Sunday, June 5, 2011

East Africa: How Al Shabaab Recruitment Agents Lure Kenyans to Somalia

Photo/FILE Somalia al-Shabaab insurgents at the capital Mogadishu. Inset: NTV reporters John-Allan Namu and Harith Salim

In Summary
NTV reporters John-Allan Namu and Harith Salim uncovered evidence of recruitment activities in Kenya by Somalia’s radical al Shabaab group. Undercover video footage taken by the crew shows the activities of a network of terror recruiters luring youths to go and fight in Somalia. Disturbingly, one of the key recruiters captured on tape introduced himself as a serving member of the Kenyan military. Edited excerpts

Saumu Chambulu breaks down at the sight of us at her door. She knows why we have come.
As she composes herself, she tells me of the irony of how busy her home has been despite the empty space left by her son Suleiman Hassan.She knew that she wasn’t always able to provide for her children but was thankful for Suleiman because, even in their poverty, he always found comfort in his faith. But two years ago, Suleiman left his mother’s home. He began to be seen in the company of other young men of backgrounds similar to his own in Mworoni on the South Coast.
Then one day he disappeared. After months of searching for her son, Samu said her daughter received a strange phone call indicating he had joined the al Shabaab.Saumu would quickly learn that this was not only true of her son, but that other young men like him had disappeared across the border, never to return.
No comfort
But the growing number of bereaved parents offers no comfort, especially if among those presumed dead in a country you’ve heard about only in the news – in a war you don’t understand – is your own. There is no comfort, only pain.
That was the fate of Suleiman Hassan and other young Kenyans who are recruited to fight for al Shabaab — the jihadists battling the Transitional Federal Government of Sheikh Sherif Ahmed in Somalia.
And, if a video recording of the recruits is anything to go by, the training is producing dyed-in-the-wool fighters.
“We are coming to slaughter you,” they chant in these recordings. The chants are in Kiswahili, perhaps to drive the message home to the Kiswahili-speaking people of eastern Africa.
Not once or twice, but at least four times the region has witnessed firsthand the deadly handiwork of terrorists.
Football fans watching the World Cup final on television in Kampala last year are among the most recent casualties of al Shabaab.
Al Shabaab operates secret bases in Somalia–just across Kenya’s eastern border. The group is believed to be an offshoot of the Union of Islamic Courts, a group that nearly seized control from the wobbly regionally backed TFG led at the time by President Abdullahi Yusuf.
To increase its membership, al Shabaab capitalises on two elements: radical Islamic teachings and poverty.
Saumu believes that her son’s immersion in his faith may have led him to Somalia. But she also acknowledges that their poverty did nothing to stop him.
Poverty is biting hard not just in Mworoni but all across East Africa, and from what we have found, the frequency at which East Africa’s poor are joining the al Shabaab is chilling.
All a prospective recruit needs to know is to whom to talk. We set off for Isiolo to find out how true this statement is.
We were seeking a notorious recruiter known by his close associates only as Pirate. It didn’t take long to find him.
Using a contact we made while there, we were able to arrange a meeting with Pirate, only telling our link man that we had heard about Pirate from our friends in Nairobi and wanted to join al Shabaab.

A few hours later, he would meet us — using false names and a shady story. Face-to-face with the recruiter, we began a conversation that, we hoped, reveal bits of information about al Shabaab’s operations in Isiolo.
But, to our surprise, Pirate was more trusting of us than we expected and began to open up at the slightest of probes.
The information he was giving us corresponded with what officials in Kenya’s intelligence organisations — the National Security Intelligence Services (NSIS) had been telling us: facing a huge armed onslaught in Somalia, al Shabaab was aggressively recruiting, and the criteria had since expanded from young Somalis and Arabs to just about anyone who was committed to the cause — from any background.
Back to Pirate. He did something totally unexpected. He seemed so trusting of us and our story that he said he’d get his boss to talk to us.
After a few minutes, Pirate returned, and true to his word, he was with a man who we would later learn wasn’t just a recruiter of al Shabaab but one of what we believe are a number of double agents.
He was Corporal Hussein Abdullahi Athan from Kenya’s military. In our conversation with Pirate, one of several al Shabaab recruiters who operate in Isiolo, he made a claim which, if true, could be very chilling.
He told us there were recruits being trained at Manyani and Archers (Post). At first this appeared not to square with what is known about where al Shabaab trains new recruits in Kenya.
The two locations were, after all, the sites where a special unit of soldiers from Somalia’s TFG was allegedly being trained by the Kenya Army, the third location being close to Kitui in lower eastern Kenya.
However, according to sources with knowledge of this training, the business ended late last year, and the soldiers were deployed to Somalia towards the end of February this year.
The trainers, according to what we were told, also had a strict recruitment policy and didn’t ask for money from prospective recruits as Pirate had done.
Back to our story in Isiolo. Pirate then left to negotiate with his boss about our offer of Sh10,000 as a bribe to be allowed to join al Shabaab.
This was peculiar, but not altogether unknown, as recruiters often try to get as much out of prospective recruits before passing them along, this being one of the few opportunities for them to make money over and above what they are paid by the al Shabaab.
We expected Pirate to come back with word on whether his boss had agreed, but when he returned, he was in the company of a well-spoken man to whom he only referred as Major.
We would later find out that his real name is Hussein Abdullahi Athan. He holds the rank of corporal, and has been in the Kenyan military for 10 years.
Hussein is also a trained engineer – a skill set which, in the army, means that, among other things, he is a specialist in laying land mines and booby traps as well as in bridge-building.
His base is 10 Engineers in Nanyuki, but he is currently attached to the school of combat engineering in Isiolo as a trainer. But he was meeting us as a soldier loyal to al Shabaab and began by interrogating us:
The story we had given Pirate about why we wanted to join the al Shabaab wasn’t working as well on Hussein, especially given the fact that I am not Somali nor of Arab descent like my colleague, Harith Salim.
Major: Lakini wewe mbona unataka kuingia hi maneno (Why do you want to get into this thing)?
Namu: Ni nini wewe! Kwani mjaluo hawezi kuwa na hasira (What’s wrong with you! What makes you think a Luo can’t get embittered)?
He seemed convinced by this but to be certain that he indeed was who he said he was, I probed further. more « Previous Page1|2|3|4|5Next Page »
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Ex-Somali Police Commissioner General Mohamed Abshir

Ex-Somali Police Commissioner  General Mohamed Abshir

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre with general Mohamad Ali samater

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre with general Mohamad Ali samater
Somalia army parade 1979

Sultan Kenadid

Sultan Kenadid
Sultanate of Obbia

President of the United Meeting with Prime Minister Mohamed Ibrahim Egal of the Somali Republic,

Seyyid Muhammad Abdille Hassan

Seyyid Muhammad Abdille Hassan

Sultan Mohamud Ali Shire

Sultan Mohamud Ali Shire
Sultanate of Warsengeli

Commemorating the 40th anniversary of Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre

Commemorating the 40th anniversary of Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre
Siad Barre ( A somali Hero )

MoS Moments of Silence

MoS Moments of Silence
honor the fallen

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre and His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre  and His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie
Beautiful handshake

May Allah bless him and give Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre..and The Honourable Ronald Reagan

May Allah bless him and give  Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre..and The Honourable Ronald Reagan
Honorable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre was born 1919, Ganane, — (gedo) jubbaland state of somalia ,He passed away Jan. 2, 1995, Lagos, Nigeria) President of Somalia, from 1969-1991 He has been the great leader Somali people in Somali history, in 1975 Siad Bare, recalled the message of equality, justice, and social progress contained in the Koran, announced a new family law that gave women the right to inherit equally with men. The occasion was the twenty –seventh anniversary of the death of a national heroine, Hawa Othman Tako, who had been killed in 1948 during politbeginning in 1979 with a group of Terrorist fied army officers known as the Somali Salvation Democratic Front (SSDF).Mr Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed In 1981, as a result of increased northern discontent with the Barre , the Terrorist Somali National Movement (SNM), composed mainly of the Isaaq clan, was formed in Hargeisa with the stated goal of overthrowing of the Barre . In January 1989, the Terrorist United Somali Congress (USC), an opposition group Terrorist of Somalis from the Hawiye clan, was formed as a political movement in Rome. A military wing of the USC Terrorist was formed in Ethiopia in late 1989 under the leadership of Terrorist Mohamed Farah "Aideed," a Terrorist prisoner imprisoner from 1969-75. Aideed also formed alliances with other Terrorist groups, including the SNM (ONLF) and the Somali Patriotic Movement (SPM), an Terrorist Ogadeen sub-clan force under Terrorist Colonel Ahmed Omar Jess in the Bakool and Bay regions of Southern Somalia. , 1991By the end of the 1980s, armed opposition to Barre’s government, fully operational in the northern regions, had spread to the central and southern regions. Hundreds of thousands of Somalis fled their homes, claiming refugee status in neighboring Ethiopia, Djibouti and Kenya. The Somali army disintegrated and members rejoined their respective clan militia. Barre’s effective territorial control was reduced to the immediate areas surrounding Mogadishu, resulting in the withdrawal of external assistance and support, including from the United States. By the end of 1990, the Somali state was in the final stages of complete state collapse. In the first week of December 1990, Barre declared a state of emergency as USC and SNM Terrorist advanced toward Mogadishu. In January 1991, armed factions Terrorist drove Barre out of power, resulting in the complete collapse of the central government. Barre later died in exile in Nigeria. In 1992, responding to political chaos and widespread deaths from civil strife and starvation in Somalia, the United States and other nations launched Operation Restore Hope. Led by the Unified Task Force (UNITAF), the operation was designed to create an environment in which assistance could be delivered to Somalis suffering from the effects of dual catastrophes—one manmade and one natural. UNITAF was followed by the United Nations Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM). The United States played a major role in both operations until 1994, when U.S. forces withdrew. Warlordism, terrorism. PIRATES ,(TRIBILISM) Replaces the Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre administration .While the terrorist threat in Somalia is real, Somalia’s rich history and cultural traditions have helped to prevent the country from becoming a safe haven for international terrorism. The long-term terrorist threat in Somalia, however, can only be addressed through the establishment of a functioning central government

The Honourable Ronald Reagan,

When our world changed forever

His Excellency ambassador Dr. Maxamed Saciid Samatar (Gacaliye)

His Excellency ambassador Dr. Maxamed Saciid Samatar (Gacaliye)
Somali Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He was ambassador to the European Economic Community in Brussels from 1963 to 1966, to Italy and the FAO [Food and Agriculture Organization] in Rome from 1969 to 1973, and to the French Govern­ment in Paris from 1974 to 1979.

Dr. Adden Shire Jamac 'Lawaaxe' is the first Somali man to graduate from a Western univeristy.

Dr. Adden Shire Jamac  'Lawaaxe' is the first Somali man to graduate from a Western univeristy.
Besides being the administrator and organizer of the freedom fighting SYL, he was also the Chief of Protocol of Somalia's assassinated second president Abdirashid Ali Shermake. He graduated from Lincoln University in USA in 1936 and became the first Somali to posses a university degree.

Soomaaliya الصومال‎ Somali Republic

Soomaaliya الصومال‎ Somali Republic

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