Wednesday, May 23, 2012

6 Reasons NOT To Join Shabaab: Courtesy Omar Hammami

If you are a young American male considering joining a foreign terrorist organization in general and al-Shabaab in Somalia in particular, I highly recommend you to read Omar Hammami’s autobiography (available on the Internet, but not yet on Kindle).  Unfortunately for Hammami, he arrived in Somalia before the release of al Qaeda’s (Mis) Adventures in Horn of Africa.  Had he waited until after the summer of 2007, Hammami could have read al Qaeda’s primary source documents from 1992-1994 and diverted his plan.  Al Qaeda’s internal documents ’92-’94 read just like Hammami’s bio from 2012 – tales of suffering, betrayal and defeat. (For some highlights from the 90’s AQ documents, see this post)  The irony is that Bin Laden learned from these Somalia pitfalls of the 90’s and I’m certain they influenced his decision to block a Shabaab-AQ merger as debated in this new Abottabad document released this month. (See SOCOM-2012-0000006-HT)
In follow up to yesterday’s post on Fazul-Hammami connections, I present 6 reasons for why joining al-Shabaab or any extremist group in Somalia appears to be a particularly bad idea; above the obvious point that joining a terrorist group in general is never a good idea.  So here it goes:
#1 – Betrayal
This reason more than any other should be the biggest deterrent for those considering joining al-Shabaab.  If malaria, dehydration, starvation, rival clans or foreign armies don’t kill you, other members of Shabaab will.  I hypothesized a couple months back about 3 or 4 scenarios describing why Hammami was in a particularly precarious place in Somalia.  The crux of my theory: certain elements inside Shabaab were/are killing off other members of Shabaab and al Qaeda.  Well, his bio doesn’t disappoint in this regard.  Starting on page 79, Hammami describes how Shabaab fighters routinely betray each other:
It was during this short stay that we met up with Abu Cabdallaah as-Sudaani (Ciise Cusman Ciise), and a few other Muhaajirs. Cabdul Qaadir Komandos also joined our group at this stage. Abu Cabdallaah had almost died of Malaria and he wouldn’t take on a leadership position for quite a while. He did, however, come with news that our previous Amiir had been martyred in a very strange incident; leaving him the natural successor. Of course I don’t blame Abu Cabdallaah for his death. But the story along with the picture on his camera phone showing that the bullet was aimed precisely for Abu Talxah’s heart makes me want to lay the blame on someone other than the Kuffaar.
The reason for this is the fact that there were multiple groups of Muhaajiriin and leaders in the area of Lekta during the time of Abu Talxah’s death and none of them were attacked by the Ethiopians until quite a while after the fateful shots rang out. In addition to that tid bit it was also said that he was called to have a meeting with some of the other leaders and he went accompanied by one of his lieutenants (while both of them were only armed with pistols). Minutes later shots could be heard and his lieutenant returned unscratched. He allegedly fought off the Ethiopians single handedly with his pistol while Abu Talxah, on the other hand, was shot square in the heart.
That lieutenant was later martyred trying to defend the wives of the Muhaajiriin (Abu Talxah’s included) on the Kenyan border. Once again, he was trying to fend off the Kenyan soldiers with only his pistol. That time, however, he was hit and martyred. No one till this day really knows the true story about his death, but there were definitely plausible motives amongst some of the other groups who didn’t take kindly to Abu Talxah’s insistence upon starting a new group in Kismaayu under the spiritual “leadership” of Xasan Turky.
So foreign fighters, when you get to Somalia, look around, one of the people standing next to you is quite likely to be your killer.
#2 – Clan Infighting
Hammami’s group, on the way to fight foreign forces, routinely encounters other clans they must fight or dissuade to get to their primary enemy.  The original AQ documents from ’92-’94 continuously discuss how clan infighting derailed AQ operatives intentions (AFGP-2002-800640, pg 20ish, think the quote is Abu Hafs, something like “Tribalism, nasty tribalism, leave it [Somalia]“).  Here’s a truck conundrum where fighting occurred with the Mooryaan.
 It turns out that another truck full of Mooryaan came up to us and they shot out our radiator. In response, the brother in the passenger side of our truck shot out the brains of their driver! That was what led the Mooryaan to flee. Instead of chasing them, the brothers started trying to figure out which truck to board now that ours was in need of a radiator.
Later, Hammami notes how he wishes Axmad Madobe would have been killed as he later switches sides.
But before we actually set off we were awakening one night before dawn by the sounds of a million bullets trying to leave the barrel of one gun in about half a second, at regular pulses for a good minute or so. Later on we realized that we were close to Kolbiyo where Axmad Madobe and his crew were being blitzed from the sky. I heard that Abu Muxammad’s boy, Muxammad, was there and that only he (by virtue of running into the forest) and Axmad Madobe survived. In hindsight, it would have been better for Axmad Madobe to have died instead of coming back just to join the Kenyans in attacking Somaalia.
#3 – Water and Food
For Hammami’s crew, there’s either too much water or not enough.  When traveling, their trucks inevitably get stuck in feet of mud. Even when they do find water, the source is fraught with competition from wild animals, rival clans or foreign armies.  See pg. 74-75 for an interesting description as it appears that firefights in Southern Somalia are most likely to occur around watering holes as it brings everyone to a central point.
This water source as it turned out happened to be one used frequently by the Kenyan army.
Hammami and fellow fighters constantly fought for food to continue to survive.
There was also the time in which we sent a man off to come back with news and it seems that instead of bringing us the money and provisions he only brought us a small portion and kept the rest for himself.
#4 – It’s HOT!
For some reason, Hammami didn’t consider how hot Somalia is until he got there.
 It was just as well anyway because the sun in Somaalia happens to be a few thousand light years closer to the earth’s surface than any other country. Any attempt to leave the little cover and shade the tiny trees can afford leads to an immediate heat stroke.
#5 – Going to the bathroom is difficult
Maybe the funniest revelation of Hammami’s bio, how difficult it is to go to the bathroom when you are dehydrated, malnourished and under constant military pressure from the land and air.  This passage speaks for itself. P. 72
By this time everyone was complaining of strange slime in their stool and I don’t believe anyone was anywhere close to ‘regular.’ The trouble with using the bathroom was ten fold. There was the problem of finding a plastic bottle that was not currently in use at the moment, then there was the problem of lugging your hundred pound gun around while trying to fill that bottle up without falling in or getting your gun unnecessarily wet. We must remember now that the Bedouins and planes are still marauding about. After these tasks are completed it becomes necessary to find a place that is not inhabited by human or animal, that is not currently being used as a bathroom, that can not be stumbled upon by anyone while you’re in your comfort zone, and finally a place that is not too far to cause yourself to become lost or the unknown victim of some tragedy that people never came to know of. If you finally reach that place without loosing an eye from the thorns you may then use the bathroom while clutching your gun in the event that a wild animal or enemy approaches. After all is well and done it is finally time to retrace your steps and eventually return to your place of languishing under the trees until the next round.
#5 – Mosquitos!
What’s the number one killer of Shabaab members? The same as all Africans – malaria. Not only does Hammami repeatedly describe being eaten by mosquitos, he details how many of his comrades continue to expire from the disease.  P. 77
that place of ours was cleared out once Jacfar Dheere breathed his last. He had been hanging in despite all odds for a long time but each day he had become weaker and weaker. He had to be carried to the bathroom, he had to be forced to eat or drink, which he normally vomited up, and he was in a generally wretched situation.
#6 – Transportation

Moving from place to place seems nearly impossible for Shabaab.  Hammami’s bio discusses trucks maybe more than anything.  Hammami’s band is always 1) searching for trucks, 2) riding in trucks to unknown locations, 3) getting trucks stuck in the mud and 4) quarreling with others over the ownership or movement of trucks.  I literally laughed out loud as one of the funniest excerpts of the original AQ documents ’92-’94 describes how Sufis (Called “Big Hairs” in the documents, see AFGP-2002-600104-  Author Saif al-Islam, p. 21ish) steal their truck “and how upset they were but they will go get it back”.  Hammami’s group cannot ever seem to get where they want to go.  Here’s a funny transportation excerpt from Hammami p.69:
 One Somaali brother, who looked as though he was new to the matter of practicing his religion, decided to take my seat by force. When I objected, along with a few other brothers, he pretended not to hear anything. Finally, I got off the truck and asked for my bag. Everyone refused to sit up to give me my bag because they too feared losing their positions. Eventually Axmad Madobe climbed out of the truck and asked me nicely to get back on the truck. I explained to him the situation but he just coaxed me into leaving the whole matter.
I could probably come up with 100 reasons from this document, but I’ll stop here for now.  Interested to hear how Hammami’s debacle shakes out….. via selectedwisdom  
H/T Howie

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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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