Qaeda is working feverishly to turn Somalia into a global jihad factory, according to recent intelligence assessments, and the way the United States chooses to respond could serve as a template for other fronts in the wider counterterrorism war. Just last month, American helicopters swept over the dusty Somali horizon to take out Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan, a wanted Qaeda suspect who had been hiding out in Somalia for years and training a new bevy of killers; some of those trainees are believed to be Somali-Americans who could easily slip back into the United States and do some serious damage as suicide bombers.
In a way, the daring daylight strike against Mr. Nabhan, which was supposedly part of the Obama administration’s shift from targeting terrorists with cruise missiles that often kill civilians, was a flashback. Few in Somalia — or the American military — have forgotten Black Hawk Down, the battle in October 1993 when Somali militiamen in flip-flops killed 18 American soldiers, including members of the Army’s elite Delta Force. It was a searing humiliation for the Pentagon, which had just emerged from the first gulf war pumped up on smart bombs and laser-guided missiles, but in Somalia found itself back in a Vietnam-style quagmire where high technology was no match for local rage...more..http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/18/weekinreview/18gettleman.html?_r=1&partner=rss&emc=rss