Monday, January 13, 2014

Security: Al Shabaab changes tactics in readiness for protracted war

Mogadishu, the war-battered Somali capital, can easily pick signs of an impending terrorist strike, especially after a lull in fierce fighting off the streets, a PANA Correspondent reported from here, quoting security experts.

PANA said that in the absence of street battles, less common since the ouster of the Al Shabaab from the capital, agents of Mogadishu’s security resort to routine checks for small weapons and Al Shabaab remnants.

The security agents, including members of the Somali Police and the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) Police component, know their would-be attackers are often the unlikely lads, aged 10-14 years, who make up the Al Shabaab’s bomb-throwing squad.

The Al Shabaab has been undergoing tactical transformations since losing control over key revenue sources. In Kismayu, the Southern port city alone, the Al Shabaab was estimated to have lost upto US$ 50 million a year in port revenues which it used to finance its fight.

Security analysts say operational restructuring within the group over the past few years have largely prepared the group for a long-drawn insurgency in urban centres.

Al Shabaab’s Supreme Commander, Sheikh Ahmed Abdi Godane, (Muktar Abu Zubeyr), deputized by Sheikh Mukhtar Robow Abu Mansur, has largely centralized the group’s command, concentrating power around him and close allies within his spy network, known as the Amniyat.

Through the Amniyat, the Al Shabaab’s intelligence wing, the group is able to infiltrate highly secure government agencies, the Police and the military, gathering operational information. It is said the Al Shabaab leader also uses the Amniyat to improve his own personal protection.

US counter-terrorism analyst, Andrew McGregor, speaking at the seventh Annual Terrorism Conference at the Jamestown Foundation, said the Al Shabaab is undergoing a tactical transformation that would ensure it survives much longer even after losing ground.

The Al Shabaab branded 2013 as its year of the Westgate and vowed it would carry out a major strike this year, targeting a head of state of one of the East African countries in 2014.

'The Westgate Mall attack in Nairobi and a series of terrorist strikes in Somalia suggest that Al Shabaab is undergoing a tactical and organizational shift designed to centralize command of the movement as it de-emphasised guerrilla warfare in favour of suicide bombings, assassinations and other terrorist operations,' McGregor said.

Al Shabaab carried out 550 terrorist attacks, killing 1,600 people and wounding 2,100 others between 2007 and 2012, according to US State Department-sponsored University of Maryland's National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Response to Terrorism (START). 

The attacks rose from below 10 in 2007 to 200 in 2012, according to START’s 2013 report.

'Eliminating or even restricting Shabaab's sources of financing will do much to diminish their military we have seen throughout this conflict, there is a certain mobility on the part of fighters when either side has demonstrated an inability to meet its payroll.'

It is believed the Amniyat was responsible for much of the planning of the Westgate attack, which killed 67 people and wounded 200 people in a four-day-long siege.

Apart from intelligence gathering, the Amniyat units also carry out assassinations and bombing missions against opponents of the Al Shabaab. The group is also backed by a military wing, known as Jabhad, currently estimated to have force strength of 5,000 soldiers. 

Hizb, the Police Unit, is thought to be less active since the group lost most of the territory it previously controlled, but its controls over Barawe, its last major urban centre, still makes it possible for the Police Unit and the Amniyat to continue trade.

Despite intensified series of air strikes, the Al Shabaab’s fighting force survived by avoiding direct military confrontation. It mostly avoided the fierce military offensive from a ruthless strike by Ethiopian forces in early 2007, when it operated under a different banner.

In Mogadishu, its fighters bowed out to a sustained military campaign by an African Union-led force, but resorted to a series of bombings, targeting senior members of the Somali government.

To disapprove its enemies that the strikes in Mogadishu had weakened the group, the Al Shabaab carried out a deadly attack against the UN Compound in Mogadishu in June 2013, killing 22 people.

It also carried out a suicide bomb attack at the Maka al Mukarama hotel in Mogadishu, on 8 Novovember, 2013, killing six people. Another attack on Beledweyne police station on 19 November followed by gun assault killed 28 people.

AMISOM’s former Force Commander General Andrew Gutti said the AU’s major gains in the war against the Al Shabaab, followed after his forces lured the Islamist fighters from densely populated areas and subjected it to urban warfare.

When the first contingent of AMISOM arrived in Mogadishu, the Al Shabaab fighters met them with a series of roadside bombs, which killed several members of the Ugandan Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF), the first such armed unit to arrive in Mogadishu at the time after 16 years.

An AMISOM Squadron Commander recalled the Ugandan troops taking heavy fire from the Islamists in 2007, at the time, hiding in abandoned government buildings and abandoned Palaces.

Commanded by provincial commanders, the Al Shabaab has five military divisions. In 2012, it re-organised its command structure to improve military tactics.

Somali government officials say their strategy against the Al Shabaab in 2014 will focus on the prevention of attacks at public places, restaurants, strengthen the military, training more military commanders, and seizure of more territory from the Al Shabaab, declared a foreign terrorist organisation by the US in February 2008.

However, security analysts consider the Al Shabaab’s guerrilla tactics, roadside bombs, remote controlled bombs as the last phase of its insurgency.

News Analysis by Kennedy Abwao
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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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