Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Muslim Scholars Recast Jihadists' Favorite Fatwa

PARIS (Reuters) - Prominent Muslim scholars have recast a famous medieval fatwa on jihad, arguing the religious edict radical Islamists often cite to justify killing cannot be used in a globalized world that respects faith and civil rights.
A conference in Mardin in southeastern Turkey declared the fatwa by 14th century scholar Ibn Taymiyya rules out militant violence and the medieval Muslim division of the world into a "house of Islam" and "house of unbelief" no longer applies.
Osama bin Laden has quoted Ibn Taymiyya's "Mardin fatwa" repeatedly in his calls for Muslims to overthrow the Saudi monarchy and wage jihad against the United States.
Referring to that historic document, the weekend conference said: "Anyone who seeks support from this fatwa for killing Muslims or non-Muslims has erred in his interpretation.
"It is not for a Muslim individual or a Muslim group to announce and declare war or engage in combative jihad ... on their own," said the declaration issued Sunday in Arabic and later provided to Reuters in English.
The declaration is the latest bid by mainstream scholars to use age-old Muslim texts to refute current-day religious arguments by Islamist groups. A leading Pakistani scholar issued a 600-page fatwa against terrorism in London early this month.
Another declaration in Dubai this month concerned peace in Somalia. Such fatwas may not convince militants, but could help keep undecided Muslims from supporting them, the scholars say.
The Mardin conference gathered 15 leading scholars from countries including Saudi Arabia, Turkey, India, Senegal, Kuwait, Iran, Morocco and Indonesia. Among them were Bosnian Grand Mufti Mustafa Ceric, Sheikh Abdullah bin Bayyah of Mauritania and Yemeni Sheikh Habib Ali al-Jifri.
Ibn Taymiyya's Mardin fatwa is a classic text for militants who say it allows Muslims to declare other Muslims infidels and wage war on them. The scholars said this view had to be seen in its historic context of medieval Mongol raids on Muslim lands.
But the scholars said it was actually about overcoming the old view of a world divided into Muslim and non-Muslim spheres and reinterpreting Islam in changing political situations.
The emergence of civil states that guard religious, ethnic and national rights "has necessitated declaring the entire world a place of tolerance and peaceful co-existence between all religious, groups and factions," their declaration said.
Aref Ali Nayed, a Libyan who heads the Dubai theological think-tank Kalam Research and Media, told the conference the great Muslim empires of the past were not a model for a globalized world where borders were increasingly irrelevant.
"We must not be obsessed with an Islam conceived of only geographically and politically," he said.
"Living in the diaspora is often more conducive to healthy and sincere Muslim living. Empires and carved-out 'Islamic states' often make us complacent."
Nayed said Muslims must also understand that "not all types of secularisms are anti-religious." The United States has stayed religious despite its separation of church and state, but some "French Revolution-like secularisms" were anti-religious.
The declaration ended with a call to Muslim scholars for more research to explain the context of medieval fatwas on public issues and show "what is hoped to be gained from a sound and correct understanding of their respective legacies."
(Editing by Jon Boyle)

Al-Shabaab Prepares Fighters for War in Central Region

Somali militant factions are preparing for heavy confrontation over control of towns in central Somalia where the groups have strong presence.
The two, Islamist militant group of Al-Shabaab and local clan based Ahlul-Sunnah Wal-Jamaa for the last few weeks have been building up armies in central Somali region of Galgadud, causing panic among residents in the region.
Al-Shabaab has reportedly warned that it will recapture the strategic towns in central Somalia which it lost to Ahlul-Sunnah Wal-Jamaa over the past years, by use of force.
On Monday Al-Shabaab has reportedly sent at least 2000 fighters with armory vehicles to the central towns including Dhusamareb which is currently under the control of Ahlul-Sunnah Wal-jamaa.
"Our aim this time round is to either capture Galgadud or forget about it. We sent more than 2000 well trained fighters," said an Al-Shabaab official who requested anonymity.
Dhusamareb was the stronghold of Al-Shabaab and it's the town that witnessed the killing of Shabaab's founder Sheikh Aden Hashi Ayro by US propelled missile on May 2008.
Residents in the region have raised concerns over possible bloodshed, worst than last year's battle between the two groups which left scores of people dead.
Al-Shabaab controls most parts of the southern Somalia including former Somalia's parliament seat, Baidoa but the lost of the two towns was astonishing blow that forced it to tighten its territories.

Sheikh Sherif’s TFG: Thirteen Months On

Sheikh Sherif’s TFG: Thirteen Months On

Kenya denies links to Somalia's al-Shabab

Al-Shabab fighters in Somalia
Al-Shabab has admitted links to al-Qaeda

Kenya  has denied reports for the UN that many of its citizens are fighting with Somalia's al-Shabab militants.
"This is propaganda," Francis Kimemia, a senior official at the internal security ministry told the BBC.
A report to the UN Security Council said leaders of the al-Qaeda-inspired group regularly travelled to Nairobi to raise funds and recruit fighters.
Al-Shabab controls much of southern Somalia, where it is battling the weak UN-backed government.
Mr Kimemia told the BBC's Network Africa programme that any al-Shabab leaders who passed through Nairobi would be arrested.
He also said the Kenyan authorities were closely watching the country's mosques in case clerics sympathetic to al-Shabab were using them to radicalise young Kenyans and Somali refugees, as alleged by the UN Monitoring Group on Somalia.
Kenya is home to many thousands of Somali refugees, and also has a large ethnic Somali population.
On Tuesday, suspected al-Shabab militants attacked a Kenyan para-military base near the border with Somalia

TFG and Puntland presidents meet in Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa

The President of Somalia's Puntland State government has held talks with the president of the T ransitional Federal Government (TFG) of Somalia in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa,
The talks were held on a hotel where both officials live in Addis Ababa and focused mainly on the recent disagreement between the TFG and Puntland leaders over a harmonised accord that would allow the two administrations to work together under a federal umbrella.

TFG President Sharif [left] and Puntland President Farole in Addis Ababa, March 31, 2010
According to a Puntland government official who requested not to be named, the meeting between Puntland President Abdirahman Mohammed Farole and Somali TFG President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed was not pre-planned one.
International players who are concerned about Somalia are said to be pushing  talks between the two leaders in a bid to iron out the misunderstanding. Mr. Sharif and Mr. Farole met last November in Nairobi for their first-ever face to face discussions, but the talks ended in dispute
The Addis Ababa meetings come after representatives of both sides previously failed to agree on certain issues about the accord which its first phase was signed by TFG Prime Minister and Puntland President on August 23 last year in the Puntland city of of Galkayo.
Before landing in Ethiopian capital, Sharif’s delegation was in a tour to African countries, including Libya, Kenya and Djibouti where he was marshalling support for his fragile government’s plan to carry out offensives against the insurgents.
American officials quoted by Associated Press said Washington is mulling over possibilities of lending helping hands including the use of American drones to the TFG offensives.
Puntland, a collection of seven Somali regions that declared itself as an autonomous state in 1998, maintains to remain a part of federal Somalia

INTERVIEW-Force alone cannot defeat Somali insurgents-PM

MOGADISHU, March 31 (Reuters) - Somalia's prime minister has said military force alone will never defeat Islamist extremists engaged in a three-year-old insurgency in the lawless Horn of Africa nation.

Omar Abdirashid Sharmarke also said a government inquiry had found allegations in a U.N. report of corruption and the sale of arms to rebels by Somali government troops to be baseless, and said the report was of "doubtful validity."

"We have to understand that military capability alone will not defeat the rebels. There are also some ideological issues which must be addressed", Sharmarke told Reuters late on Tuesday.

Somalia has lacked an effective government for nearly two decades, and Western and neighbouring countries say it is a breeding ground for militants intent on launching attacks on east Africa and beyond. It is also a base for pirates seizing foreign ships for ransom.

Somali experts say the western-backed Transitional Federal Government is preparing for a long-awaited offensive aimed at driving al Shabaab Islamist fighters out of the capital, Mogadishu.

But Sharmarke said Somalia's future stability could not be ensured by a single military operation and that public trust in the government had to be improved.

"Religious scholars have to define a direction for their people and as a government we are restoring the trust of the public in the system," he said.


The al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab fighters have left President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed's administration in control of little more than a few blocks in the mortar-pocked streets of the capital.

The group wants to impose a harsher version of Sharia, Islamic law, on Somalia's 9 million people, of whom more than a third depend on emergency aid.

Speaking from his office in Mogadishu, Sharmarke said he expected to win public confidence by bringing new faces into the cabinet.

He said he hoped this month's power-sharing deal with the moderate Ahlu Sunna militia would bring the government broader grassroots support and improve the security forces' morale.

The prime minister denounced a report by the U.N. Monitoring Group on Somalia, saying it had played down the importance of the conflict that has killed 21,000 Somalis since early 2007 and uprooted 1.5 million from their homes.

The report said two U.N. aid agencies had dealings with a prominent businessman linked to Islamic extremists, accused officials of selling diplomatic visas for up to $15,000 and alleged government troops were supplying rebels with arms, Sharmarke said.

An initial government inquiry found some of the accusations to be "baseless" and there will be no further investigation into the rest of the report's findings, he said.

"The validity of this report is doubtful," Sharmarke told Reuters. (Writing by Richard Lough; editing by Tim Pearce)

Kenya vows to step up war against terrorism

The Kenyan government has vowed it would step up its counter terrorism measures in the country.
Internal Security Permanent Secretary Francis Kimemia said Kenya has intensified the war against terrorism in the country, stressing that no particular community was being targeted in the war against the vice.
"We have intensified a crackdown on terrorism and the borders are well secured. Our officers are out there to make the country safe," Kimemia told journalists after attending a regional forum in Nairobi.
His comments came after a series of arrests of foreign nationals on suspicion of terrorism. Since last week, the security forces in the country have arrested about nine foreigners over terror links.
The Kenya Somali border is particularly porous and the existence of insurgent groups with suspected links to al Qaida, poses a potential security risk to the country.
Kimemia vowed that the countrywide crackdown against terrorism will continue, and he, however, denied there is an influx of terrorists in the country.
"It is not true that there is an influx of terrorists in the country. There have been isolated cases where refugees enter the country and they are profiled like what happened in Dobley (Kenya- Somalia border) and there is no influx at all," he said.
Last week, the Kenyan police freed an Australian terrorism suspect mistakenly believing he was just an illegal immigrant. .
Spokesman Eric Kiraithe has said Hussein Hashi Farah was handed to ordinary police at Busia, at the border between Kenya and Uganda rather than specialist officers because of "an oversight".
Farah apparently then reassured police he would appear in court for an immigration hearing, and was set free.He is wanted for allegedly planning an attack in Australia in 2009.
A group of ethnic Somalis were arrested in Melbourne last year amid reports they had links to the Islamist rebel group al-Shabaab and were planning attacks in Australia.
Kimemia also appealed to the international community to assist Kenya in the prosecution of suspected Somali pirates, saying there should be a shared responsibility in trying and investigating piracy-related cases."The arrangement is that all countries should support each other in trying these pirates. Kenya cannot be the only nation that tries all pirates whenever you get them," he said.Kimemia said the government is increasingly concerned at the large number of piracy-related cases being referred to Kenya.
"We share that responsibility with the international community so those ones can be tried elsewhere in other countries within or beyond the region."
He was speaking in response to last week's refusal by the police in Mombasa to accept three suspected Somali pirates and a fourth dead person that arrived at the port aboard an Italian warship.
The developments came just a month after the US State Department apparently issued a fresh advisory against travel to Kenya, citing a new threat from Somalia's Al-Shabaab group which has ties with al Qaida network.
Washington said that it was aware that individuals linked to Al- Shabaab al-Islamiya were planning suicide bombing attacks on the U. S. Embassy and the Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC), a key building in Nairobi.
The US State Department said the individuals were targeting the KICC because it was deemed the largest and oldest building associated with the Kenyan government.
The U..S Embassy was targeted for its support of the Kenyan government.
Security fears in Kenya are particularly worrying following the post-election violence in 2008 that killed some 1,300 people.
Given the regional threat from Somali al Shabaab extremists seen as a proxy for al Qaida, it is even more concerning for a nation that has in the past been hit by two al Qaida-linked attacks.

Shebab attack Kenya forces,Al-Shabaab attacks Kenya territory

Nairobi - Suspected Somali insurgents attacked a Kenyan paramilitary security unit camp on Tuesday in a remote border area and injured an unknown number of officers, a top Kenyan police official said.
"There was an attack which occurred at about lunch hour (09:00 GMT). A group of heavily armed men opened fire and injured officers," said the official who spoke on condition of anonymity.
"They are suspected to be Shebab militants from Somalia. But they are being pursued," added the official. "We are yet to receive more details on this incident but no deaths on our side have been reported. A number of our officers are wounded."
The attack was against the General Service Unit - a paramilitary outfit - in Liboi, near the Kenya-Somalia border.
Somalia's al-Qaeda-linked Shebab have repeatedly threatened to attack Kenya, which backs the Horn of Africa's government that the radical Islamist group has been fighting and seeking to topple.
In January, the Shebab released a song threatening to march on Nairobi in retaliation for a deadly Kenyan police crackdown on Muslims protesting the arrest of a radical Jamaican cleric who had entered the east African state.
Kenya, which shares a long and porous north-eastern border with Somalia and has offered assistance to government troops battling the insurgents, has frequently expressed fears that Shebab suicide bombers would strike in Kenya.
The hardline militia controls much of central Somalia as well as the country's southern regions near the border with Kenya.
In recent years, the extremist fighters have carried out cross-border kidnappings.
Three foreign aid workers were kidnapped by Somali gunmen last year in towns near the border region months after two Catholic nuns were also abducted, and later freed. AFP

Al-Shabaab attacks Kenya territory 

Members of the hardline Al Shabaab Islamist rebel are said to have
 attacked Kenyan territory. Photo/REUTERS

Members of the hardline Al Shabaab Islamist rebel are said to have attacked Kenyan territory. Photo/REUTERS 
Posted Wednesday, March 31 2010 at 22:30

A joint police and military force was on Wednesday deployed to Liboi in Garissa District following an incursion by Somalia’s al-Shabaab.
Police spokesman Eric Kiraithe confirmed the team was despatched from Nairobi to assess the situation and provide reinforcements.
He confirmed that General Service Unit (GSU) officers there were engaged in a fierce gun battle with the rebels, but said there were no casualties.
Other sources, however, claimed a grenade was thrown into the GSU camp, injuring some officers.
Al-Shabaab, which has links with the al-Qaeda terror network, has besieged the transitional government in Somalia and also harbours territorial ambitions against Kenya.
Reports by AFP quoted an unnamed “top Kenyan police official” saying an unknown number of officers were injured.
“There was an attack at about lunch hour. A group of heavily armed men opened fire and injured officers,” AFP said, adding:
“They are suspected to be Shabaab militants from Somalia. But they are being pursued. We are yet to receive more details on this incident but no deaths on our side have been reported. A number of our officers are wounded.”
The militia has in the past threatened to attack Kenya, which backs the Horn of Africa country’s government. In recent years, the extremist fighters have carried out cross-border kidnappings.
Three foreign aid workers were kidnapped by Somali gunmen last year in towns near the border region.
Kenya, which shares a long and porous border with Somalia, has frequently expressed fears that al-Shabaab suicide bombers would strike its territory


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Pentagon eyeing drone shift to aid Somalia

updated 1:51 p.m. PT, Tues., March. 30, 2010
WASHINGTON - The Pentagon is considering dispatching surveillance drones and other limited military support for a Somali government offensive against al-Qaida-linked insurgents, U.S. officials said, part of a cautious move to increase U.S. assistance to the anarchic African nation.
U.S. diplomats are pressing Somali leaders to detail the goals of the looming assault, in order to figure out the most appropriate ways the U.S. can help.
Determined to avoid a visible American footprint on the ground or fingerprints on Somalia's shaky government, U.S. officials are struggling to find the right balance between seizing the opportunity to take out al-Qaida insurgents there and avoiding the appearance of a U.S. occupation. Any U.S. moves in Somalia are haunted by the disastrous 1993 U.S. military assault into the Somali capital — made famous in the book and movie "Black Hawk Down." The strike left 18 U.S. soldiers dead.
American diplomats have been meeting in Kenya with leaders of Somalia's embattled government, urging them to think beyond military objectives and focus more on improving their governing.
U.S. officials want the Somali government to determine how to provide services to its people once the fighting is over, and work to gain support among more moderate groups.
Counter-piracy operations
While American diplomats are huddling with the Somalis in the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Pentagon leaders are preparing a range of options to help boost Somalia's weak security forces.
One proposal would move surveillance drones to the Horn of Africa from an island in the Seychelles, where several unarmed Reaper systems were sent last fall for counter-piracy operations in the western Indian Ocean. The move would represent a more enduring U.S. commitment, which also would be largely invisible to the population.
Armed versions of the pilotless aircraft have been used to tail and fire missiles at militants in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq, but the U.S. has also used them in Yemen to monitor insurgents from the air.
U.S. defense and Western diplomatic officials spoke about the deliberations on condition of anonymity because final decisions have not been made.
While administration officials said that sending U.S. troops into the embattled country is not seen as a viable option, they say they are not ruling out the use of small numbers of U.S. commandos when necessary for specific operations — much as they have done in the past.
Right now, however, there are no American military advisers in Somalia assisting the government there, and the U.S. is not managing or planning any of the military operations. Officials said the Somali government has not yet made any specific request for military aid.
"This is not an American conflict," Assistant Secretary of State Johnnie Carson told reporters in a recent briefing. "It will be up to the Somalis to ultimately resolve this conflict. The U.S., along with others in the international community, can contribute in a supporting role, which we do and acknowledge, but not to become directly engaged in any of the conflict on the ground there."
Ties to al-Qaida
Officials are concerned that any taint of U.S. interference or direct military support will only fuel the Somali insurgency. Over the past year or two, al-Shabab has grown from a clan-based collection of militants to a terror organization more closely aligned with al-Qaida.
U.S. officials have become increasingly concerned that battle-hardened al-Qaida insurgents are moving out of havens along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border into Somalia, where vast ungoverned spaces allow them to train and mobilize recruits without interference. Officials also warn that militants frequently cross the Gulf of Aden, moving between Yemen and Somalia.
At the same time, young Somalis have traveled from the United States back to Somalia to fight with the insurgents, stoking fears that they could return to plot attacks in the U.S.

Pirate attacks return to record levels

Pirate attacks off Somalia’s coast are close to returning to the record levels seen last year as attackers adapt to the international naval presence by striking further offshore and using more violence.
A surge of attacks in the past week has included the hijacking of the MV Frigia, a Maltese-flagged dry bulk carrier, 1,500 miles off Somalia’s coast – the longest-range operation that pirates have ever successfully mounted.
This incident was among five successful hijackings and 19 attacks off Somalia this month, according to the International Maritime Bureau. This compares with 32 attacks and five hijackings in March last year, when the piracy epidemic was close to its height.
The recent surge has disappointed observers, who had hoped that the naval presence off Somalia – particularly in the Gulf of Aden leading to the Red Sea – would begin to deter piracy. In January and February, there were only eight attacks and two hijackings, compared with 29 and four in the first two months of last year.
David Pickard, head of maritime for Drum Cussac, a UK-based consultancy that provides security teams for vessels in the area, said pirates seemed to be avoiding the Gulf of Aden, off northern Somalia. This area is heavily patrolled by international navies, which respond quickly to calls for help from merchant vessels.
“We’re pretty sure it’s part of a trend to more vicious and concentrated attacks, away from the coalition forces,” said Mr Pickard. “The pattern seems to have been that the pirates have been pushed further offshore.”
Off Somalia’s eastern coast, however, naval patrols must cover a vast area of the Indian Ocean, far larger than the relatively confined waters of the Gulf of Aden. In this area, Mr Pickard said that response times were much longer, allowing pirates to keep up attacks on vulnerable ships for up to three hours.
Somali pirates have regularly changed their modus operandi in the five years since their attacks first came to international attention. There has been speculation that some of the latest incidents have been the work of a new gang working from near Bosaso on Somalia’s east coast.
The international naval forces have tried to counter attacks furthest offshore by locating and sinking the mother ships – usually fishing vessels – required for such raids.
Pottengal Mukundan, director of the International Maritime Bureau, said his organisation supported such efforts and wanted to see the naval forces given more robust rules of engagement. By sinking captured mother ships once pirates had been taken off, Mr Mukundan said: “You hurt the people who are financing these things.”
But Mr Pickard pointed out that distinguishing pirate mother ships from innocent fishing vessels was often difficult.

Eject Somali Rebels

Fresh reports of the UN indicting Kenya for playing host to Somali rebels is worrying.They lend credence to what is commonly talked about. There is evidence that Somali rebels have infiltrated the country and possibly, established mini-bases for their nefarious activities. In January, for example, when a group of Muslims staged a day-long protest in the city over the deportation of controversial preacher Sheikh Abdullah Al-Faisal, Internal Security minister George Saitoti was quick to point out that some of the protesters were members of Al-Shabaab. That was a tacit admission that the vicious militia had set foot in Kenya.Similarly, a couple of months ago, a PS issued a directive for an audit of businesses associated with Somalis. Although it appeared discriminatory, beneath it was the concern that some foreigners had penetrated the country with ill-gotten money. True, Kenya has played host to Somali leaders and their followers. Negotiations for the transitional government took place here.Somalis inhabit both Kenya and Somalia, making it difficult to distinguish who is who. Many have been given sanctuary due to the conflict in Somalia. At any rate, the Kenya-Somalia border is ever porous. Kenya must take the UN report seriously and act. The presence of Somali rebels poses danger to citizens and risks Kenya being blacklisted by the international community for supporting terror groups  ..Source: Daily Nation

Somali pirates hijack eight ships in three days,Somali pirates seize up to 100 Indian sailors: industry body‎

Somali pirates hijacked a cargo ship with 24 crew Monday, on the heels of capturing another seven vessels in the Indian Ocean over the weekend.
Pirates captured a Panama-flagged cargo ship just 10 miles from its port on Monday. The ship was last reported being sailed through the Gulf of Aden toward Somalia. The attack comes after seven ships were hijacked in the Indian Ocean this weekend and underscores the persistence of pirates even in the face of increased international patroling and private security measures undertaken by cargo ships.The ship was carrying mixed mechanical equipment toward the United Arab Emirates when attacked, according to an EU Naval Force release. The 24 members of the crew are from Yemen, India, Ghana, Sudan, Pakistan, and the Philippines, the Associated Press reports.IN PICTURES: Somali pirates

"Pirate attacks have continued to climb despite the presence of three dozen warships off the Somali coast. The area of ocean where ships are vulnerable to pirate attack is too vast to effectively patrol," according to the AP. Somali pirates have taken in tens of billions in ransom over the past few years through hijackings, and on Sunday demanded $3 million for a North Korea-flagged ship taken last month, Voice of America reportsCommercial cargo ships are increasingly taking to arming themselves with private security, The Christian Science Monitor reported last week. Private security guards shot a Somali pirate dead last week, which was the first recorded instance of its kind. US and French navies have shot and killed Somali pirates before, but the increasingly violent response to piracy may spiral. “This could be the beginning of a violent period,” E.J. Hogendoorn, head of the Horn of Africa program at the International Crisis Group’s office in Nairobi, told the Monitor. “If [the pirates] see guys with shiny barrels pointing at them, they might fire first.”But as the Monitor reported, some innovative firms are developing nonlethal measures to deter pirates, such as a 300-meter rope that tangles propellers and a laser that causes temporary blindness.Somalia has not had a functioning government since 1991, when then-President Siad Barre was overthrown. Piracy has been a persistent problem since, given that near-anarchic Somalia, which is also battling an Islamist insurgency, is not able to control its territory and seizing ships is a lucrative venture. Somali pirates have widened their range to the farthest it has ever been, operating as far south as Mozambique in southern Africa and near the coast of India, Reuters reported. "The entire Indian Ocean is becoming a problem of piracy," Adm. Mark Fitzgerald, who commands the US naval forces in Europe and Africa, said at a London forum last week. In addition to piracy attacks for ransom, the US last week warned ships traveling off the coast of Yemen of the risk of Al Qaeda attacks, Reuters adds. The instability in Yemen causes US ships to potentially face attacks similar to the suicide bombing that killed 17 soldiers in 2000 on board the USS warship Cole.
Somali pirates seize up to 100 Indian sailors: industry body‎

U.S. considers drones to help Somalia fight al-Qaida

The Associated Press © March 31, 2010 By Lolita C. Baldor and Pauline Jelinek
The Pentagon is considering dispatching surveillance drones and other limited military support for a Somali government offensive against al-Qaida-linked insurgents, U.S. officials said, part of a cautious move to increase U.S. assistance to the anarchic African nation.While administration officials said that sending U.S. troops into the embattled country is not seen as a viable option, they say they are not ruling out the use of small numbers of U.S. commandos when necessary for specific operations - much as they have done in the past.U.S. diplomats are pressing Somali leaders to detail the goals of the looming assault, in order to figure out the most appropriate ways the United States can help.Determined to avoid a visible American footprint on the ground, U.S. officials are striving to find the right balance between seizing the opportunity to take out al-Qaida insurgents there and avoiding the appearance of a U.S. occupation.Any U.S. moves in Somalia are haunted by the disastrous 1993 U.S. military assault into the Somali capital - made famous in the book and movie "Black Hawk Down." The strike left 18 U.S. soldiers dead.U.S. diplomats have been meeting in Kenya with leaders of Somalia's embattled government, urging them to think beyond military objectives and focus more on improving their governing.Meanwhile, Pentagon leaders are preparing a range of options to help boost Somalia's weak security forces.One proposal would move surveillance drones to the Horn of Africa from an island in the Seychelles, where several unarmed Reaper systems were sent last fall for counter-piracy operations in the western Indian Ocean. The move would represent a more enduring U.S. commitment, which also would be largely invisible to the population.Armed versions of the pilotless aircraft have been used to tail and fire missiles at militants in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq, but the United States also has used them in Yemen to monitor insurgents from the air.U.S. defense and Western diplomatic officials spoke about the deliberations on condition of anonymity.

Jihad Intensifies in Somalia

s violence continues unabated in Somalia, a land mine blast killed a district commissioner and wounded a top security official in that war-torn country’s capital of Mogadishu on Saturday.
Ahmed Sheikh Mohamed, a district commissioner in Mogadishu, and the city’s deputy security chief, were traveling near the Aden Ade International Airport when their vehicle hit a landmine, according to a press release obtained by the National Association of Chiefs of Police.
After the explosion, Somali security officers ordered residents of the neighborhood to evacuate.
The Somali terrorist group Al-Shabbab claimed responsibility for the land mine blast.
“The Somali violence is occurring on land and sea, and the terror group — linked to al-Qaeda — appears to be gaining strength,” said one intelligence analyst.
Pirates have trolled the coast of Somalia for several years now, leading to warships from 16 nations patrolling the area in an attempt to deter hijacks. Unfortunately, according to a government terrorism report obtained by the National Association of Chiefs of Police, the sea gangs are now searching for victim ships farther from the African coast. 
The pirate gangs and their backers within war-torn Somalia have made tens of millions of dollars in ransoms so far. Last April, Somali pirates hijacked a US flag ship. These Somali priates also attacked a cruise ship off the coast of Somalia.
The failed assassination attempt on the prime minister of Somalia, as well as the attempt to hijack a luxury American cruise ship, has intensified apprehension and fear that the shaky Somalian government is losing to al-Shabbab, a major supporter of these marauding sea gangs.
Three people were mortally wounded in a terrorist attack on the Prime Minister, Ali Mohamed Gedi,while he was visiting the capital of Mogadishu. He survived the deadly encounter which entailed an explosion set off near his convoy, according to security experts. Mr Gedi was merely visiting since his government was in quasi-exile in Jowhar.
The danger in the Somali capital is so great that the transitional government must avoid setting up their headquarters there.
Since 2003, Somalia has witnessed the growth of a brutal network of Jihad with strong ties to Al-Qaeda. In fact, when the US forces faced a bloody battle in 1995 during what became known as the Black Hawk Down incident, it was Al-Qaeda terrorists joining with a local warlord who killed and wounded US special operations soldiers.
Somalia has been without a functioning national government for 15 years, when they received their independence from Italy. The transitional parliament created in 2004, failed to end the devastating anarchy. The impoverished people who live in the ruined capital of Mogadishu have witnessed Al-Qaeda operatives, jihadi extremists, Ethiopian security services and Western-backed counterterrorism agents engaged in a bloody war that few support and even fewer understand.

According to shabaab Jehadist mouthpiece and Terror Apologist Website Somaliweyn –Somali Jehadest Reporter Mohammed Omar Hussein: Al-Shabab claims to have damaged a drone

pro-Shabaab,  pro-jihad propaganda website was the first  to publish this story  (Somali Language )

Kenya vetoes Somali wish for troops in Mogadishu

NAIROBI, Kenya -- Somalia's president wants thousands of troops trained in Kenya to be deployed to Mogadishu for an upcoming offensive against Islamist militants, but Kenya has denied the request - yet another complication for a military campaign that has already been delayed several times, officials said Tuesday.
 - The fact that Kenya could veto Somali wishes for the deployment of its own troops underscores that the Kenyan government wields power in the neighboring country, which has a weak, U.N.-backed government.
In a March 21 letter that The Associated Press obtained a copy of, Somali President Sharif Sheik Ahmed asked Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki for Kenya's support for a plan to transfer control of 2,500 Somali troops trained in Kenya over the last several months to the current defense minister.
That would mean the troops would be moved from the Somali-Kenya border to the Somali capital, Mogadishu, large parts of which are controlled by al-Shabab, a militant group linked to al-Qaida.
Kenya's president rejected the plan based on fears that if the troops are sent to Mogadishu, Kenya's porous frontier with Somalia would be vulnerable to cross-border incursions, said a Somali government official who spoke on condition he not be identified because of the sensitivity of the matter.
Kenyan government spokesman Alfred Mutua declined to comment.
"Kibaki respects Somalia's president and his government, but when it comes to national security, Kenya's interest comes first," said Abdullahi Hassan, a political analyst and lecturer at Nairobi's Kenyatta University.
It was not known if the issue would cause further delays to an offensive aimed at restoring Somali government control to large parts of Somalia and hitting a radical movement that has imposed harsh justice, including stonings and amputations, and stoked terrorism fears in the Horn of Africa and beyond. The offensive has been pushed back repeatedly, in part because of a lack of military resources.
Kenya mediated a two-year peace process that led to the formation of Somalia's fragile government and hosts hundreds of thousands of Somali refugees. Leaders of Somalia's government have regularly consulted with their Kenyan counterparts. Some of the troops trained in Kenya were rumored to be Kenyan nationals of Somali origin.
"The whole training exercise was a Kenyan-led initiative that involved elements within the Somali government. It was part of Kenya's overall military containment strategy against al-Shabab and it does not want to lose control of that process despite its support for the Somali government," said Rashid Abdi of the International Crisis Group.
For more than five months, Kenya has been training more than 2,500 Somali troops on its soil. The initial plan was for them to be deployed to the border to eliminate threats posed by al-Shabab, said clan elder Sheik Ali Gure, who helped recruit the troops from three Somali regions near Kenya. Al-Shabab controls large swaths of southern and central Somalia.
A U.N. Monitoring Group report this month found that the Somali military is dominated by a command structure based on clan loyalties. The dustup between Kenya and Somalia over troop deployment underscores those clan arrangements.
Gure warned that if the Kenyan-trained troops were transferred to Mogadishu, Somali clans along the border could withdraw their support for the Somali government. The clans want the troops to stay in their regions to take on al-Shabab there.
Kenya has a large Somali population that inhabits the northeastern part of the country, and has over the years used local clans who straddle territories between the two countries to intervene when rebels groups try to cross the border.

Monday, March 29, 2010


Summary: Today, 29. March 2010,  12h00 UTC, still at least 19 foreign vessels plus one barge are kept in Somali hands against the will of their owners, while at least 265 seafarers - including an elderly British yachting couple - plus the lorry drivers from Somaliland suffer to be released. See the Somali Marine & Coastal Monitor for background info and the map of the PIRACY COASTS OF SOMALIA.


MS INDIAN OCEAN EXPLORER and S/Y SERENITY - presumed sunken, but wrecks not secured.

BARGE NN - an unnamed barge (allegedly with chemical waste) is held at Kulule (near Bendar-Beyla) since mid March. Ownership and circumstances could not yet be clarified. In the meantime local people have developed some ailments. Community awareness campaign was carried out, barge is provisionally secured. The case needs an immediate solution.

S/Y JUMLA or YUMLA ? - a mysterious yacht with three Africans on board was/is kept since a long time near Dinooda on the Indian Ocean coast. Rumors say the yacht was involved in the sea-jacking of NAVIOS APOLLON and was then sighted near Hobyo.

FV INTMAS 6 [aka FV TAWARIQ 2]: Was missing since March 2009. FV INTMAS 6 (sometimes named FV TAWARIQ 2) with a crew of around 30 seamen went missing around the time when FV TAWARIQ 1 was arrested by Tanzanian authorities with the help of the South African coastguard for illegal fishing. Families of four Kenyan crew members, who were hired by a Chinese shipping agent in Kenya, are desperate to know the fate of their relatives, while the shipping agent is now held also in the Tanzanian prisons in connection with the arrest of FV TAWARIQ 1. When FV TAWARIQ 1 was seized also FV TAWARIQ 2, 3 and 4 fled from the Western Indian Ocean. TAWARIQ 4 is now anchored in Singapore, TAWARIQ 3 caught fire off Mauritius, which has developed into a hub for fish-poachers, and TAWARIQ 2 (INTMAS 6) and her multi-national crew comprised of Taiwanese, Chinese, Filipinos, Vietnamese, Indonesians and Kenyans was missing for nearly a year. When FV WIN FAR 161 was captured by Somalis, who had followed the vessel close to the Seychelles , the other WIN FAR vessels were called back to Taiwan. The Taiwanese real shipowner of FV TAWARIQ 1, who is said to also have had his part in FV WIN FAR 161, which recently was released from Somalia with two dead sailors on board - is wanted by the authorities too.
INTMAS 6 also fled from Tanzania after the arrest of FV TAWARIQ 1 - first to the Seychelles and then to Malaysia, from where now three Kenyan crew members returned to Kenya and the repatriation of a fourth from Bangkok is awaited. While the vessel is reportedly now sailing from Malaysia to Bangkok, investigations are ongoing.

MT AGIA BARBARA: INDIAN AND SYRIAN CREW STILL WANTED FOR MURDER - vessel escaped from Somalia after the murder of a TFG policeman and the attempted murder of another to the UAE - unhindered by international naval forces. See our respective updates for details.

FV WIN FAR 161 - The freed vessel returned under mainland China's naval escort back to Taiwan, but an independent investigation into the death of at least one Chinese and one Indonesian sailor as well as into the involvement of the ship in the attack on US-flagged container vessel MV MAERSK ALABAMA has not yet been completed, while Hsieh Long-yan, president of the ship's owner Win Far Fishery, continues to be elusive and evades questions to know why he lied to the Foreign Minister of Taiwan and why he didn't facilitate relief and medical support for the crew during many month.

1 YEMENI BOAT : Missing since 11. January 2010 from Warsha Island in Alaraj area in Yemen's province of Hudaida (not yet counted on list of pirated vessels - but mentioned here as alert). Originally two dhows had gone  missing on the same day, but one - MSV AL HADRAMI 73 - was found by EU NAVFOR with the vessel abandoned and the crew missing, which apparently had left the vessel with a skiff because the engine had broken down. The vessel was towed back to Yemen and handed over to the owner on 20th February.

Legal Dispute: MV LEILA - The Panama-flagged but UAE owned Ro-Ro cargo ship of 2,292 grt with IMO NO. 7302794 and MMSI NO. 352723000 , is held at the Somaliland port of Berbera since September 15, 2009 at gunpoint and under a court order in a legal dispute between Somaliland authorities, cargo owners and the ship-owner. Somali company Omar International claims cargo damages caused by fire on MV MARIAM STAR who caught fire on the upper deck while at Berbera port in early September of 2009. MV MIRIAM STAR - a fleet-sistership - is likewise still at Berbera. The expatriate crew could be freed and repatriated.


Genuine members of families of the abducted seafarers can call +254-733-633-733 for further details or send an e-mail in any language to office[AT] This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Sea-jacked British couple, Paul and Rachel Chandler, aged 60 and 58, were abducted from their 38-ft yacht S/Y LYNN RIVAL, seized October 22, 2009 en route to Tanzania, and are still held in Somalia. The yacht was recovered by the crew of UK naval vessel Waveknight, after they witnessed the transfer of the Chandlers to commandeered MV KOTA WAJAR. The yacht was brought back to England. The elderly couple is now held on land close to Harardheere, sometimes separated for fear of a commando attack . The case is turning more and more ugly with pirates becoming brutal, politicians ignorant and the financially incapable family intimidated by several sidelines, whose money-guided approach is undermining bids by local elders, human rights groups and the Somali Diaspora to get the innocent couple free. Some humanitarian efforts, however, are now under way and Somali elders, respected leaders and the Somali Diaspora have renewed their demand for an unconditional release.
Latest reports from the ground say that the couple is now treated better, though they often are kept separated for fear of a military rescue attempt. The health of both elderly people is reportedly deteriorating rapidly. Relief and medicine has been sent by a humanitarian organization and was received by the couple.

MV SOCOTRA 1: Seized December 25. 2009. The vessel carrying a food cargo for a Yemeni businessman and bound for Socotra Archipelago was captured in the Gulf of Aden after it left Alshahir port in the eastern province of Hadramout. 6 crew members of Yemeni nationality were aboard. Latest information said the ship was commandeered onto the high seas between Oman and Pakistan, possibly in another piracy or smuggling mission. VESSEL STILL MISSING.

MT ST JAMES PARK: Seized December 28, 2009 at position 12°58'4N-48°34'1E which is in the Gulf of Aden International Recognised Transit Corridor (IRTC), while on voyage from Tarragona, Spain to Tha Phut, Thailand. The registered owner PHILBOX Ltd. is fronting for the management company ZODIAC MARITIME AGENCIES LTD  in London, while the beneficial owners are the Ofer Brothers - the Israeli brothers Sammy and Yehuda (Yuli) Ofer . There are 26 crew members on board including the Russian captain and their nationalities are: 6 Indian, 5 Bulgarian, 3 Russian, 3 Filipinos, 3 Turkish, 2 Romanian, 2 Ukrainian,  1 Polish, 1 Georgian. The ship was registred with MSC HOA and was transiting north west towards the International Recommended Transiting Corridor that she was expected to enter 3 Jan. The UK-flagged chemical tanker sent a security alert 14:20 GMT (17:20 Local Time) she also sent an unspecified distress message which was received by RCC Piraeus. The St James Park loaded at Assemini and Tarragona her cargo of 13,175 tonnes of 1,2-dichloroethane - commonly known by its old name of ethylene dichloride (EDC) and used in the manufacturing of plastics and not dangerous in normal carriage conditions. However, 1,2-dichloroethane is toxic (especially by inhalation due to its high vapour pressure), corrosive, highly flammable, and possibly carcinogenic. Its high solubility and 50-year half-life in anoxic aquifers make it a perennial pollutant and health risk that is very expensive to treat conventionally, requiring a method of bioremediation. The vessel's last port of call was Jeddah, where she stopped for Bunkers on 24th December 2009. The tanker was held near Garacad at the North-Eastern Somali coast.  During the night of 16./17. February a naval vessel came close and provoked heavy gun-fire from the pirates of MV ST JAMES PARK as well as from neighbouring MV RIM. After the incident, in which the naval vessel didn't return fire and left, MV ST JAMES PARK changed position
first to Kulub and is now held off Dhinoowda Qoryaweyn. Negotiations have become difficult and are said to have not been finalized, but are ongoing.

VC ASIAN GLORY: Seized January 02, 2010. The UK-flagged, UK-owned car carrier was taken around 620nm off the Somali coast in the Indian Ocean, while after leaving the South Korean port of Ulsan en route from Singapore to the Gulf of Aden and Saudi Arabia. The 25 crew members -- eight Bulgarians, including the captain, 10 Ukrainians, five Indians, two Romanians are said to be unharmed. DAYER MARITIME INC fronts as registered owners for the management company ZODIAC MARITIME AGENCIES LTD and the real owners, the Ofer Brothers - the Israeli brothers Sammy and Yehuda (Yuli) Ofer . The vessel was first held near Hobyo at the Central Somali coast. From there it was commandeered now twice out to sea to aid pirate motherships. VC ASIAN GLORY in both cases was after rescuing these pirates taken back to the Somali coast, in the first instance to Garacad, in the second to Danaane and the floating pirate base was then held 4.8nm off  Hobyo again at the Central Indian Ocean coast of Somalia. though Iranian media had reported her release already, stating it transported weapons destined for Saudi Arabia. Negotiations to release the vessel seem to still have not reached a conclusion, while the vessel was commandeered again to a location a little farther off the coast near Garacad. Reports by first Iranian and then the Bulgarian media that the vessel had been released for a ransom of US5m are false and the vessel is still held while negotiation are not forthcoming and rumours persist that the Bulgarian master is missing from the ship.

MV RIM: Seized February 02, 2010. The North-Korean-flagged, Libyan owned general cargo vessel MV RIM was captured - en route from Eritrea to presumably Yemen  - in the north-western Gulf of Aden just south of the Yemeni coast on 2nd February 2009 . Though a coalition ship USS PORTER that works closely with EU NAVFOR and a helicopter from USS FARRAGUT, both of CMF CTF 151, confirmed that the RIM had been hijacked, EU NAVFOR headquarters first declined to confirm the report on 2nd to Somalia's anti-piracy envoy - only to report it then a day later.
EU NAVFOR then stated that the vessel was sea-jacked to the north of the Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor (IRTC), was not registered with MSC HOA and has had no communications with UKMTO, the British operation in Bahrain.
The relatively small coastal cargo ship of 4,800 tonnes is still listed in the ship registers as being owned by White Sea Shipping of Tripoli in Libya, while in reality it was allegedly sold now to another company for her last cargo trip  with a load of clay and with a final destination at the scrapyards in India.
Her crew comprises at the moment of 10 sailors - all of Syrian nationality. An actual crew-list has now been provided. The vessel and crew are neither covered by an ITF Agreement nor an appropriate insurance.
The ship was first commandeered to the Somali Gulf of Aden coast near LasKorey where it encountered Puntland forces and the pirates exchanged fire with them. Then it sailed around the tip of the very Horn of Africa to Garacad on the Indian Ocean side.
The vessel has been moved from Garacad - because local elders protested - to Kulub, where it is held 5.3 nm off the shore at the North-Eastern Indian Ocean coast of Somalia. Negotiations between the pirates and the owners have commenced, while nosy naval vessels nearby drew in one case fire from the pirates. Numerous sidelines opened by Somali brokers make the case difficult. The captors have threatened to kill the captain if their
ransom demand- reported elsewhere as $3million - is not fulfilled. If rational, the reason for the high demand for a ship which is on her last leg to the scrapyards can only be found in the cargo, which - if really only clay, as stated by the owner - also wouldn't make sense.

M.S.V. ABDUL RAZAK: Seized before February 23, 2010 and after 17 November 2008 (latest contact). The 40m ship with 9 crew of Indian nationality was captured by Somali sea-shifta. on her way from Kandala to Dubai. No information concerning the condition of the crew available.
So far the vessel had been reported only as missing or lost at sea by the owner.
Reportedly a 7 men gang of sea-shifta from Garacad, a notorious pirate den at the Indian Ocean coast of North-Eastern Somalia, is/was commandeering the vessel.
Latest informations indicate that the vessel was already misused as pirate mother-ship far off in the Indian Ocean. An intensive search by ECOTERRA Intl. along the coast revealed that it is at present not at the Somali coasts.
Upcoming information says that it might have been involved in an encounter with an Asian naval vessel at the end of February 2009.

SOMALILAND LORRIES: Seized February 25, 2010. Seven lorries and at least 9 persons from their driver-crews of Isaak ethnicity from Somaliland were captured by a gang of sea-shifta from Garacad in order to press their comrades free from Somaliland jails. No financial demands have been made. According to sources close to the pirates, the trucks are been kept in small town near the pirate lair of Garacad called Kulub.

FV AL-SHURA: Seized after February 20, 2010 and most likely on 25th February with one of 9 sailors being killed by Somali pirate-attackers. Present location of Yemeni vessel and crew unknown. Navies have apparently not yet located the dhow.

BB AL-NISR-AL-SAUDI: Seized on March 01, 2010. The relatively small bunker barge Al Nisr Al Saudi was empty when it was taken in the Gulf of Aden. The captain of the ship is Greek and the nationality of the 13 other crew is Sri Lankan. All crew is believed to be safe. The 5,136 ton ship was not registered with maritime authorities and was outside the designated route that naval warships patrol.The vessel is currently held at Garacad and communications between the pirates and the owner have been established. Contrary to many other vessels the families of the hostage-seafarers are very well taken care of.

N.N.: In the early afternoon of 02 MAR 2010 a merchant vessel has been pirated in the vicinity of Aden, ICC/IMB/PRC reported. Further details and specifics of crew were not yet released.

FV SAKOBA: Seized after February 26, 2010, when the vessel was in Malindi / Kenya for bunkers, and according to the owner on 03 March, when the vessel was around Pemba Island in Tanzania. From there she went to her most southerly recorded point on 04 March 2010 at position 7º26.48' S, 42º29.88' E, which is between Zansibar and Mafia Island in Tanzania waters. At 07h04 UTC on 08 March 2010 Kenya-flagged FV SAKOBA was in position 00°52'N-046°56'E. The fishing vessel was/is used as a pirate platform and most likely also involved in the sea-jacking of UBT OCEAN.
is a fishing vessel, presently flying Kenyan flag, which has become infamous in the fish-poaching world since many years and its clandestine operations are very well known to several environmental organizations. It has a murky track record.
In 2005 FV SAKOBA,  with a crew of Kenyan-Spaniards and Kenyans was involved in a serious incident, whereby a Kenyan seaman got seriously injured off the Kenyan coast. It is therefore assumed that this vessel was not necessarily sea-jacked but also operated in co-operation with the Somali sea-shifta. To be "hijacked" is a nice cover for a crooked crew to operate in criminal operations, be it illegal fishing, smuggling, trafficking or assisting in the hijacking of other vessels. In the clandestine world of vessels sailing under Flag of Convenience (FOC), FV SAKOBA is a special case. FV SAKOBA arrived late afternoon on 10 March 2010 at the Central Somali coast near Harardheere, where it is anchored now at position 4º36.88'N-48º05.64'E.
The sixteen men crew consists of one Spaniard of Portuguese origin as captain, the chief engineer from Poland, ten Kenyans, two Senegalese and one sailor each from Namibia and Cape Verde.  The Spanish owner of the vessel holds 99.9% of the shares  in the  Kenyan registered company , which exports the fish to Europe via his Spanish company. The Spanish owner is now at Nairobi in Kenya with the Spanish Ambassador and had reportedly contact with the Somali group holding the vessel. Families of the Kenyan
seafarers demonstrated in Mombasa to seek support and information from the Spanish shipowner and the Kenyan government. The legal procession to hand a petition to the Kenya Maritime Authority was broken up by Kenya police, who detained one human rights activist.

MT UBT OCEAN: seized on March 05, 2010. The Marshall Islands-flagged, Norwegian owned oil-product tanker with 21 crew from Burma was captured between the Seychelles and Tanzania in the Indian Ocean while heading towards Dar es Salaam at position 04°34'S-048°09'E at 06h39 UTC (0939 LT). It was said that FV SAKOBA was somehow involved in the sea-jacking of the Norwegian tanker. However, later the position of the attack was said to have been 09°12'S-044°20'E, which seems not to be plausible. The 120 m long 9,224dwt tanker belongs to shipowners Brovigtank and is managed by Singapore-based Nautictank. The tanker has been commandeered to the coast near Harardheere at the Central Somali Indian Ocean coast, where vessel and crew are held now 4.3 nm off the beach.

CHARCOAL SHIP ex Dubai: Seized March 17, 2010 after the vessel left Kudah port in Southern Somalia loaded with charcoal for illegal export. Composition of crew not yet known.

MV FRIGIA: Seized March 22, 2010. The Turkish owned, Malta-flagged 35,244-dwt bulker with Israeli-owned cargo of phosphate was hijacked off the Indian coast before midnight at Posn: 11:41.53N - 066:05.38E - 670nm east of Socotra Island and arounf 900nm from Somalia. At 0137 UTC a distress signal was sent. The vessel has a crew of 21 sailors - 19 Turks and two Ukrainians. The vessel arrived at Garacad at the  North-Eastern Indian Ocean coast of Somalia.

MV TALCA: Seized March 23, 2010. The British-managed, Bermuda-flagged reefer was on her way to Iran from Egypt with a 22 men crew - 20 Sri Lankans, one Filipino and one Syrian, and was seized 120nm off the coast of Oman at 13h33 UTC
by 2 skiffs in position 17º27N - 05º642E. The vessel is reportedly commandeered southwards to the Indian Ocean coast of Somalia, where it first arrived at Baargaal on March 25, 2010 -possibly only for a stopover on her way to Garacad. Reza Nourani, head of the fresh fruits importers and exporters union, said the 5000-tonne ship belongs to two members of the Iranian union and is carrying $4 million worth of Egyptian oranges.

FV AZ ZABANIYAH: Seized March 25, 2010: The Yemeni fishing vessel, which had left al-Shiher port in Hadramout in late February, was captured off Somalia's northern coast, while one of its 12 crew members was killed.
Security authorities in Yemen's southeast province of Hadramout confirmed that the capture took place while the Yemeni fishing vessel was in the Somali territory waters. Among the 12 crew members were eight Yemeni fishermen, two Somalis and two Tanzanian nationals, while Othman Mohamed of Tanzania was killed during the operation.
The vessel along with its 11 crew members is now in Somali captivity, while the Yemeni security authorities are seeking to achieve a release. The vessel is not coming to the Somali shores because the captors try to use it as piracy launch to hunt bigger prey.

MSV VISV(A)KALYAN (VRL) (aka VISHVA KALYAN = Global Peace): Seized March 26, 2010. The Indian-owned Dhow had left Kismaayo harbour in Southern Somalia with an illegal consignment of charcoal. It was subsequently captured by a Somali gang of sea-shifta and commandeered to the Seychelles where the gang holding ML ARZOO, which had ran out of fuel, was relieved and taken onboard the Indian-flagged dhow. Present position and course or number of crew not known.

MSV NAL NARAYAN: Seized March 26, 2010. Indian-flagged dhow loaded with charcoal from Kismaayo. Present position and course or number of crew not known.

SA QUEEN: Seized March 26, 2010. Indian-flagged dhow loaded with charcoal from Kismaayo. Present position and course or number of crew not known.

FV N.N.: A "SPANISH" FISHING VESSEL: Seized March 28, 2010 is now commandeered to Harardheere, reportedly with two dead crew as well as one dead and one injured Somali on board. It is assumed that the vessel has at least 20 crew.

MV ICEBERG 1: Seized March 29, 2010. The Ro-Ro vessel MV ICEBERG 1 with her 24 crew members was sea-jacked just 10nm outside Aden Port, Gulf of Aden. The vessel is now commandeered to the Somali coast.

All vessels navigating in the Indian Ocean are advised to consider keeping East of 60E when routing North/South and to consider routing East of 60E and South of 10S when proceeding to and from ports in South Africa, Tanzania and Kenya.

~ * ~

With the latest captures and releases now still at least 19 seized foreign vessels (21 sea-related hostage cases since yacht SY LYNN RIVAL was abandoned and taken by the British Navy) with a total of not less than 265 crew members (incl. the British sailing couple) plus at least 9 crew of the lorries held for an exchange with imprisoned pirates, are accounted for. The cases are monitored on our actual case-list, while several other cases of ships, which were observed off the coast of Somalia and have been reported or had reportedly disappeared without trace or information, are still being followed too. Over 134 incidences (including attempted attacks, averted attacks and successful sea-jackings) had been recorded for 2008 with 49 fully documented, factual sea-jacking cases for Somalia and the mistaken sinking of one sea-jacked fishing vessel and killing of her crew by the Indian naval force. For 2009 the account closed with 228 incidences (incl. averted or abandoned attacks) with 68 vessels seized for different reasons on the Somali/Yemeni captor side as well as at least TWELVE wrongful attacks (incl. one friendly fire incident) on the side of the naval forces.
For 2010 the recorded account stands at 42 attacks resulting in 17 sea-jackings.
The naval alliances had since August 2008 and until January 2010 apprehended 666 suspected pirates, detained and kept or transferred for prosecution 367,  killed 47 and wounded 22 Somalis. (New independent update see:
Not fully documented cases of absconded vessels are not listed in the sea-jack count until clarification. Several other vessels with unclear fate (although not in the actual count), who were reported missing over the last ten years in this area, are still kept on our watch-list, though in some cases it is presumed that they sunk due to bad weather or being unfit to sail - like the S/Y Serenity, MV Indian Ocean Explorer.Present multi-factorial risk assessment code: GoA: RED / IO: RED (Red = Very much likely, high season; Orange = Reduced risk, but very likely, Yellow = significantly reduced risk, but still likely, Blue = possible, Green = unlikely). Piracy incidents usually degrade during the monsoon season and rise gradually by the end of the monsoon. Starting from mid February until early April every year an increase in piracy cases can be expected.
If you have any additional information concerning the cases, please send to office[at] - if required we guarantee 100% confidentiality.
For further details and regional information see the Somali Marine and Coastal Monitor at and

Norfolk-based warship rescues 30 off coast of Somalia

The Norfolk-based destroyer McFaul rescued 30 Somali men, women and children on Thursday from a skiff with engine problems. The Arleigh Burke class ship was on routine patrol and was about 100 miles north of Somalia when the skiff was spotted. The people on board had been without food for four days. (Navy courtesy photo)
The Norfolk-based destroyer McFaul rescued 30 Somali men, women and children who were stranded aboard a skiff with no food and little water last week.
The Arleigh Burke-class ship was on routine patrol about 100 miles north of Somalia on Thursday when crew members spotted the skiff, a Navy news release says. The skiff’s outboard motors had failed, and the people aboard had been without food for about four days, according to the release. They and the boat were taken aboard the McFaul and given food, blankets and a place to sleep.
The skiff’s engines were repaired, and the people who had been on board were taken to the northern coast of Somalia.
The McFaul is assigned to a multinational task force to conduct counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden and the east coast of Somalia

A Guiding Voice Amid the Ruins of a Capital City

MOGADISHU, Somalia — A veiled female journalist (who also happens to be wearing a snug denim skirt) sits in a soundproof studio with a fuzzy microphone in front of her face. “Salaam Aleikum,” she says, greeting a man who has called in to the radio station. “Yes, hello,” he replies anxiously. “I want to talk about pirates. These guys aren’t being treated fairly.”
In a booth next door, news producers prepare the daily diet of mayhem and more: three bodies found in Bakaro market; President Sheik Sharif preaches reconciliation at a mosque; Islamic scholars speak out about the Shabab insurgent group cutting off hands; the livestock market is looking up and the price of goats, thank God, is steadily rising.
Good Morning. . .Mogadishu!
This is a typical day at Radio Mogadishu, the one and only relatively free radio station in south central Somalia where journalists can broadcast what they like — without worrying about being beheaded. The station’s 90-foot antennas, which rise above the rubble of the neighborhood, have literally become a beacon of freedom for reporters, editors, technicians and disc jockeys all across Somalia who have been chased away from their jobs by radical Islamist insurgentsmore...

Honesty Is Not The Best Policy

March 29, 2010: Warships off the coast continue to catch pirates in the act of attacking merchant ships. But most of the pirates are simply disarmed and sent back to Somalia without their weapons and boarding tools. It's like paying a fine (of a few hundred dollars, at most, per pirate), and the lost gear can easily be replaced. This "catch and release" approach is not discouraging the pirates, who consider it a cost of doing business. But the West is unwilling to commit peacekeepers to Somalia, and pacify the country. The Somalis are considered too ruthless and unruly. Moreover, the Somalis know how to spin the media, which is a scary proposition for any Western politician considering sending in troops.Al Shabaab has taken over independent radio stations in areas they control. Earlier, al Shabaab had intimidated the radio stations into only reporting what al Shabaab wanted to hear. But this was apparently not enough, so now al Shabaab puts its own people into control of these radio stations. The Sufi militias are moving men into Mogadishu, for a long planned, and delayed, offensive against al Shabaab forces there. Sufi Moslems are less than ten percent of the population, but have gotten themselves organized. Sufis are traditionally less radical and more mystical than mainstream Sunni Moslems. But radical Sunni groups consider Sufis heretics. Based on that, al Shabaab has attacked Sufi holy sites (mainly the tombs of notable Sufi clerics) When the armed Sufi groups first appeared last year, it was believed they would not be a big threat to al Shabaab, merely restricting movement of the radicals somewhat. But the Sufis went beyond fortifying and arming self-defense militias in towns and villages. The Sufis formed mobile groups, and went after al Shabaab. The Islamic radicals still despise the Sufi militias, but increasingly must be wary of them. Islamic radicals, including some loyal to the Transitional Government, are also seeking out and killing Christian Somalis. Religious intolerance is a pillar of Islamic radicalism, and killing non-Moslems is considered a worthy goal. Honesty is not the best policy. Recent admissions by the UN that their Somali aid efforts were being plundered by al Shabaab to support the Islamic radical group, have caused even more donors to cut their donations for Somalia. So now the UN is insisting that their earlier reports are being misunderstood, and that the UN has the aid theft under control. Most donors are not convinced

Impressive Display of unity...Executive Committee Meeting Alliance for the Re-liberation of Jubaland State of Somalia


Somalis protest against al-Qaida linked militants,Hundreds protest against Al-Shabaab in Somalia

MOGADISHU, Somalia —( TF.SF) Hundreds of women and children marched through the rubble-strewn streets of Somalia's capital to protest against al-Qaida-linked militants on Monday, officials said.The protesters, clad in white Somali traditional clothing and chanting "Down with al-Shabab," were angered after members of the extremist group dug up graves of venerated clerics over the last week. They also protested the influx of foreign fighters to Somalia, said Mohyadin Hassan Afrah, who heads Mogadishu's civil society umbrella group that helped organize the march.

Foreign fighters have flocked to Somalia to back the country's myriad Islamic groups since 2006. Their number has increased in the past year or so and most have joined al-Shabab as it launched major attacks on the fragile government. Many of the fighters are from Pakistan, Yemen and North Africa.
Al-Shabab has prohibited the decoration of tombs and destroyed what the group considered to be idolized tombs in areas under its control over the last couple of years."Al-Shabab's wicked actions are not acceptable. We call for a holy war against them," said Sheik Somow of the moderate Islamist group Ahlu Sunna Waljama that recently signed a power-sharing deal with the Somali government.
The extremist group espouses a strict interpretation of Islam. But many Somalis chafe at al-Shabab's actions and orders because most observe a relatively moderate form of Islam that allows the veneration of respected saints.Monday's protest marked the second-largest demonstration to protest al-Shabab's actions in a city mainly controlled by the extremist group. Dozens of armed government troops, who fired shots into the sky, kept watch over the protesters.Last year, about 100 students staged a similar protest when a suicide bomber attacked a graduation ceremony in the capital that killed more than 20 people including four government ministers, doctors, teachers and students.
Somalia was mired in anarchy since 1991 when Hawiye Clan warlords overthrew Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre and then turned on each other to plunge the country into nearly two decades of seemingly endless chaos.

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.

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We Are Winning the War on Terrorism in Horn of Africa

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

Terror Free Somalia Foundation