President Obama sent a letter, dated 20, 2012 to Congress declaring the situation in Somalia poses "an unusual and extraordinary national security threat to the United States."
The President cited "piracy, escalating violence, and the deterioration of the security situation in Somalia" as reasons for his actions.
“I found that that the deterioration of the security situation and the persistence of violence in Somalia, and acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia, which have repeatedly been the subject of United Nations Security Council resolutions, and violations of the arms embargo imposed by the United Nations Security Council in Resolution 733 of January 23, 1992, and elaborated upon and amended by subsequent resolutions, constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States. To address that threat, E.O. 13536 blocks the property and interests in property of persons listed in the Annex to E.O. 13536 or determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, to meet criteria specified in E.O. 13536.The President has also amended order 13536 in such a ways as to give the President “designation of persons authority” to go after anyone who engages in what he calls “directly or indirectly threaten the peace, security, or stability of Somalia.”
That means people who "threaten the Transitional Federal Institutions or future Somali governing process."
Examples included: People who obstructed the delivery of humanitarian assistance, stolen from the Somali public assets and who finances or renders financial assistance relating to military activities, training, assistance to a designated terrorist organization, such as al-Shaahab.
See video: Al Shabaab http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QwCVrkpQD7s
The letter seeks to prohibit the importation into the United States, directly or indirectly, of charcoal from Somalia.
Charcoal is a “significant revenue source” for the al-Shabaab terrorist organization in Somalia, according to the President (see also video: Charcoal exports from Somalia banned - Press TV News http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5ER-nrquo0 ).
The President also seeks authority to cut off all “non local” commerce to al-Shahaab controlled ports (see video: Al-Shabab maintains grip on Somali port city http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h7A5Ujp67lg ).
“In view of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2002 of July 29, 2011, persons who engage in non-local commerce via al- Shabaab-controlled ports that constitutes support for a person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to E.O. 13536 may be subject to designation pursuant to E.O. 13536, as amended by the order. The order was effective at 2:00 p.m. eastern daylight time on July 20, 2012. I have delegated to the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, the authority to take such actions, including the promulgation of rules and regulations, and to employ all powers granted to the President by IEEPA as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of the order. All agencies of the United States Government are directed to take all appropriate measures within their authority to carry out the provisions of the order. I am enclosing a copy of the Executive Order I have issued, signed on this date, July 20, 2012 Barack Obama, The White House.”
As many people are aware President Obama has been engaged in a ongoing shadow war against al-Shabaab in Somalia for some time now.
In January, the President authorized the successful hostage rescue mission, by U.S. Special Operations soldiers of two foreign aid workers American Jessica Buchanan and Poul Thisted of Denmark, who were being held by 9 armed terrorists in Somalia.
This was thought to be the first major direct military intervention in Somalia by the United States since the 1990's (see video: US forces rescue two hostages in Somalia http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7O2Y2n2tlg ).