Monday, June 27, 2011

Killing of Fazul Abdullah Mohammed in Somalia a blow to Al Shabaab

terror free somalia images

Andrews Atta-Asamoah & Roba Sharamo, Senior Researcher & Head of Programme, African Conflict Prevention Programme, ISS Nairobi Office

Since the death of Osama bin Laden on 2 May this year, Al Qaeda has lost two more important operatives – Ilyas Kashmiri in Pakistan and Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, who was killed on 7 June in Somalia. The killing of these three men have all been in circumstances that many believe are a just end for extremists who have, over the years, left bitter memories in the minds of many innocent people across the world.

Fazul, who was killed by Somali government forces, is known to have masterminded the 1998 bombings of the United States embassies in Kenya and Tanzania and was the head of the Al Qaeda cell in East Africa. He is also believed to have been behind the Paradise Hotel attacks in Mombasa and an attempted missile strike on an Israeli charter flight in 2002. Since the 1998 bombing, he has been on the run and has been using Somalia as a haven where he is also a senior member of the Al Shabaab leadership responsible for foreign fighters and volunteers. In 2008, he escaped narrowly from capture from a home in Malindi in Kenya just minutes before anti-terrorism police officers crashed through his door. At the time, he is reported to have sneaked into Kenya from his base in Somalia to receive medical care for a kidney condition.

Fazul operated under different identities and had about ten fake names and forged international passports. His fluency in several regional languages was critical to him. He is believed to have disguised himself as either being African, Arab or Asian. Even as head of foreign fighters and volunteers in Al Shabaab, it appears not all of them knew his identity. Trainees in Lower Juba knew him as ‘Abu-Abdirahman the Canadian’. At the time of his death in Somalia he is reported to have been travelling under the identity of ‘Daniel Robinson’ with a fake South African passport. Transitional Federal Government (TFG) forces killed him after he lost his way and landed in a government-controlled security checkpoint. At the checkpoint, Mohammed Dhere a Kenyan extremist and Fazul’s driver, introduced his passenger who was then working on a laptop with an AK-47 on his laps as “ni wazee”, a Swahili phrase meaning “it’s the elders”. Upon realising they had ended up at the wrong checkpoint, Dhere tried to remove his pistol but the government forces opened fire leading to the death of East Africa’s, most notorious extremist.

Fazul’s death is obviously a big blow to the leadership of both Al Qaeda and Al Shabaab and to the myths about their abilities. It also opens the Al Qaeda cell in the region up to internal leadership wrangles as a result of the vacuum. Moreover, unconfirmed reports indicate that there are renewed internal tensions between indigenous and foreign commanders of Al-Shabaab exacerbated by the group’s recent loss of strategic districts in Mogadishu. The killing of Fazul might deepen these fault-lines. The regional cell of Al Qaeda is particularly the most affected because Fazul’s extensive experiences and contacts in the region have been lost and will take years to nurture. With the naming of Ayman al-Zawahiri as Al Qaeda’s new leader, it appears a replacement will certainly be named for the East African cell in the not too distant future. The group’s operations in the region will thus, no doubt, be slowed down, albeit temporarily. It is also going to have a huge impact on the relationship between Al Qaeda and its regional affiliates. This is principally because Fazul was instrumental in the network that existed between the international elements of Al Shabaab, in particular, and their networks outside the country.

Apart from the impact on the Al Shabaab’s network with outside elements of Al Qaeda, the Somali group will be impacted greatly because Fazul was a medium through which the Al Shabaab received some of its resources and operational direction, as well as moral support. Following his demise, these benefits to Al Shabaab will be hampered, at least for some time.

Importantly, the circumstances under which he made a wrong turn and ended up at the TFG-controlled checkpoint is still not clear. Leaving his base in Lower Juba and heading towards a frontline in Mogadishu with several mobile phones, medicine and cash of about US$41,000 may imply either that he was going to equip the frontline operatives with logistics or that Al Shabaab may be planning a major offensive requiring his tactical leadership and operational input.

It is, however, instructive that he was killed by government forces rather than forces of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). First, the shots at Fazul and his driver were clean enough to indicate that the training of the TFG forces by regional and international partners are making some impact. This is clearly an indication of the impact that well-trained TFG forces are capable of making and Somali soldiers’ honest declaration of the cash found on him is quite reassuring of force’s integrity and discipline. Secondly, any retaliatory attacks by Al Shabaab in response to Fazul’s death will largely be directed within Somalia rather than at the troop contributing countries of AMISOM. A renewal of offences in Somalia against the TFG forces by Al Shabaab is therefore likely. A regional retaliation is also likely by Al Qaeda, aimed at registering its presence and activity in the region, particularly by whoever replaces Fazul. This will require the beefing up of regional and international security operations and intelligence gathering in the aftermath of Fazul’s death.

The ease with which Fazul was killed vis-à-vis his ability to thrive and swiftly operate in East Africa over the years, point to the fact that he has been able to operate in the region more as a result of the abysmal nature of the region’s vulnerabilities than his extreme prowess and swiftness at his game. It also points to the comfortable nature by which his calibre of people operates in Al Shabaab-controlled areas in South and Central Somalia. It thus raises a lot of crucial questions about regional security and effectiveness of law enforcement and counter-terrorism operations, especially regarding citizen participation and contribution to law enforcement in the region. Despite been wanted in official circles, Fazul’s identity is not one ordinary East Africans knew. As such, the ordinary people of the region were not brought on board attempts to track him down. The same applies to numerous people on various wanted lists of criminals in the region and beyond.

The fight against crime and extremism appears to be elitist and has become the preserve of only law enforcement and counter-terrorism agencies. Such disconnect makes it easy for dangerous elements of his calibre to thrive among innocent and unnoticing members of the society. There might be the need for the media houses in particular to give regular highlights aimed at familiarising citizens with images of people on wanted lists to enable the public to be on the look out for their arrests. Most importantly, the move towards community policing in the region is one that requires a great deal of commitment from governments and private sector as well, if law enforcement is to be enhanced in the region. The emergence of Fazul, his operations and eventual demise is a stark reminder that the battle for the hearts and minds of people rages unabated. In East Africa particularly, where Al Shabaab is persistently recruiting young people, a more robust response to radicalisation is the only way forward.  VIA
Story Background and Related Links

Fazul was planning attack on Uganda, says army. 'Politics behind Somalia PM resignation' The Leader Behind creation of a functioning Somali Army and responsible for getting East African Al-Qaeda leader Abdullah Fazul

Fazul Abdullah Mohammed's South Africa passport 'fake'
update Terror chief shot in Somalia had Ritz and Eton on hit list .Al-Qaeda,s top operative in East Africa and his Kenyan associate were heading for Kenya. Al-Shabaab to Avenge Fazul’s Death
Kenyan-Somali Jihadist Killed With Fazul
Al-Qaeda's Nairobi Bomber: The Time He Got Away

PRESS STATEMENT DECISION OF THE COUNCIL OF MINISTERS JUNE 11.2011 somali government army commander Gen. Abdikadir Sheikh Ali Dini. and Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi(Farmaajo)thanked Special task force team who killed al-Qaeda's Fazul Abdullah congratulating them/Somali parliament must vote on PM's dismissal: cabinet
Fazul was planning attack on Uganda, says army. 'Politics behind Somalia PM resignation' The Leader Behind creation of a functioning Somali Army and responsible for getting East African Al-Qaeda leader Abdullah Fazul

Al-Qaeda Terrorist Fazul Killed in Somalia ,Fazul Masterminded 1998 Bombings of US Embassies in Kenya, Tanzania. Top al Qaeda operative killed in Somalia, officials say
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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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