of Somalia. He should be prosecuted first if working for the government is a crime. In addition, the Isaaq tribe is responsible for one of the biggest human rights violations: they wiped out thousands of refugees from the Ogaden region after the collapse of the central government in 1991. These refugees were registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. No one was ever held responsible.
Mr. Mohamed Ali Samatar is the Chairman of an advisory committee of former Somali leaders, convened by the International community to seek solutions for the growing problems of piracy and terrorism in Somalia . The goal of the legal proceedings against him is to ensure that members of the Isaaq clan remain at the helm both in Somaliland and Al-Shabaab in their respective leadership positions. This is a case of crying wolf. The perpetrators of violence are suing the innocent in order to delay justice and accountability for their actions.
Members of the Somali community in Minnesota held an event to show their support for General Samantar. Speakers included Saado Ali, a well-known Somali singer and composer, who declared Samatar as a hero. Fadumo Hiirad, a former Somali journalist concurred with Saado. In Columbus Ohio , the community has sent out a press release in support of General Samatar. Members of the community in Ohio will meet on Sunday to add their voice to the growing disquiet about the case and the coverage of 20/20.The Somali communities are deeply perturbed by the actions of this one individual who claims to represent a secessionist regime within Somalia . The courts should dismiss this worthless case which was doctored by terrorists, pirates, and anarchists to sue the leadership of Somalia in an attempt to continue the state of lawlessness in Somalia . The community supports Samatar’s attempt to clear his name and condemns the unbalanced coverage of the issue by ABC’s 20/20.

The Jihad Against the Jihadis ... Learning to Live With Radical Islam

How moderate Muslim leaders waged war on extremists—and won.

September 11, 2001, was gruesome enough on its own terms, but for many of us, the real fear was of what might follow. Not only had Al Qaeda shown it was capable of sophisticated and ruthless attacks, but a far greater concern was that the group had or could establish a powerful hold on the hearts and minds of Muslims. And if Muslims sympathized with Al Qaeda's cause, we were in for a herculean struggle. There are more than 1.5 billion Muslims living in more than 150 countries across the world. If jihadist ideology became attractive to a significant part of this population, the West faced a clash of civilizations without end, one marked by blood and tears.
These fears were well founded. The 9/11 attacks opened the curtain on a world of radical and violent Islam that had been festering in the Arab lands and had been exported across the globe, from London to Jakarta. Polls all over the Muslim world revealed deep anger against America and the West and a surprising degree of support for Osama bin Laden. Governments in most of these countries were ambivalent about this phenomenon, assuming that the Islamists' wrath would focus on the United States and not themselves. Large, important countries like Saudi Arabia and Indonesia seemed vulnerable.
More than eight eventful years have passed, but in some ways it still feels like 2001. Republicans have clearly decided that fanning the public's fears of rampant jihadism continues to be a winning strategy. Commentators furnish examples of backwardness and brutality from various parts of the Muslim world—and there are many—to highlight the grave threat we face.
But, in fact, the entire terrain of the war on terror has evolved dramatically. Put simply, the moderates are fighting back and the tide is turning. We no longer fear the possibility of a major country succumbing to jihadist ideology. In most Muslim nations, mainstream rulers have stabilized their regimes and their societies, and extremists have been isolated. This has not led to the flowering of Jeffersonian democracy or liberalism. But modern, somewhat secular forces are clearly in control and widely supported across the Muslim world. Polls, elections, and in-depth studies all confirm this trend.
The focus of our concern now is not a broad political movement but a handful of fanatics scattered across the globe. Yet Washington's vast nation-building machinery continues to spend tens of billions of dollars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and there are calls to do more in Yemen and Somalia. What we have to ask ourselves is whether any of that really will deter these small bands of extremists. Some of them come out of the established democracies of the West, hardly places where nation building will help. We have to understand the changes in the landscape of Islam if we are going to effectively fight the enemy on the ground, rather than the enemy in our minds.
Once, no country was more worrying than bin Laden's homeland. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, steward of the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, had surpassed Egypt as the de facto leader of the Arab world because of the vast sums of money it doled out to Islamic causes—usually those consonant with its puritanical Wahhabi doctrines. Since 1979 the Saudi regime had openly appeased its homegrown Islamists, handing over key ministries and funds to reactionary mullahs. Visitors to Saudi Arabia after 9/11 were shocked by what they heard there. Educated Saudis—including senior members of the government—publicly endorsed wild conspiracy theories and denied that any Saudis had been involved in the 9/11 attacks. Even those who accepted reality argued that the fury of some Arabs was inevitable, given America's one-sided foreign policy on the Arab-Israeli issue.
America's initial reaction to 9/11 was to focus on Al Qaeda. The group was driven out of its base in Afghanistan and was pursued wherever it went. Its money was tracked and blocked, its fighters arrested and killed. Many other nations joined in, from France to Malaysia. After all, no government wanted to let terrorists run loose in its land.
But a broader conversation also began, one that asked, "Why is this happening, and what can we do about it?" The most influential statement on Islam to come out of the post-9/11 era was not a presidential speech or an intellectual's essay. It was, believe it or not, a United Nations report. In 2002 the U.N. Development Program published a detailed study of the Arab world. The paper made plain that in an era of globalization, openness, diversity, and tolerance, the Arabs were the world's great laggards. Using hard data, the report painted a picture of political, social, and intellectual stagnation in countries from the Maghreb to the Gulf. And it was written by a team of Arab scholars. This was not paternalism or imperialism. It was truth.
The report, and many essays and speeches by political figures and intellectuals in the West, launched a process of reflection in the Arab world. The debate did not take the form that many in the West wanted—no one said, "You're right, we are backward." But still, leaders in Arab countries were forced to advocate modernity and moderation openly rather than hoping that they could quietly reap its fruits by day while palling around with the mullahs at night. The Bush administration launched a series of programs across the Muslim world to strengthen moderates, shore up civil society, and build forces of tolerance and pluralism. All this has had an effect. From Dubai to Amman to Cairo, in some form or another, authorities have begun opening up economic and political systems that had been tightly closed. The changes have sometimes been small, but the arrows are finally moving in the right direction.
Ultimately, the catalyst for change was something more lethal than a report. After 9/11, Al Qaeda was full of bluster: recall the videotapes of bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, boasting of their plans. Yet they confronted a far less permissive environment. Moving money, people, and materials had all become much more difficult. So they, and local groups inspired by them, began attacking where they could—striking local targets rather than global ones, including a nightclub and hotel in Indonesia, a wedding party in Jordan, cafés in Casablanca and Istanbul, and resorts in Egypt. They threatened the regimes that, either by accident or design, had allowed them to live and breathe.
Over the course of 2003 and 2004, Saudi Arabia was rocked by a series of such terrorist attacks, some directed against foreigners, but others at the heart of the Saudi regime—the Ministry of the Interior and compounds within the oil industry. The monarchy recognized that it had spawned dark forces that were now endangering its very existence. In 2005 a man of wisdom and moderation, King Abdullah, formally ascended to the throne and inaugurated a large-scale political and intellectual effort aimed at discrediting the ideology of jihadism. Mullahs were ordered to denounce suicide bombings, and violence more generally. Education was pried out of the hands of the clerics. Terrorists and terror suspects were "rehabilitated" through extensive programs of education, job training, and counseling. Central Command chief Gen. David Petraeus said to me, "The Saudi role in taking on Al Qaeda, both by force but also using political, social, religious, and educational tools, is one of the most important, least reported positive developments in the war on terror."
Perhaps the most successful country to combat jihadism has been the world's most populous Muslim nation, Indonesia. In 2002 that country seemed destined for a long and painful struggle with the forces of radical Islam. The nation was rocked by terror attacks, and a local Qaeda affiliate, Jemaah Islamiah, appeared to be gaining strength. But eight years later, JI has been marginalized and main-stream political parties have gained ground, all while a young democracy has flowered after the collapse of the Suharto dictatorship.
Magnus Ranstorp of Stockholm's Center for Asymmetric Threat Studies recently published a careful study examining Indonesia's success in beating back extremism. The main lesson, he writes, is to involve not just government but civil society as a whole, including media and cultural figures who can act as counterforces to terrorism. (That approach obviously has greater potential in regions and countries with open and vibrant political systems—Southeast Asia, Turkey, and India—than in the Arab world.)
Iraq occupies an odd place in this narrative. While the invasion of Iraq inflamed the Muslim world and the series of blunders during the initial occupation period created dangerous chaos at the heart of the Middle East, Iraq also became a stage on which Al Qaeda played a deadly hand, and lost. As Al Qaeda in Iraq gained militarily, it began losing politically. It turned from its broader global ideology to focus on a narrow sectarian agenda, killing Shias and fueling a Sunni-Shia civil war. In doing so, the group also employed a level of brutality and violence that shocked most Iraqis. Where the group gained control, even pious people were repulsed by its reactionary behavior. In Anbar province, the heart of the Sunni insurgency, Al Qaeda in Iraq would routinely cut off the fingers of smokers. Even those Sunnis who feared the new Iraq began to prefer Shia rule to such medievalism.
Since 9/11, Western commentators have been calling on moderate Muslim leaders to condemn jihadist ideology, issue fatwas against suicide bombing, and denounce Al Qaeda. Since about 2006, they've begun to do so in significant numbers. In 2007 one of bin Laden's most prominent Saudi mentors, the preacher and scholar Salman al-Odah, wrote an open letter criticizing him for "fostering a culture of suicide bombings that has caused bloodshed and suffering, and brought ruin to entire Muslim communities and families." That same year Abdulaziz al ash-Sheikh, the grand mufti of Saudi Arabia, issued a fatwa prohibiting Saudis from engaging in jihad abroad and accused both bin Laden and Arab regimes of "transforming our youth into walking bombs to accomplish their own political and military aims." One of Al Qaeda's own top theorists, Abdul-Aziz el-Sherif, renounced its extremism, including the killing of civilians and the choosing of targets based on religion and nationality. Sherif—a longtime associate of Zawahiri who crafted what became known as Al Qaeda's guide to jihad—has called on militants to desist from terrorism, and authored a rebuttal of his former cohorts.
Al-Azhar University in Cairo, the oldest and most prestigious school of Islamic learning, now routinely condemns jihadism. The Darul Uloom Deoband movement in India, home to the original radicalism that influenced Al Qaeda, has inveighed against suicide bombing since 2008. None of these groups or people have become pro-American or liberal, but they have become anti-jihadist.

This might seem like an esoteric debate. But consider: the most important moderates to denounce militants have been the families of radicals. In the case of both the five young American Muslims from Virginia arrested in Pakistan last year and Christmas bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, parents were the ones to report their worries about their own children to the U.S. government—an act so stunning that it requires far more examination, and praise, than it has gotten. This is where soft power becomes critical. Were the fathers of these boys convinced that the United States would torture, maim, and execute their children without any sense of justice, they would not have come forward. I doubt that any Chechen father has turned his child over to Vladimir Putin's regime.
The data on public opinion in the Muslim world are now overwhelming. London School of Economics professor Fawaz Gerges has analyzed polls from dozens of Muslim countries over the past few years. He notes that in a range of places—Jordan, Pakistan, Indonesia, Lebanon, and Bangladesh—there have been substantial declines in the number of people who say suicide bombing and other forms of violence against civilian targets can be justified to defend Islam. Wide majorities say such attacks are, at most, rarely acceptable.
The shift has been especially dramatic in Jordan, where only 12 percent of Jordanians view suicide attacks as "often or sometimes justified" (down from 57 percent in 2005). In Indonesia, 85 percent of respondents agree that terrorist attacks are "rarely/never justified" (in 2002, by contrast, only 70 percent opposed such attacks). In Pakistan, that figure is 90 percent, up from 43 percent in 2002. Gerges points out that, by comparison, only 46 percent of Americans say that "bombing and other attacks intentionally aimed at civilians" are "never justified," while 24 percent believe these attacks are "often or sometimes justified."
This shift does not reflect a turn away from religiosity or even from a backward conception of Islam. That ideological struggle persists and will take decades, not years, to resolve itself. But the battle against jihadism has fared much better, much sooner, than anyone could have imagined.
The exceptions to this picture readily spring to mind—Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen. But consider the conditions in those countries. In Afghanistan, jihadist ideology has wrapped itself around a genuine ethnic struggle in which Pashtuns feel that they are being dispossessed by rival groups. In Pakistan, the regime is still where Saudi Arabia was in 2003 and 2004: slowly coming to realize that the extremism it had fostered has now become a threat to its own survival. In Yemen, the state simply lacks the basic capacity to fight back. So the rule might simply be that in those places where a government lacks the desire, will, or capacity to fight jihadism, Al Qaeda can continue to thrive.
But the nature of the enemy is now quite different. It is not a movement capable of winning over the Arab street. Its political appeal does not make rulers tremble. The video messages of bin Laden and Zawahiri once unsettled moderate regimes. Now they are mostly dismissed as almost comical attempts to find popular causes to latch onto. (After the financial crash, bin Laden tried his hand at bashing greedy bankers.)
This is not an argument to relax our efforts to hunt down militants. Al Qaeda remains a group of relentless, ruthless killers who are trying to recruit other fanatics to carry out hideous attacks that would do terrible damage to civilized society. But the group's aura is gone, its political influence limited. Its few remaining fighters are spread thinly throughout the world and face hostile environments almost everywhere.
America is no longer engaged in a civilizational struggle throughout the Muslim world, but a military and intelligence campaign in a set of discrete places. Now, that latter struggle might well require politics, diplomacy, and development assistance—in the manner that good foreign policy always does (Petraeus calls this a "whole-of-government strategy"). We have allies; we need to support them. But the target is only a handful of extremist organizations that have found a small group of fanatics to carry out their plans. To put it another way, even if the United States pursues a broad and successful effort at nation building in Afghanistan and Yemen, does anyone really think that will deter the next Nigerian misfit—or fanatic from Detroit—from getting on a plane with chemicals in his underwear? Such people cannot be won over. They cannot be reasoned with; they can only be captured or killed.
The enemy is not vast; the swamp is being drained. Al Qaeda has already lost in the realm of ideology. What remains is the battle to defeat it in the nooks, crannies, and crevices of the real world.

Learning to Live With Radical Islam

Friday, February 26, 2010

Weekly Homeland Security News Briefing

This weeks Homeland Security Headlines

Spain will lead an EU mission to train the security forces of Somalia

Chacon has done a review of the agenda discussed during these two days with ministers of defence in the EU, including the status of ongoing missions such as the Atalanta operation to combat piracy off Somalia and Operation Althea, Bosnia...more..

Ransom paid for Singapore-flagged chemical tanker, Somali pirates kill Yemeni fisherman off Somali seashore‎

MOGADISHU, Feb 26 (Reuters) - A ransom was delivered to Somali pirates on Friday for the release of the Singaporean-flagged chemical tanker MV Pramoni hijacked in the Gulf of Aden on Jan. 1, maritime officials said.
Andrew Mwangura of the Kenya-based East African Seafarers' Assistance Programme said the ransom money had been delivered to the ship, but the vessel had not yet been freed. The EU naval force in the region confirmed the delivery of the ransom. Somali pirates told Reuters they planned to release the Singaporean-flagged vessel soon. The 24 crew consists of 17 Indonesians, 5 Chinese, one Nigerian and one Vietnamese. The number of piracy attacks worldwide leapt almost 40 percent last year, with gunmen from the failed Horn of Africa state
accounting for more than half the 406 reported incidents, according to the International Maritime Bureau. Typically, the heavily armed Somali pirates hold captured ships and their crews hostage until ransoms are paid. (Writing by David Clarke)

Somali pirates kill Yemeni fisherman off Somali seashore

New Somali Hawiye Talaban envoy Abukar Arman, HuffPo blogger and CAIR official, urges amnesty for Al-Shabaab terrorists***UPDATED***Columbus Dispatch gives his extremism the airbrush treatment

 
It seems the new Somali envoy to the US, Abukar Arman, is a big Al-Shabaab enthusiast. Arman has lived in the US for nearly 30 years, but is still a Somali citizen.
Arman has also moonlighted as a blogger at the Huffington Post. Just two months ago, before being appointed to the envoy position, Arman wrote an article where he urged amnesty for Al-Shabaab terrorists:
Fifth, offer confidence-building amnesty to key individual players who are on the US terrorist list, as these lists further radicalize people.
In 2006, Abukar Arman hailed the takeover by the Islamic Courts Union, "the best thing that happened to Somalia in the past 16 years." He is also a supporter of Hamas, writing on his personal blog a post entitled, "Hamas victory is a victory for democracy and peace!" And as Rusty noted back a few weeks ago, Arman is also an open advocate of the imposition of shariah law.
Prior to being named envoy for a foreign government, Arman was the president of CAIR-Columbus, the same group that was banned last year from speaking at the Columbus Police Academy after warnings from counterterrorism officials about the group's extremist ties.
But don't worry. The Columbus Dispatch assured its readers a while ago that Abukar Arman was not a terrorist. To their credit, the Dispatch editorial page editor took Arman to the woodshed in an editorial on Arman's attempts to suppress the free speech of critics.
UPDATE: No sooner had I published this then I did a search only to find that "reporter" Mark Ferenchik at the Columbus Dispatch published an article today giving the airbrush treatment to Arman's extremist views and his demands for amnesty for Al-Shabaab terrorists. Instead we're treated to the "moderate" Muslim and "interfaith" leader narrative. The one source for Mr. Ferenchik's article? One of Abukar Arman's friends and business partner. He notes in his article that Arman worked for the Columbus Public Schools, but forgets to mention that he was fired by the school district as soon as his extremist views were exposed.
Has the Ohio media turned Stalinist or something, where they just airbrush out anything controversial related to their Islamist friends? Apparently so. But considering the treatment that fellow reporter Meredith "Hijab" Heagney gave to the Rifqa Bary story, no one should be surprised.Via Jawa Report

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Kenya's Rising Risk Barometer: The Role of Somalia

The Republic of Somalia, more commonly referred to as 'Somalia', is at the present time arguably the world’s number one failed state. A lack of effective government, almost complete breakdown in the rule of law, and volatile security situation has placed Somalia firmly in the ranks of countries in TravelSafe's 'extreme risk' category. In short, this translates into a recommendation that where possible travel to the country should be avoided. Among the risks taken into account in deriving this rating are threats of terrorism, banditry and kidnap for ransom.Given these conditions, it is not surprising that ordinary Somalis are confronted with high levels of poverty, lack of basic state services, and multiple health hazards. Conditions in many parts of the country have taken on the proportions of a humanitarian crisis as the thinly deployed African Union peacekeeping force struggles to cope with the demands placed on it. Under the Obama administration the US has promised support for the transitional government of Somalia, whose mandate officially expires in 2011, but in reality the US and its Nato allies are unlikely to commit significant resources to Somalia while their attention remains focused on Afghanistan and Iraq.From another perspective, however, the adage that one man's meat is another man's poison holds true in Somalia. For Al Qaeda and other militant groups, the prolonged political and humanitarian crisis in the country makes for ideal conditions. This has proven to be the case for the maritime pirates operating in the Indian Ocean waters off Somalia, for whom the sheer lawlessness of the country provides a safe haven from which to launch operations and hold hostages. Foreign warships may engage groups of pirates on the open seas; but under current conditions governments are far less likely to approve land operations to rescue hostages or dislodge the pirates. Similarly, Al Qaeda seems intent on exploiting conditions in Somalia to establish a foothold in a strategically advantageous region.Al Qaeda's primary ally in Somalia is al-Shabaab, which currently controls Somalia's southern regions. Al-Shabaab itself is far from a unified organisation, representing more a coalition of clan leaders with a mixture of political, economic and ideological interests. Despite these potential fault lines within the movement, Al-Shabaab poses a formidable military threat to forces under the control of the Somali interim government. An intensive program aimed at bringing vital social and health services to areas under its control has also ensured that Al-Shabaab enjoys high levels of popular support – which in turn could provide al Qaeda with a useful pool of potential recruits.The exact links between Al-Shabaab and Al Qaeda remain somewhat diffuse, although Western intelligence agencies have been monitoring their growing relationship for some time. Although al-Shabaab does not appear to have much appetite for the global jihad advocated by Al Qaeda, the group has emphasised that the movements are ideologically symmetrical and that “the Horn of Africa jihad” is ultimately connected to the broader jihadist agenda put forward by Osama Bin Laden and his followers. This approach appeared to take shape in a January 2010 threat issued on Al-Shabaab's website to launch attacks against Kenya after the Kenyan government agreed to provide military training to Somali government forces. A spokesman for Al-Shabaab later denied that the movement had posted the threat at all, suggesting possibly that there was a difference of opinion within the organisation as to the wisdom of providing Kenya with a possible justification to pour troops into southern Somalia. Either way, there has been a significant build-up of Kenyan armed forces along the border with southern Somalia, as well as reports of Kenyan military aircraft flying over Al-Shabaab held towns. Apart from the fact that prolonged instability in its neighbour is unwelcome to Kenya's own security interests, there are commercial reasons too for Kenya's growing intervention in Somalia. Foremost among these is the fact that Kenyan businesses are having to foot the bill for additional security and insurance charges for shipping companies using the Horn of Africa route to transport consignments to and from Kenya.Added to these concerns is the fact that Kenya has a sizeable Somali community which, according to well-placed Kenyan security sources, are showing increasing signs of support for the religious nationalism promoted by Al-Shabaab. This was demonstrated earlier this year, when Kenya's attempts to expel a radical Islamic cleric led to violent demonstrations in Eastleigh, a Nairobi suburb with a strong Somali population. As one high-level security source stated, “there appears to be more and more Al-Shabaab slogans and flags appearing in parts of Nairobi, so the threat of possible terrorist attacks by the leadership of Al-Shabaab is being taken very seriously”. Memories of the 1998 bombing of the US Embassy in Nairobi remain all too fresh in the Kenyan psyche.All of this places the Kenyan authorities in something of a catch-22 position, according to one senior government official who does not wish to be named. On one hand, it may be tempting for the Kenyans to follow the route of Ethiopia, which launched a large-scale invasion of southern Somalia in 2006 to support the interim government against Islamic rebels, ostensibly to secure its own borders. On the other hand, the outcomes of the Ethiopian intervention remain hotly disputed and provide a sobering reality test for the Kenyan authorities. Like the Ethiopians, Kenya would certainly require the backing of the US and the African Union. Assuming that this is forthcoming, the country would still face the potential threat that direct and sustained action in Somalia could incite a wave of insurgent actions inside Kenya. Finally, there is at this stage little reason to assume that a Kenyan military move into Somalia would be any more successful than the Ethiopian intervention, which in the view of some observers actually ended up strengthening the position of Al-Shabaab.Events in the coming weeks and months should determine the direction that Kenya takes. But either way, it is evident that Somalia will remain a long-term source of regional instability and, increasingly, a part of Al Qaeda's apparent strategy to decentralise its operations to counter Western military pressure in Afghanistan and northern Pakistan.For companies operating in East Africa, these issues and potential developments have far more than academic significance. Apart from the escalating threat of terrorism, the risks of political violence, kidnap for political and financial motives, and a host of other operational risks are closely connected to what transpires in southern Somalia and Kenya's response to it. For now, the risk barometer is clearly on the rise

Analysis Of Al Qaeda And Al Shabaab In East Africa

The East Africa region has emerged over the past two decades as a region that is highly vulnerable to terrorist attacks and is considered a safe haven for international terrorist groups.Africa’s porous borders and lax security at airports and seaports and weak law enforcement agencies are major concerns. Political, ethnic, and religious conflicts in the region create an environment conducive to terrorist groups. The inability of African security services to detect and intercept terrorist activities due to lack of technology and sufficient trained and motivated manpower is a major impediment in dealing with the terrorist threats in Africa. The takeover of power in Sudan by the National Islamic Front (NIF) in 1989 led to a significant increase in the activities of international terror groups in Africa.The NIF government provided safe haven for well known international terrorist organizations and individuals, and the government’s security services also were directly engaged in facilitating and assisting domestic and international terror groups. Sudan has also been a safe haven for major terrorist figures, including the founder and leader of Al Qaeda, Osama Bin Laden. Bin Laden used Sudan as a base of operations until he returned to Afghanistan in mid-1996, where he had previously been a major financier of Arab volunteers in the war against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.



Many observers contend that it was during his five year stay in Sudan that Bin Laden laid down the foundation for Al Qaeda. The penetration by Al Qaeda into East Africa is directly tied to NIF’s early years of support to international terrorist organizations. The East Africa region is by far the most impacted by international terrorist activities in Africa.

Al-Shabaab USA: 270 Muslim Illegal Aliens From Terror group shabaab NOW in US; READ Chilling ICE Affidavit

By Debbie Schlussel

This story has everything I’ve repeatedly warned you about: hundreds of illegal aliens infiltrating our country, Somalian Muslims (who’ve perpetrated a huge crime wave on America), an Islamic terrorist group that has murdered and otherwise tortured thousands in Somalia, and a prison convert to Islam. Everything that’s bad for America, that is..more..

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Interfaith Week encourages diversity

Muslim women wearing their colorful hijabs and men in their traditional Muslim thobes sat with many Christian visitors, covering their heads with winter scarves in the Khadeejah mosque in Salt Lake City recently.

As part of Salt Lake’s Interfaith Week this year, visitors from around the community came to observe the Maghrib and ‘Isha Muslim prayers in Arabic, the last of five prayers Muslims conduct daily.
Imam Mohammed Mehtar from South Africa spoke to the community, presenting the Islamic perspective in the current world while addressing rumors, common misunderstandings and the public’s questions.“Let’s say if I told you all you have to give throughout your life on a yearly basis is 2.5 percent to charity,” Mehtar said. “You will say you have no problem with it. But once I tell you, as a Muslim you must give 2.5 percent, what do you say? ‘Wow, where does the 2.5 percent go? Does it go to a Middle Eastern country? Does it go to rocket launchers or hand grenades?’ That’s not you that is asking that question. There is something out there that has prompted you to ask that question.”Mehtar explained how the media has slanted the view of Islam for many people and shed light on Muslim dress, terrorism, the meaning and creation of mosques and the process of becoming a Muslim.Imam Ali, another Muslim leader in Salt Lake from Somalia, clarified the rights women hold in Islam. Muslim women pray in separate areas from men and often wear traditional head coverings called hijabs or in more conservative Islamic countries, the burqa, which completely veils a woman’s head and face.“Allah created the human being equal,” Ali said. “There is no difference whether male or female, whether child or elderly, they are equal in the sight of that who has created them.”The public asked questions about the conflict between Israel and Palestine and the Jews and Muslims. Local Rabbi Avraham Shlomo provided perspective on the Middle Eastern conflict.“When I was young, my rabbi said to me, ‘When two people are fighting, the third person always wins.’ That is the lesson that needs to be learned in Middle Eastern conflict. While the Palestinians and Israelis are fighting each other, the two are losing.”“Many faiths, one family” was the theme and emphasis for this year’s Interfaith Week, reminding the community all people of different religious denominations are one earthly family.“In your learning you will find out the following: We are no different from you,” Mehtar said. “We are human like you. We have hair like you. We have the same emotions as you. We love our children just like you love yours. We have anger management issues just like you do. We have the same religious issues like you do, the same economic issues like you do, the same social issues like you do.”According to Mehtar, Utah provides an accepting environment for diverse cultures and religions.“Utah enables individuals to come into this country from a diverse background,” Mehtar said. “Utah is sanctioning diversity. We are enormously grateful to Utahns. Utah is considered a white state. Diversity is not in skin color; diversity is when you can share information between multiple parties. Utah may not give the perception of diversity, but it is very diverse.”Interfaith week concluded on Monday with a musical tribute at the Salt Lake Mormon Tabernacle. Among the performances were Hindu and Buddhist dances, a Muslim call to prayer and children’s choir from China.


Rudd charts terrorism strategy

CANBERRA – The risk of an Australian committing a terrorist act is one of this country’s key security threats, according to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.Flanked by Attorney-General Robert McClelland and Foreign Minister Stephen Smith, Rudd released the government’s Counter-Terrorism White Paper on February 23.In it, the Prime Minister made two key points about global terrorism. First, while there has been success in counter-terrorism activities in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Indonesia and the Philippines, at the same time, new centres for terrorists have grown in places like Yemen and Somalia.Second, there has been an increase of terrorists and potential terrorists born and educated in western countries, including Australia.
“Home-grown terrorism is now a reality we have to accept,” Rudd said at the White Paper’s launch.
He told Parliament that locally raised terrorists are “an increasing feature of the threat landscape of Australia”, adding that their motivation emanates from “jihad Islam”.However, in terms of strategies, the White Paper deals mostly with threats emanating overseas.The report’s flagship measure is to introduce a $69 million biometric visa program to prevent potential terrorists from 10 – as yet unnamed – countries entering Australia. The other main strategy is to create the Counter-Terrorism Control Centre, a body that will coordinate Australia’s different intelligence agencies.“The centre will drive a fully integrated, national approach to counter-terrorism,” McClelland explained.In the final few pages of the 73-page report, the government accepts more needs to be done to tackle extremism and radicalisation in local communities.
The report calls on state and territory governments, in conjunction with the Commonwealth, to address “the broader long-term causes of terrorism and violent extremism”. It lists these causes as identifying with particular ideologies and beliefs hostile to democratic values, negative economic and social circumstances and radical responses to overseas or local events.On further examination, though, information available about state and territory counter-radicalisation strategies is sparse.A staff member at the Attorney-General’s office pointed to police forces, multicultural services and local governments as the agents of these strategies, but had no cohesive list of projects being undertaken.Executive Council of Australian Jewry president Robert Goot emphasised the lack of focus given to the rise of locally grown terrorists.“I think the White Paper understates the shift that has occurred towards home-grown threats of terrorism and away from threats emanating from al-Qaeda and groups affiliated with or inspired by it,” Goot said.Since 2001, Australian courts have prosecuted 38 people for terrorism-related offences -– 37 of them Australia citizens and 20 born here.The Liberal Party also complained about the White Paper’s lack of focus on home-grown terrorism.Queensland’s Senator Russell Trood – formerly a professor of international relations – said the White Paper’s “greatest failing” is the disconnect between the threat of local terrorists and the policies put forward.“The paper provides no coherent counter-radicalisation strategies and allocates no funds to the task,” Senator Trood said.“The focus should be on developing programs that will prevent radical activity: forming closer links with local police forces and Islamic communities around the country; developing localised education and awareness programs, and intervening to combat online extremism, might be considered.”
And in a meeting of the Coalition party room on Tuesday, Deputy Opposition Leader Julie Bishop called the delay of this White Paper – which is months overdue – an example of the government’s habit of all talk and no action.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Somali extremists recruiting in Kenya

Militiamen loyal to al-Shabaab train in the Galgadud region of Somalia
 
Somali militant groups are using Kenya as a hunting ground for new recruits for the war in their country. RNW's Koert Lindijer found one young man who's been targeted in this way, and also a Kenyan mayor who dares to speak out against this illegal practice.
 
Abdullahi, a businessman in Garissa, a town in northeast Kenya, says, "We're making big profits because of the war in Somalia [...] a lot of money and goods moved from Somalia to Garissa and our town has benefited as a result."Meanwhile, there's another 'import' from Kenya's northerly neighbour, for the extremist Islamist Somalian organisation al-Shabaab is keen to hire local youngsters here after they've been trained for the Kenyan army.Islamic preacher Hussein Mahat points to the dangers of Kenya becoming too involved in the problems of neighbouring Somalia: "The practice of recruiting fighters on Kenyan territory for the war in Somalia, effectively wipes out our neutrality. Kenya has become a front-line state".He adds, "We ethnic Somalis are already regarded as second-class citizens in Kenya and this can only make that worse. Sometimes I wonder whether it wouldn't be better to go and live in Somalia".
 
Cows and camels
Northeast Kenya looks a lot like Somalia; it's dry, hot and dusty. And there are a lot of cows and camels. Many of them can be found at Garissa's market, which the traders say is the biggest cattle market in all east Africa. A lot of the goods in the town come from Kismayo, a large port city in southern Somalia.Many people in Garissa say that ties with Somalia have become a bit too tight recently. Over the last few months, both the Kenyan government and the al-Shabaab extremists have stepped up their recruiting efforts among young men in the border town.One such young man is Ahmed - not his real name, but he doesn't want any unwelcome publicity. He explains: "They recruited us for the Kenyan army but wanted us to fight in the Somali government army"."Now the militants of al-Shabaab are trying to recruit us, but that's not what we were promised."Ahmed and 90 other recruits were trained in a small Kenyan village and then in Tsavo national park for about four months. They trained alongside Somali refugees recruited from United Nations camps inside Kenya. Ahmed finally quit under pressure from his parents.

Brave Mayor
Garissa has a brave mayor, Mohamed Gabow. He's brave because he listened to the parents' complaints and exposed the illegal recruitment practices by the Kenyan authorities. A whistleblower who's taken on the Kenyan government. "When one side starts recruiting, it encourages the other side to do the same," he points out. And that was exactly what happened after the boys returned home as a result of the publicity the mayor had given to their ordeal.Their military training had increased the value of Ahmed and other recruits for the warring parties in Somalia. Now they are regularly approached at the market in Garissa."Al-Shabaab is offering us 2,000 dollars," Ahmed reveals. No one in authority in Garissa is prepared to say so officially, but everyone in the town knows it: al-Shabaab is illegally recruiting fighters inside Kenya.
 
Radical message
Those in the know say the fundamentalist group is not only active in the northeast, but also in Eastleigh, a district of the capital Nairobi where many Somalis live."Al-Shabaab fighters come here for a few days rest," says Somalian journalist Abdulkarim Jimale. "Wounded fighters are treated anonymously in Kenyan hospitals, and al-Shabaab has been trying to persuade mullahs to preach its radical message in Kenyan mosques."
   Life in Eastleigh doesn't appear to be bad. Expensive apartments now rise above the grimy food kiosks in the muddy streets. Banks, bureaux de change, stylish restaurants and expensive hotels are flanked by mountains of stinking rubbish. A lot of private money circulates among the Somalis in this neighbourhood.
   Apparent wealth
 
This apparent wealth, together with the likely presence of al-Shabaab irritates many Kenyans. "Somalis are invading Kenya and taking our land," says a market stallholder in the centre of Nairobi. "They want to destroy Kenya, just as they did to their own country," snarls an elderly man.
  

Somalis are easy scapegoats in Kenya. They're stubborn, nomadic and Muslim. Fear of Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism has led to the stigmatisation of an entire ethnic group. In Eastleigh, Somali clan elder Mohamed Ali is angry. "Why would we support al-Shabaab? Muslim extremists are the very reason we had to flee our homeland Somalia."

Qaeda could target ships in key waterway: Yemen FM

SANAA, Feb 23, 2010 (AFP) - Al-Qaeda could target ships in the strategic Bab al-Mandab strait between Yemen and Somalia but could never completely control it, Yemeni Foreign Minister Abu Bakr al-Kurbi was quoted on Tuesday as saying.
"All Al-Qaeda can do is to threaten ships by attacking them with missiles or capturing them in international waters, like the pirates" from Somalia, Kurbi said in an interview with the ruling party's Al-Mithaq weekly.
"But Al-Qaeda could never, as it has threatened to do, take control of the Bab al-Mandab or international shipping lanes."That's why these (threats) are worrying. We take them seriously, and in Yemen we have to prepare for possible sea or land attacks, as countries such as Britain, the United States and others are doing," he said.He was commenting on threats made on February 8 by Said al-Shihri, the number two of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), that the group aimed to take over the strategic waterway linking the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.Shihri also called for cooperation between AQAP and the Somali militant group Al-Shebab.At the time the interior ministry in Sanaa said Al-Qaeda threats "do not frighten the security forces" and they "reflect the isolation and despair of terrorist elements in Yemen."Regional analysts also scoffed at AQAP's ability to carry out its threat to control the key link used by 30 percent of world trade and which also connects the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean.Al-Mithaq quoted Kurbi as denying press reports that Yemen has reached a deal with Washington that would allow US access to its strategic Socotra island in the Indian Ocean.Socotra lies about 250 kilometres (150 miles) off the Horn of Africa and 1,000 kilometres from Aden, the main port in south Yemen.

US Warship Captures Somali Pirates


piratelightsabre.JPG
Yahoo News:
NAIROBI (Reuters) – A U.S. Navy warship prevented an attack on a Tanzanian ship and apprehended eight suspected pirates in the process, the U.S. Embassy in Tanzania said on Tuesday. USS Farragut dispatched an SH-60B Seahawk helicopter to MV Barakaale 1 after it raised a distress call saying it was under attack from a gang on a skiff, the embassy said in a statement.
"The helicopter then stopped the ... skiff as it attempted to speed away, by firing warning shots across its bow," it said.
"A boarding team from USS Farragut boarded the vessel and the eight suspected pirates were taken aboard the Farragut."Via Jawa Report 
Here's a YouTube channel






The Terror of al Shabaab

 Somalia, foreign aid, and terrorism.BY Chris Harnisch
The United Nations has recently ratcheted up its criticism of the United States’ decision to withhold humanitarian aid to parts of Somalia controlled by the Islamist terror group al Shabaab.  The international body’s official in charge of aid distribution in Somalia accused the U.S. of preventing the distribution of tens of millions of dollars in aid to a desperate and starving population.  Any decision regarding the limiting of humanitarian aid to a country in need can be terribly difficult, especially for a country such as Somalia, which has seen 85,000 people displaced in 2010 alone and is described by the World Bank as “one of the poorest countries in the world.”  But the United States' decision to withhold aid to terrorist-controlled parts to the country is the right decision for the people of Somalia and, more importantly, the security of the United States.
Somalia has been without an effective government since the overthrow of the despot Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991.  The international community has made many attempts to prop up transitional and reconciliation governments over the past two decades, but the country has inevitably continued to fall to the control of various tribal warlords and Islamist groups.  Today, the control of the UN-backed Transitional Federal Government (TFG) is limited to a few strategic points inside the capital, Mogadishu, whereas a group resembling a hybrid of the Taliban and al Qaeda called al Shabaab governs most of the country’s south.
The Islamic provincial administrations of al Shabaab impose a draconian interpretation of sharia on its people.  It has banned watching and playing soccer, dancing at weddings, listening to music, and the wearing of bras by women.  It holds public whippings of women who refuse to wear a veil, public amputations of convicted thieves, and public stonings of adulterers (and, in some cases, rape victims).  The group also has a well-trained and well-armed militia that includes hundreds of foreign fighters, including dozens from the U.S. and Europe.  It has conducted sophisticated terror attacks, including twin car bombings, on its targets inside Somalia.  It views itself as contributor to the global jihad led by al Qaeda and has threatened to attack the United States.  Perhaps most alarmingly, al Shabaab has extensive geographic space to train and plan for terrorist attacks due to its control of such large parts of Somalia. The Terror of al Shabaab

Va. man accused of helping smuggle Somalis into U.S.

Authorities are searching for 270 Somalis believed to have entered the U.S. illegally with the help of a Virginia man who admitted contacts with an Islamic terrorist group.An Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent said his agency had yet to locate any of the suspected illegal immigrants.According to an affidavit filed in Alexandria's federal court, Anthony Joseph Tracy told authorities that he came in contact with the Somali terrorist organization Al-Shabaab, which announced an alliance with al Qaeda earlier this year.ICE Agent Thomas Eyre testified during a hearing that authorities are "concerned" about the 35-year-old's dealings with the group.In an e-mail, Tracy reportedly wrote, "i helped alot of somalis and most are good but there are some who are bad and i leave them to ALLAH," the affidavit said.He has been held without bail. Tracy's attorney, Geremy Kamens, declined to comment for this story.
Eyre testified that authorities had not yet tracked down any of the Somalis whom Tracy allegedly helped travel to the U.S. The affidavit says Tracy's e-mails, combined with information on Facebook, show that the Somalis have spread across the country and are living in New York, North Carolina, Tennessee, Minnesota and Arizona.Eyre indicated authorities are trying to find the Somalis and determine whether they're associated with Al-Shabaab. An ICE spokeswoman said she could not comment on an ongoing investigation. The Somalis are believed to have entered the United States through the border with Mexico after making a circuitous trip from Kenya to Dubai to Moscow to Cuba to South America to Mexico and then the U.S., Eyre testified.Vanessa Parra, a spokeswoman for Refugees International, estimated the trip could cost as much as $30,000. "It would be difficult for most Somalis to get that kind of money," she said.Tracy, who moved to Kenya in April from Winchester, is accused of helping the Somalis move to the United States by getting them travel visas to Cuba through contacts he had at the Cuban Embassy, court documents said. The visas were issued using fraudulent information Tracy allegedly provided his contacts. Authorities say Tracy knew that the U.S. was the Somalis' intended final destination.
fklopott@washingtonexaminer.com

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

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