Thursday, July 14, 2011

America's Expanding Presence in Somalia

Atlantic Wire
Thursday, July 14, 2011

On Monday, the U.S. pledged $5 million to assist Somalis battered by a severe drought that has, in the words of U.N. refugee agency chief Antonio Guterres, precipitated the>worst humanitarian disaster" in the world right now. But over the last couple weeks we've learned that the U.S. is increasingly getting involved in Somalia for another reason: counterterrorism In an article for The Nation yesterday, Jeremy Scahill reported that the CIA has set up two secret facilities in Mogadishu as part of America's fight against the Al Qaeda-affiliated Islamic militant roup Al Shabab: a fortified compound near the capital's airport for training Somali intelligence agents in counterterrorism and a prison in the basement of Somalia's National Security Agency headquarters for detaining suspected Shabab members. Scahill, who spoke with Somali government and intelligence officials, Somali analysts and militia leaders, former prisoners, and a U.S. official, explains that while the Somalis technically run both sites, the CIA is pulling the strings behind the scenes and directly interrogating prisoners. A U.S. official later downplayed the CIA's presence in the country in an interview with CNN's Barbara Starr, explaining that the agency's operatives occasionally support the Somalis in interrogating terrorism suspects by "being present in the room or suggesting specific questions," and that the CIA also sends personnel and aircraft into Mogadishu to train Somali intelligence agents. The news comes only a couple weeks after The New York Times reported that the U.S. was expanding its covert drone program against militants from Yemen to Somalia, and after American boots hit the ground in the country--albeit briefly--to collect the bodies of insurgents killed in drone strikes (yes, you read that right: the U.S. is reportedly picking up Somali militants' bodies). What's the larger significance of all these developments? The reports raise several key points:
  • Shift in Militant Strategy: The CIA believes Al Shabaab is increasingly communicating and partnering with Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula in Yemen, CNN notes. The Shabab recently pledged allegiance to Al Qaeda and its new leader, Ayman al-Zawahri. 
  • Shift in U.S. Strategy: In the "post-Osama bin Laden era," the Times writes, "some American military and intelligence officials view Qaeda affiliates in Yemen and Somalia as a greater threat to the United States than the group of operatives in Pakistan who have been barraged with hundreds of drone strikes directed by the Central Intelligence Agency in recent years."
  • Serious Risks: Somalia, simply put, is one of the most dangerous countries in the world. In an interview with Scahill, a Somali intelligence official points out that the U.S. doesn't have control of the protean political environment in Somalia like it does, to some extent at least, in Afghanistan and Iraq. The U.S. wants "to help us," he explains, "but the situation is not allowing them to do [it] however they want. They are not in control of the politics, they are not in control of the security" (indeed, Scahill writes that has casts its lot with Somali intelligence agents and non-Somali African military forces, not the Somali government). The Times adds that attacking Shabab fighters, many of whom oppose Somalia's weak transitional government but not necessarily the U.S., could drive them into the arms of Al Qaeda (so far, the Shabab have only carried out one attack outside Somalia--a series of bombings in Uganda during the World Cup). And, of course, the Pentagon is still haunted by the botched 1993 "Black Hawk Down" incident, in which 18 elite American troops were killed in Mogadishu in a struggle with fighters allied with warlords. 
In this clip from an interview Scahill did with Democracy Now today, The Nation reporter gives the International Committee of the Red Cross the location of the secret prison he discovered, noting how prisoners have been held there without charge:
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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
Somalia

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