Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Hammer Time: Ansar al-Mujahideen Webmaster Arrested!

A followup to my earlier post on an online jihadi arrested in Spain who was helping facilitate the transfer of money to Chechen and Afghan terrorists. We know of a few eHadis in Spain, but no way to link them to this arrest. ..more..Hammer Time: Ansar al-Mujahideen Webmaster Arrested!

Somalia: Ethiopia troops move in as AU-Shabab conflict intensifies

The battle for control of Mogadishu has intensified and the African Union, backing the Somalian government, has suffered a loss of four of its men after an insurgent mortar hit Somalia’s presidential palace.

The Islamist extremist group al-Shabab said it had carried out an attack which killed four African Union peacekeepers. According to reports, those killed were from Uganda.The Islamist group has also threatened to close the road to Mogadishu’s airport in their latest offensive.Following al-Shabab’s increasing violence, unconfirmed reports claim that Ethiopian troops have been crossing into Somalia over the last two days to tackle the extreme Islamist group.The latest al-Shabab attack follows last Monday’s suicide attack on a hotel that killed at least 32 people, including six MPs.Al-Shabab also claimed responsibility for the Uganda bombing that killed at least 76 people.Despite the wave of attacks by al-shabab, spokesman for the AU peacekeepers told reporters the mortar attack was of little significance."These opposition groups fire from positions three to four kilometers from our positions. It was a pure coincidence that the mortar was able to kill four and injure eight of our soldiers," Major Barigye Bahoku was quoted.Major Barigye Bahoku also dismiss claims that al-Shabab had closed the road to the airport in Mogadishu.“They cannot do it as long as we [the AU] are present. Every single Ramadan [Muslim holy month], these guys come up with these threats. In 2008 they said the airport would never function again,” he was quoted.
“This year they say they will chase away the brotherly African Union peacekeepers. They just make a lot of noise and that noise will never materialize to anything serious."On Monday, Un-backed Somali President, Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmad appealed for more international help to contain the "evil al-Qaeda-al-Shabab alliance".Last month African leaders agreed to send an extra 2,000 troops to Mogadishu.In 2006, Ethiopia sent between 5,000 and 10,000 troops into Somalia in support of the transitional government.They [Ethiopian troops] were demanded to withdraw and in 2009 after MPs chose Mr Ahmad, a moderate Islamist, to replace President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, who had been a close ally of Ethiopia. Ethiopian troops withdrew.Somalia has experienced incessant conflict since the collapse of its central government in 1991, and Al-Shabab, which has links to al-Qaeda, controls much of southern and central Somalia.afrik-news.com

Suit Challenges Reach of U.S. 'Targeted Killings' .. Here We Go Again: Another terror apologist lawsuit

Civil-liberties groups filed a lawsuit Monday challenging the legality of the Obama administration's expansion of the U.S. fight against al Qaeda terrorists beyond Pakistan and Afghanistan. The American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Constitutional Rights are taking aim at what the government calls its "targeted killing" program, which mostly uses Central Intelligence Agency-operated drones against suspected terrorists.
The lawsuit was filed in federal court for the District of Columbia on behalf of the father of Anwar al-Awlaki, an American-born Islamic cleric of Yemeni descent, who is believed to be targeted for extra-judicial killing for his alleged involvement in terror plots against the U.S.The administration hasn't publicly described its deliberations about Mr. Awlaki's fate, nor how it uses the secret drone program against suspected terrorists.Mr. Awlaki is believed to be hiding in Yemen, which is far from the battlefield in Pakistan and Afghanistan, where al Qaeda launched the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks. In recent months, U.S. officials have been weighing expanded attacks on the al Qaeda-affiliated groups Yemen-based Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and Somalia's al Shabaab, The Wall Street Journal reported recently. The U.S. military previously has launched operations in that region. The expansion would exceed the legal limits of the program, the civil-liberties groups say. Jameel Jaffer, director of the ACLU's National Security Project, said "Yemen is not Afghanistan or Iraq. The legal limits on the authority they claim hasn't been specified."Vincent Warren, executive director of the CCR said: "The government chose Awlaki and put him on the targeted killing list. The government has to show he is an imminent threat to the U.S. in order to justify him being killed like this."Matthew Miller, a Justice Department spokesman, said the department wouldn't comment on the specifics of the lawsuit, but cited domestic and international law as supporting the administration's effort to defend the U.S. from terrorists."Congress has authorized the use of all necessary and appropriate force against al Qaeda and associated forces. The U.S. is careful to ensure that all its operations used to prosecute the armed conflict against those forces, including lethal operations, comply with all applicable laws, including the laws of war," Mr. Miller said.CIA spokesman George Little said the agency "acts in strict accord with American law."U.S. authorities have alleged links between Mr. Awlaki and multiple recent plots against the U.S., including his counsel to Army Maj. Nidal Hasan, who is charged with killing 13 people in a shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, last year, and Christmas Day airline bombing suspect Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab.The Treasury Department in July designated Mr. Awlaki a "global terrorist." The ACLU and CCR filed a separate lawsuit a month ago because they said the Treasury Department's designation of Mr. Awlaki threatened to end their attempts to work with Mr. Awlaki's father, Nasser al-Awlaki, to file a lawsuit on his son's behalf.The Treasury Department, which in some cases requires lawyers to seek a special license granting permission to do legal work on behalf of designated terrorists, granted such permission soon after that suit was filed.
In June, CIA Director Leon Panetta was asked on ABC News's "This Week" program whether Mr. Awlaki was targeted for assassination. "Awlaki is a terrorist and yes, he's a U.S. citizen, but he is first and foremost a terrorist and we're going to treat him like a terrorist," Mr. Panetta said. "We don't have an assassination list, but I can tell you this: We have a terrorist list and he's on it." Wall Street Journal

Monday, August 30, 2010

Hawiye are definitely not fully Human ..Amisom soldier dragged by mostly hawiye terrorist al-Shabaab supporters

What a savage group of people...
update on.. Somali rebels kill four AU peacekeepers, Somali gov't appeals for help to fight militants
African Union peacekeepers killed in Somalia

..hawiye criminals is a Somali clan whose members live in central and southern Somalia,In 1991, Hawiye forces loyal to General Mohamed Farah..Did the Same Thing  95% Inhabitants of Somalia's capital, Mogadishu are hawiye.

Former CSIS boss had warned about domestic terrorism

Former Canadian Security Intelligence Service Director Jim Judd has warned the government not to underestimate the spectre of domestic terrorism.Photograph by: Chris Wattie/Reuters, NP

OTTAWA — The day after his unexpected resignation was announced last spring, Canada's former spy master warned the government not to underestimate the spectre of domestic terrorism."It has sometimes been suggested that the phenomenon of terrorism has been exaggerated in Canada in the course of this decade and especially in the post-9/11 period. In fact, a brief survey of our experience in this period might lead to a relatively different conclusion," CSIS director Jim Judd wrote in a "secret" April 15, 2009 memo to then-public safety minister Peter Van Loan.Five months later, RCMP and Ottawa police launched "Project Samossa," the massive probe into a suspected Ottawa-based Islamist terror cell plotting a bombing campaign, culminating in the recent arrests.
In a censored copy of the memo, obtained by Ottawa researcher Ken Rubin under the Access to Information Act, Judd summarizes how Canadian citizens and residents had been caught and prosecuted for terrorism in Canada, the United States and other countries."An additional number of individuals — the precise number cannot be accurately determined — have been killed in terrorist or 'insurgent' related activities outside of Canada."Within the country today, we have (word redacted) individuals currently under active investigation for terrorist or extremist-related activities." (CSIS has since said it is tracking more than 200 individuals in Canada with suspected links to as many as 50 terrorist groups.)Richard Fadden took over as head of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service six weeks later and wasted little time publicly reiterating Judd's concerns.Despite a history of domestic terrorism, from Air India to the Toronto 18, Canada has a "serious blind spot" acknowledging that violent extremism imperils our national security, Fadden said in his first public speech, to an Ottawa security-intelligence conference.The following day, RCMP Commissioner William Elliott, speaking at the same conference, warned that despite success thwarting the Toronto 18 and Momin Khawaja terrorism plots the current threat environment remains severe, from a resurgent al-Qaida and fugitive Tamil Tigers to nuclear technology smuggling and border concerns. Islamic radicalization of Canada's Somali community is becoming a particular national security concern, he said.Success in countering the dangers require police to take on more of a national security role and "put more terrorism cases before the courts and more terrorists in jail," he said. Arrests and prosecutions "would help send a strong message to the world that we are serious about prosecuting accomplices to terror."Canada hosts one of the largest Somali diaspora communities in the western world. Somali-Canadians are at risk of being radicalized and recruited to fight with Islamist al-Shabaab (the youth) extremist movement in Somalia's civil war, he said."The ranks of the Somali insurgency are attracting thousands of young men who have been radicalized by the harsh reality of depravation and civil war," said Elliott."The potential follow-on threat, from a Canadian and RCMP perspective, is Somali-Canadians who travel to Somalia to fight and then return, imbued with both extremist ideology and the skills necessary to translate it into direct action."Meanwhile, al-Qaida along with its offshoots, associates and hangers-on, and the Lebanon-based Hezbollah terror groups remain highly virulent to Canada, he said.
"As far as al-Qaida is concerned, Canada is the enemy," he said, referring to Osama bin Laden's infamous 2002 communique placing Canada and five other U.S. allies on its global hit list.
"Since then, there has not been a single indicator to suggest that al-Qaida has changed its position in this regard. Sadly, as we have seen on a number of fronts, including Canadian casualties in Afghanistan, the role of AQ camps in training young Canadian militants, kidnappings of Canadians aboard and al-Qaida's role in Canadian terrorism cases, bin Laden's Canadian fatwa continues." The Ottawa Citizen

Somali presidential palace shelled

More than 80 people have been killed in a week of fighting between al-Shabab and the government [Reuters]

Four African Union (AU) peacekeepers have been killed in Mogadishu, the Somali capital, after al-Shabab fighters fired a mortar at the presidential palace."A mortar was fired at one of our positions, and it killed four soldiers and injured eight," said Ba-Hoku Barigye, a spokesman for the peacekeeping force. Barigye said the dead soldiers are all Ugandan.Uganda and Burundi have deployed more than 6,300 troops to support Somalia's Transitional Federal Government (TFG). The AU pledged last month to expand the force, with both Guinea and Djibouti promising new troops.Monday's mortar attack was the latest bloody clash in a week of heavy fighting between al-Shabab and the peacekeepers.At least six people were killed in several battles on Wednesday, and al-Shabab fighters killed nearly 40 people on Tuesday in a suicide bombing at a Mogadishu hotel.President's appeal Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, the Somali president, used the recent burst of fighting to appeal for more international aid for his embattled government, which controls just a few blocks of territory in Mogadishu."It is quite impractical to expect Somalia alone to contain the evil al-Qaeda [and] al-Shabab alliance, as Somalia is emerging from 20 years of destruction and a chaotic political environment," he said in a statement.
Fighting between al-Shabab and government forces has also been seen in Mogadishu's Hodan neighbourhood.Six civilians were killed there over the weekend, when al-Shabab fighters attacked a government barracks. The TFG says it retook the area on Sunday."Our forces have regained control of a key position that was captured by the anti-peace forces for a day," said Abdullahi Hassan Bariise, a spokesman for the Somali police.A spokesman for al-Shabab, however, claimed that ten Somali troops were killed in fighting in Hodan.Source: aljazeera

Somali rebels kill four AU peacekeepers, Somali gov't appeals for help to fight militants

MOGADISHU (Reuters) – Four Ugandan peacekeepers were killed in the Somali capital Mogadishu on Monday when al Shabaab Islamist rebels fired mortars at the presidential palace, an African Union spokesman said.Uganda and Burundi have deployed more than 6,300 troops to the anarchic Horn of Africa nation to guard the port and airport and shield President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed from attackLast week, the al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab group vowed to intensify its holy war against the U.N.-backed government which it denounces as a puppet of the West."We lost 4 Ugandan soldiers in mortar fire on Villa Somalia this morning," AU spokesman Barigye Ba-Hoku said, referring to the presidential palace. Another eight Ugandan soldiers were wounded, he said.
Ahmed said his government needed more international assistance against the militants who launched their first attack on foreign soil in July, killing 79 people in the Ugandan capital Kampala in twin bomb attacks.
"It is quite impractical to expect Somalia alone to contain the evil al Qaeda-al Shabaab alliance, as Somalia is emerging from 20 years of destruction and a chaotic political environment," Ahmed said in a statement.
Somali gov't appeals for help to fight militants
MOGADISHU, Somalia AP— Somalia's government is appealing for more help in its fight against powerful militants who have recently intensified their attacks.President Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed said Monday it was unrealistic to expect the forces of an ill-equipped government to battle the al-Qaida-linked group al-Shabab.Ahmed compared al-Shabab's attack on a Mogadishu hotel that killed more than 30 people last week to the violence against governments in Iraq, Yemen and Afghanistan.He said the world must give Somalia's violence the same priority accorded to al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, which Washington considers to be a major threat.Al-Shabab carried out twin bombings in Uganda during the World Cup final, killing 76 people.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

update... Maid 'tortured' with nails to have surgery...Arrests made in maid's nail torture, Sri Lankan officials say

Arrests made in maid's nail torture, Sri Lankan officials say

This is a common practice across the board in Arab world..
A Sri Lankan housemaid with nails embedded in her body is to undergo surgery, her doctors said.LP Ariyawathie, 49, said her employer in Saudi Arabia inflicted the injuries as a punishment, according to medics at Kamburupitiya Hospital, Sri Lanka."She was brought in complaining her Saudi employer drove nails into her body," said hospital director Prabath Gajadeera."X-rays showed that there were 24 nails and a needle."
The nails were up to two inches (5cm) long, said Mr Gajadeera."There is one nail on the forehead, just under the skin," he added.'Deeply traumatised'Ms Ariyawathie, a mother of three, travelled to Saudi Arabia in March to become a housemaid.Doctors say this X-ray shows nails embedded in the housemaid's hand Last week, she flew back to Sri Lanka and was admitted to hospital in the south of the island, where she told doctors she had undergone abuse for more than a month."When we checked her, we found 24 metal pieces in her legs and hands. She still can't properly sit down and walk," Dr Kamal Weerathunga told BBC Sandeshaya.Doctors said Ms Ariyawathie was deeply traumatised and unable to give full details of her experience.But she is not in a serious condition and surgeons are expected to try to remove the metal objects from her body on Friday.Sri Lankan authorities have told journalists in Colombo that an investigation has been launched.Around 1.8 million Sri Lankans are employed abroad, 70% of whom are women.
Most work as housemaids in the Middle East, while smaller numbers work in Singapore and Hong Kong.

Inside Story - What next for Somalia?

African news: Al-Shabab group in Somalia declares an all out war against the government and foreign forces. With more civilians killed and no end in sight to the two decades long conflict, has the military option failed and what other options are there? AlJazeeraEnglish news youtube.com channel.

U.S. Senate introduces new bill on Ethiopia

United State Senators Feingold and Leahy have introduced a new legislation titled, Support for Democracy and Human Rights in Ethiopia Act of 2010. Read text of the bill below or click here:
To reaffirm United States objectives in Ethiopia and encourage critical democratic and humanitarian principles and practices, and for other purposes.Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

This Act may be cited as the ‘Support for Democracy and Human Rights in Ethiopia Act of 2010′.
Congress makes the following findings:
(1) Despite progress and an estimated annual growth rate of nearly 10 percent, Ethiopia remains one of the poorest and most hunger-prone countries in the world, with more than half of the population of 78,000,000 living on less than $1 per day.
(2) Since the collapse of the Derg and overthrow of the Mengistu regime in 1991, the Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front-led government has overseen the introduction of a multiparty system and the adoption of a new constitution that guarantees economic, social, and cultural rights and states that `human and democratic rights of peoples and citizens shall be protected.’

(3) Ethiopia and Eritrea fought a bloody border war between 1998 and 2000, and, despite the Algiers Accord ending the conflict and the agreement to abide by the final and binding Ethiopia-Eritrea Border Commission (EEBC) arbitration, the Government of Ethiopia has refused to comply with the final physical demarcation of the border and the Government of Eritrea has expelled the United Nations peacekeeping force, causing regional instability and keeping alive the possibility of a renewed border war.

(4) According to the March 2010 report by the United Nations Monitoring Group on Somalia, `Since the cessation of hostilities between the [Ethiopia and Eritrea] in 2000, Asmara has sought to counter Ethiopian influence in the region and supported armed groups within Ethiopia who oppose the current government. Since 2006, and possibly earlier, Eritrea has supported opposition to the Transitional Federal Government, which it perceives as a proxy for the Government of Ethiopia.’
(5) Sporadic fighting has continued between Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF) and armed opposition Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) in the Somali Region of Ethiopia. Stringent restrictions continue to be placed on media and aid workers, making it difficult for independent observers and aid workers to monitor or respond to the humanitarian and human rights situation, including the behavior of the Ethiopian National Defense Forces, allied militia forces, and the Ogaden National Liberation Front.
(6) Credible sources indicate there are ongoing and serious human rights abuses against civilians in the Somali Region, including arbitrary arrests and detentions by military, police and paramilitary forces; allegations of torture in military and police custody, including sexual violence against women and girls; and diversion of food aid intended for civilian communities.
(7) In the run up to the 2010 elections, the Ethiopian Parliament passed a number of new laws, including the Charities and Societies Proclamation and the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation, which severely restrict freedom of expression, freedom of association, peaceful assembly, and the right to a fair trial, while broadening the definition of terrorism.
(8) The Department of State’s 2009 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices states that `although the constitution and law prohibit the use of torture and mistreatment . . . [o]pposition political party leaders reported frequent and systematic abuse and intimidation of their supporters by police and regional militias’ and that `opposition UDJ party president Birtukan Mideksa, whose pardon was revoked and life sentence reinstate in December 2008, remain in prison throughout the year. She was held in solitary confinement . . . despite a court ruling that indicate it was a violation of her constitutional rights’.
(9) In its 2010 Freedom in the World report, Freedom House noted that, in the run up to elections, Ethiopia saw a `narrowing of political activity . . .’ and that `the government cracked down on operations of nongovernmental organizations and . . . a series of arrests of opposition figures’.
(10) The European Union Election Observer Mission noted in its preliminary statement on the May 23, 2010 elections, `The National Electoral Board of Ethiopia administered the electoral process in an efficient and competent manner, but failed to dispel opposition parties’ lack of trust in its independence. While several positive improvements have been introduced, the electoral process fell short of certain international commitments, notably regarding the transparency of the process and the lack of a level playing field for all contesting parties.’
(11) In testimony before the Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson stated that `[w]hile the [Ethiopian] elections were calm and peaceful and largely without any kind of violence we note with some degree of remorse that the elections there were not up to international standards,’ and that `[i]t is important that Ethiopia move forward in strengthening its democratic institutions and when elections are held that it level the playing field to give everyone a free opportunity to participate without fear or favor’.
(12) On May 25th, 2010, the National Security Council’s spokesman Mike Hammer, released a statement which noted with concern that `The limitation of independent observation and the harassment of independent media representatives [in Ethiopia] are deeply troubling . . . [and that an] environment conducive to free and fair elections was not in place even before Election Day.’ The statement also noted that `[i]n recent years, the Ethiopian government has taken steps to restrict political space for the opposition through intimidation and harassment, tighten its control over civil society, and curtail the activities of independent media. We are concerned that these actions have restricted freedom of expression and association and are inconsistent with the Ethiopian government’s human rights obligations.’

It is the policy of the United States–
(1) to support and encourage efforts by the people and Government of Ethiopia–
(A) to achieve a participatory multiparty democracy, an active and unhindered civil society, rule of law and accountability, judicial capacity and independence, freedom of the press, respect for human rights, and economic development; and
(B) to develop a comprehensive strategy to combat extremism and terrorism in a manner consistent with international law;

(2) to promote peace and stability, equal access to humanitarian assistance regardless of gender, ethnicity, religion, or political views, and good governance, transparency, and accountability;
(3) to seek the unconditional release of all political prisoners and prisoners of conscience in Ethiopia, and the repeal of laws that enable politically motivated arrests without due process;
(4) to prohibit funding to any unit of the Ethiopian security forces if the Secretary of State has credible information that such unit has committed a gross violation of human rights, unless the Secretary certifies to the appropriate congressional committees that the Government of Ethiopia is taking effective measures to bring the responsible members of the security forces unit to justice; and
(5) to seek a resolution of the ongoing dispute between the Government of Ethiopia and the Government of Eritrea consistent with the Ethiopia-Eritrea Border Commission arbitration decisions on border demarcation, to press the Government of Eritrea to cease all support for armed opposition groups in Ethiopia and the region, and to urge both Governments to contribute constructively to stability throughout the Horn of Africa, especially in Somalia.

It is the sense of Congress that the United States Government should–
(1) build on successful diplomatic efforts that contributed to the October 2007 release of political prisoners in Addis Ababa, and press the Ethiopian government to release Birtukan Mideksa, as well as other political prisoners;
(2) urge the Government of Ethiopia to repeal or at a minimum amend the Civil Society Proclamation, the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation, and the Mass Media and Freedom of Information Proclamation in order to genuinely protect the constitutional rights and freedoms of all Ethiopian citizens;
(3) press the Government of Ethiopia to allow human rights and humanitarian groups, as well as the media, to have unfettered access to areas of concern throughout the country;
(4) encourage and assist the United Nations and other independent organizations and the media to investigate credible reports of gross violations of human rights or international humanitarian law in the Somali region of Ethiopia, to publish any information of serious abuse, and send consistent messages to the Government of Ethiopia that the continuation of such violations or impunity in this region, or Ethiopia more generally, has consequences for relations between the United States and Ethiopia; and
(5) encourage the Governments of both Ethiopia and Eritrea to immediately take steps to lessen tensions, physically demarcate the border in accord with the Ethiopia-Eritrea Border Commission decision, and promote normalization of relations between the two countries.

(a) Conditions-
(1) PROHIBITION OF FUNDS- Notwithstanding any other provision of law, assistance may not be provided to the Government of Ethiopia unless the Secretary of State certifies annually that the Government of Ethiopia has taken demonstrable steps–
(A) to ensure the autonomy and fundamental freedoms of civil society organizations to pursue work on civic education, democratization, good governance, accountability, human rights, and conflict resolution, without excessive government intervention or intimidation;
(B) to respect the rights of and permit non-violent political parties to operate free from intimidation and harassment, including releasing opposition political leaders currently imprisoned;
(C) to strengthen the independence of its judiciary, including developing the capacity of the judiciary at the national, regional, and local levels;
(D) to allow Voice of America and other independent media to operate and broadcast without interference in Ethiopia;
(E) to promote respect for human rights and accountability within its security forces, including undertaking credible investigations into any allegations of abuse and ensuring appropriate punishment; and
(F) to ensure that humanitarian and development entities, including those of the United Nations, have unfettered access to all regions of the country without prejudice to the political views of recipients.

(2) WAIVER- The prohibition included in paragraph (1) shall not apply if the Secretary of State certifies in writing to Congress that waiving such a prohibition is in the national security interest of the United States.
(b) Exceptions- The prohibitions in paragraph (1) shall not apply to–
(1) health and HIV/AIDS assistance;
(2) humanitarian assistance; or
(3) emergency food aid.
(c) Report- Not later than 120 days after exercising a waiver pursuant to subsection (a)(2), and every 90 days thereafter, the Secretary of State shall submit a report to the appropriate congressional committees assessing progress made by the Government of Ethiopia in the areas set forth in subparagraphs (A) through (F) of subsection (a)(2).
In this Act the term `appropriate congressional committees’ means–
(1) the Committee on Foreign Relations and the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate; and
(2) the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives.

Yemen Tightens Security in Aden Gulf amid Fears of Somali al-Qaida Infiltration

(TF.SF )Yemen's Police Coast Guard has raised alert level and tightened security along the country's coastline and the Gulf of Aden for fears of possible infiltration of Somali al-Qaida militants to Yemen, state media said on Sunday. The move followed the reports of recently escalating battles between the Somali government troops and Somali-based al-Qaida affiliated group Harakat al-Shabab al-Mujahideen (Movement of Warrior Youth) that killed over 100 people and forced thousands to flee the war-torn country, the ruling party website alomotamar.net said. The Coast Guard raised the alert level and increased its patrol boats deployed along the Yemeni coastline and the Gulf of Aden to prevent any infiltration by the Somali militants into the Yemeni territories, the portal cited an unnamed official of the coast guard as saying. The official said the coastguard forces have seized up to 500 Somali refugees during the past two days when the latter illegally attempted to snake into the Yemeni coasts through the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. The refugees have been transported to refuge camps specially set up for Somalis in southern Yemen, said the official. The coastguard patrols also imposed a tightened security and inspection measures for all ships passing through Yemeni territorial waters to make sure their identities, he added. In February, Yemen said it has closed off main waterways leading to its seacoasts at the Gulf of Aden and Red Sea to prevent "African infiltrators" from entering its soil, according to its Interior Ministry.
It said the step came after the al-Qaida wing Harakat al-Shabab al-Mujahideen announced its intention to support the Yemeni-based branch of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). Yemen hosts 78,000 Somali refugees by the end of 2009 out of 171,000 total registered refugees, according to statistics of the U.N. refugee agency. Interior Ministry's officials say many more Somalis are still unregistered and thought to head for neighboring oil richer Gulf countries. The impoverished Arab country has witnessed a growing active role of the AQAP regional wing since the beginning of this year.Neighboring top oil exporter Saudi Arabia and the United States paid more attention to Yemen's security affairs after the Yemen- based al-Qaida wing claimed credit for a botched attempt to blow up a U.S. passenger plane bound for Detroit in December last year.

Ethiopia troops in Somalia to battle radicals

update on Ethiopian forces enter Somalia as nation expects more militant attacks
(TF.SF)Mogadishu, Sunday A large number of Ethiopian troops in military vehicles on Sunday reached Somali villages after crossing its borders with Hiran region in Central Somalia. The Ethiopians, according to residents in the Beledweyne town, 335 kilometres north of Mogadishu, seem more serious than before to tackle the authority of Al-Shabaab, the radical Islamist group opposing the Transitional Federal Government, in Hiran region.

Crossed the border

Residents along the border area contacted by The Nation confirmed that the Ethiopian troops crossed the border between Somalia twice in five days. “In both cases, the Ethiopians were accompanied by highly trained Somali soldiers that are loyal to the TFG,” said Mr Aden Abdi Yusuf, a businessman in Beledweyne.The Ethiopian troop’s movements come at a time Al-Shabaab militants occasionally venture close to the border with Ethiopia.According to Hussein Abdallah, a loyalist of Ahlu Sunna wal-Jamea, a moderate Islamist group allied with the Somali government, the movements may be a preliminary action to signal Al-Shabaab authorities that the Ethiopians are capable of weakening the strength of the radical Islamists.This will be done should they continue pressing hard on the TFG and the peacekeepers serving the African Union Mission in Somalia, Amisom, in Mogadishu.Early this month, Ethiopian Prime Minister, Meles Zenawi said that he would deploy forces should Amisom peacekeepers guarding vital installations in Mogadishu find themselves in great danger and request assistance. Nation

Somalia-based al Qaeda affiliate Al-Shabaab Militants pounding away at tenuous Somali government

MOGADISHU, Somalia — Somali militants linked to al-Qaeda briefly asserted control over Mogadishu's most strategic road Saturday, escalating their efforts to overthrow the U.S.-backed transitional government in a region where Islamic radicalism is gaining strength.Never have the radical al-Shabab militiamen attacked so near Somalia's halls of power as they have last week, bringing them closer to their desire to create a Taliban-like Islamic emirate from which to export jihad abroad.The attack Saturday triggered an intense gunbattle on the Muka al-Mukarama, a vital artery that connects key government ministries and the presidential palace to the airport. The fighting sent hundreds fleeing their homes and trapped men like Mohammed Ali in the cross hairs of war.The 22-year-old police officer fired his gun at al-Shabab fighters crouching in an alley connecting to the road. Bullets cracked back like thunderclaps. A mix of surprise and pain spread across Ali's boyish face as blood oozed from his shattered foot, turning the road a dark crimson."We warned you not to fire your rifle," yelled a comrade, as others risked a similar fate to drag Ali to safety.
Next to them, soldiers and policemen stood against a wall of shuttered houses and stores that shielded them from the bullets whistling overhead. Scores of civilians who fled homes around the Dubka intersection huddled with them.No one dared to go to the intersection, where al-Shabab fighters were firing on anyone attempting to cross the street."We are getting weaker and weaker every day," said Col. Ahmed Mohammed, a burly commander dressed in camouflage fatigues.Over the past week, during Islam's holiest month of Ramadan, al-Shabab fighters have pressed on this oceanside capital. The militia has grown increasingly ambitious since orchestrating last month's twin bombings in the Ugandan capital of Kampala that killed more than 70 World Cup fans. The Denver Post

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Fighting continues in Mogadishu for the 6th day 287 civilians died. Somali militants seize key road in Mogadishu

update Somali militants seize key road in Mogadishu
(TF.SF)Heavy fighting between the adversaries Al Qaeda-linked Al Shabab islamist  and Hizbul-Islam in one side and the Somali government soldiers backed by the fighters of Ahlu-Sunnah Waljama a moderate Islamist faction in the other side is taking place in Mogadishu the capital city of the war torn country Somalia for the 6th day,while the African Union troops roll into the fight incase there is a heavy pressure from the Islamist and vigilantly taking care of some significant places, such the Presidential, the state house, the seaport, the airport and the entire government institutions . Al Qaeda-linked Al Shabab islamist The fighting commenced after Al-Shabab African al-Qaeda has declared what they have termed as a Holy war to eliminate the Somali government and its ally Uganda and Burundi troops who are part of the African Union Mission in n Somalia (AMISOM). So far after the declaration of the battle by Al-Shabab as many as 287 noncombatant innocent civilians have died in the cross between the warring sides according to different source including medical sources which Somaliweyn website has gathered and 345 were wounded. On the other hand there is no doubt that there are similar casualties of death and injuries on the warring sides, albeit the exact figure is not recorded. Medina hospital which is one of the main hospitals in Mogadishu where the crossfire victims are admitted is overloaded with patients with different weapon injuries; such gunshots and shrapnel. The districts in Mogadishu which the 6th day’s clashes are taking place are Bondere, Wardigley, Holwadag and Hodan, despite the ongoing clashes in these districts there are stray mortars and artilleries which are landing in the other cool districts in the city. In the fight of Friday theAl Qaeda-linked Al Shabab islamist  fighters of Al-Shabab have attacked a base of the fighters of Ahlu-Suunah Waljama at Sigale location in Hodan district, and have taken control of the base in hot fight between them, and Al-Shabab has had the upper hand, but the control of Al-Shabab has forced the Somali government to deploy a freshly trained military of theirs to the frontline at the former base of Ahlu-Sunnah Waljama which Al-Shabab has taken control. Besides those civilians who have died and those who were injured there are hundreds of others who have fled from their respective houses because of the endless clashes in the city. A day after the declaration of the fighting Al-Shabab has attacked a hotel in Mogadishu where there were Somali legislators and killed 33 people including 6 legislators.a Horn of Africa country, has lacked an effective government since the Hawiye warlord ouster of Honourable somali president Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991.More than 14 attempts to restore a functional government have since failed.

Danish navy helicopter foils pirate attack off Somali coast..Yet another episode of Don't fuck with the Dutch, we'll go commando on yer ass..Denmark navy helicopter foils pirates off the coast of Somalia, firing warning shots

COPENHAGEN — A helicopter from a Danish warship under NATO operational control foiled a pirate attack Saturday on a merchant vessel in the Gulf of Aden, a Danish navy spokesman said.The Danish ship Esbern Snare launched a helicopter in response to a call for help from a merchant vessel, the Danish navy's duty officer, who declined to give his name, told AFP."The merchant ship was shot upon. When the helicopter went over there ... the pirates aborted their attack and tried to head for Somalia," he said."To stop the pirates' boat from getting there, the helicopter fired one shot in front of the boat and then they stopped," he added.A statement from NATO's maritime command said the attacked merchant ship was the Panamanian flagged MV Caribbean Carrier.It added the pirates also tried to attack Norwegian ship MV Hoegh Oslo, but fled when the Esbern Snare's helicopter arrived at her position.A team from the Danish ship boarded the pirates' boat and "found spent and unused ammunition, knives and other piracy related paraphernalia onboard," the statement said.
Danish news agency Ritzau said the pirates were later released.
The Danish ship's captain, Carsten Fjord-Larsen, said NATO ships were ready for counter-piracy missions.
"The nature of the counter-piracy mission down here is challenging. We stay poised and sharp, because in an instant, we have to be ready to react to a call for help," he said in the statement.Esbern Snare is currently the flagship of NATO's Operation Ocean Shield, an anti-piracy mission off the Horn of Africa.Naval missions have boasted success in curbing pirate attacks but the number of hijacked ships and detained sailors remains at one of its highest levels since Somali piracy surged in 2007.Unofficial figures show 2009 was the most prolific year yet for Somali pirates, with more than 200 attacks -- including 68 successful hijackings -- and ransoms believed to exceed 50 million dollars in total.
Denmark navy helicopter foils pirates off the coast of Somalia, firing warning shots
We don't care about mercy, we just want the money: Exclusive interview with yacht couple's pirate captors...Habar-gidi Hawiye Terrorist Tugs

Al-Shabaab commandeers Somali radio station

(CNN) -- An al Qaeda-linked militant movement has taken control of a radio station in Somalia's capital, the government announced Saturday.The weak central government claims the group is spreading propaganda from at least two radio stations, including Mogadishu's Holy Quran radio, a private FM station, which it took earlier this week.Al-Shabaab earlier this year looted private radio equipment to use in a station, the government said."We strongly condemn these acts. They want to silence the independent media with brutality and intolerance," said Abdirahman Omar Osman, Somalia's minister of information.
Al-Shabaab, which has pledged allegiance to al Qaeda, controls much of southern Somalia and portions of Mogadishu. It follows the strict Saudi Arabian-inspired Wahabi interpretation of Islam, rather than the Sufi Islam of many Somalis."Somalis in remote areas are not educated in the detail of Islam," the transitional government said in a statement. "They are vulnerable to radicalization and Al-Shabaab is intent on using radio as a means to impose their views and extreme interpretation of our faith and to brainwash the young men, women and children, especially in rural areas, where the number of educated people is limited."This is a serious issue as we see that the recent forced recruitment of young men and boys is occurring outside the capital Mogadishu."The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) condemned the takeover of Holy Quran Radio as a "blatant crime."In a statement issued earlier this week, al-Shabaab said all radio equipment belonged to Somali Muslims and that listeners in the capital will enjoy religious programs and other coverage.

A capital on edge after hotel attack during Ramadan. Life and death on the streets of Somalia. Somali militants grow more brazen in attack

update  Somali militants grow more brazen in attack
MOGADISHU, SOMALIA - The ceiling of the Hotel Muna was splattered with burned flesh and pieces of clothing, the remains of two Islamist suicide bombers who killed 31 people here Tuesday. The blasts blew out doors and covered mattresses with blood and debris. They also shattered what little sense of security Abullahi Warsame had left. "We are in the worst chapter of our war," Warsame, the hotel's manager, said as he touched a grapefruit-size bullet hole, one of scores that pocked the walls after a gun battle with the attackers. Violence has long riven Somalia. But the carnage at this three-story hotel, painted in soft hues of green and yellow, has triggered a collective dread in the besieged capital that the conflict has entered a dangerous new phase. Over two decades, Warsame has witnessed U.S. airstrikes and warlords battling for territory. But while they have fought year-round, none of Somalia's power seekers had targeted civilians so calculatingly during Islam's holiest month - until now. "How can they kill during Ramadan?" Warsame demanded, stepping over spent bullet cartridges. "Something like this has never happened." The al-Qaeda-linked militant group al-Shabab asserted responsibility for the brazen daylight attack, which many Somalis saw as reflecting the growing influence on the militia of foreign jihadists. The tactics and planning, they noted, mirror those used by militants in Baghdad and Kabul, where assaults on civilians during Ramadan have become routine. "It is very similar to what is happening in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan," said Mohamed Hassan Haad, an influential clan elder from southern Somalia. "The brains behind this are foreign. This is not natural to Somali culture." For other Somalis, the attack underscored the impotence of the U.S.-backed Somali transitional government and the helplessness that has enveloped Mogadishu. It unfolded inside government-controlled territory, within walking distance of Villa Somalia, the presidential palace, and it took only two assailants disguised in military uniforms to devastate a hotel known for housing government officials, military commanders and lawmakers, many with their own bodyguards. "I am expecting al-Shabab to overtake the city and the whole country," said Mussa Jama Abshir, whose family has owned the hotel for four decades. "They are powerful. This is the reality on the ground."

Government turf shrinks
It has been a week of mayhem in Mogadishu, a city accustomed to round-the-clock mortar attacks and fierce battles that have killed hundreds and compelled many more to flee their homes. A day before the hotel was attacked, al-Shabab declared a "massive final war" against the fragile government and an African Union peacekeeping force that is preventing it from being toppled. Over the past few days, front lines have been pushed back, shrinking the sliver of territory the government controls. Clashes have erupted along the Muka al-Mukarama, the main road that connects Villa Somalia and government ministries with the airport. On Friday, pickup trucks loaded with gunmen and minibuses filled with fleeing Somalis sped through intersections to evade bullets fired from al-Shabab positions. African Union armored vehicles secured the parliament building, a key target of the militants. Nearby, a patch of earth was covered with tank shells from nights of bombardment. A few yards farther were remnants of burned tires placed by al-Shabab, a bold sign of its ability to infiltrate government-controlled turf. In recent days, hundreds of people seeking refuge have arrived in the Medina neighborhood, the capital's safest area because of its proximity to the airport and the African Union base. Many had fled government-controlled areas that al-Shabab militants overran. Few were willing to predict that they would remain safe. "The war has intensified, and life in Somalia has become more hellish," said Halima Mohammed, 32, who arrived Tuesday with three wounded relatives after a shell hit their home. "Only God knows if the war will come here."

Hardly anyone in the capital had thought the war would reach the Hotel Muna.
The building is nestled in the heart of Somalia's seats of power. Dozens of soldiers protect the Villa Somalia and several government buildings; the Ministry of Information, protected by African Union peacekeepers, is also nearby. The hotel itself had eight guards. The attackers arrived at 9:45 a.m., as neighborhood residents gathered at a coffee shop on the hotel's first floor to hear the war's latest rumors. Boys washed cars nearby; street vendors peddled their wares.
Mohammed Ahmed Bile was on his way to work at the prime minister's office. As he passed the hotel, gunfire erupted, followed by explosions. A grenade tore through a woman standing outside the hotel, severing her head. "Her head hit me in the chest, and I fell down," recalled Bile, who was struck in the abdomen by shrapnel. "I woke up in the hospital." Shrapnel also struck Abdi Wali Ahmed, a bodyguard for a military commander staying at the hotel. Being struck saved his life. He fell to the ground and pretended to be dead while the militants shot up the hotel's tiny lobby, killing four people. "It was just by chance that I escaped," Ahmed said from his hospital bed.

Deepening fear
The gunmen, Somalis in green camouflage fatigues, made their way up the hotel's stairs, going room to room and spraying bullets at anyone they saw, witnesses recalled. Soldiers arrived and fired at the men, as did lawmakers who had guns. Guests and hotel staff were caught in the crossfire. "When they were finally cornered, they exploded themselves," said Isaac Ibrahim Ali, 46, a lawmaker who escaped by jumping from a balcony. He landed on a pile of bodies, he said, fracturing his leg. The attack, and al-Shabab's ongoing push into government territory, has heightened calls among Somalis for more international support. According to the United Nations, the Somali government has received a tiny fraction of the $58 million pledged by foreign donors last year. Soldiers have gone months without pay.
"Al-Shabab can get uniforms easily by buying it from the soldiers," said Abdulqadir Abdullahi Hussein, a frontline commander. "Soldiers even sell their weapons to al-Shabab. The government can't be blamed. They don't have money." Today, fear and suspicion have deepened across Mogadishu. Hotels have bolstered their security. Employees are frisked for bombs; at checkpoints, government vehicles are inspected for impostors.
At Madina Hospital, after a doctor wrapped new bandages on Ahmed's legs, the wounded man said the attack had altered his view of his countrymen. "It's very difficult to trust anyone in the future, especially someone in a military uniform," he said. A few minutes later, relatives of Bile persuaded him to stop speaking to a Western journalist. His sister walked up and, in a low voice, apologized. "You must understand that al-Shabab is everywhere," she said. "They are listening to us. They are observing us. Whatever we say will have consequences."  By Sudarsan Raghavan Washington Post
Life and death on the streets of Somalia

SOMALIA - Mogadishu battle rages on after hotel carnage

Somali pleads guilty in case of pirate attack on US warship

update on Friday, April 23, 2010 story ..Pirate Suspects From Somalia Charged in U.S.,11 Somalis appear in US court on piracy charges -

Jama Idle Ibrahim admitted in federal court Friday that he was one of several men who attempted on April 10 to commandeer what they believed was a merchant ship. It was actually a US warship, the USS Ashland. Ibrahim has agreed to testify against five other defendants.

One of six Somalis accused of attempting to take over a US warship in the Gulf of Aden has agreed to plead guilty and cooperate with federal prosecutors against the five remaining alleged pirates.Jama Idle Ibrahim admitted in federal court in Norfolk, Va., on Friday that he was one of several men in a skiff who attempted on April 10 to commandeer and hold for ransom what they believed was a merchant ship.They were mistaken. Instead of a defenseless commercial vessel, the would-be marauders pulled alongside and began firing AK-47 assault rifles at the USS Ashland, an American warship. The ship returned fire, killing a man in the skiff. The others were captured and transported to Norfolk to stand trial on piracy charges.Last week, the federal judge in the case, US District Judge Raymond Jackson, threw out the first count in the indictment – the piracy charge. He said the federal prosecutors’ definition of piracy was too broad and contrary to US Supreme Court case law. Despite the legal victory, the Somali defendants continue to face trial on a seven other federal charges of pirate-like acts and alleged use of illegal violence at sea. In his deal with federal prosecutors, Mr. Ibrahim agreed to plead guilty to three counts in the indictment. He also agreed not to contest a government request that he be sentenced to a 30-year prison term. Under the plea agreement, prosecutors said that if Ibrahim cooperates fully – including testifying against his former associates at trial – they will recommend a reduction of his prison sentence.The action came as federal prosecutors in Washington charged Ibrahim in a second case. The charges include conspiracy to commit piracy and conspiracy to use a firearm during a crime of violence. He is expected to plead guilty in that case, as well.The second case stems from a separate incident of alleged piracy in the Gulf of Aden involving the merchant ship M/V CEC Future.Prosecutors pointed up the historic nature of Ibrahim’s plea agreement. “Today marks the first conviction in Norfolk for acts of piracy in more than 150 years,” said US Attorney Neil MacBride, in a statement.
Ibrahim pleaded guilty to charges that he attacked a vessel with the intent to plunder it, that he engaged in an act of violence against persons on the vessel, and that he used a firearm in the attack.
Ibrahim’s sentencing is set for Nov. 29.
In a written admission, Ibrahim said that he and the five other men “were all willing participants in this planned piracy.”The statement says in part that they “set out to accomplish this piracy with a common purpose and each contributed to the goal of successfully pirating a merchant vessel by, among other things, operating a boat in which they sailed, operating weapons, or standing ready to participate in the boarding and seizure of a vessel.”  The Christian Science Monitor

Militants tied to al-Qaida aim to destabilize Somalia

A year ago, it seemed that the United States had delivered a crippling blow to terrorists in the African nation of Somalia when special forces killed Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan, an al-Qaida operative.Nabhan was wanted by the international community for the 2002 car bombing of a beach resort in Kenya and the failed attempt to shoot down an Israeli airliner. He was the leader of al-Shabab Mujahideen Movement, which is operating in lawless Somalia with the aim of toppling the government.Al-Shabab retaliated by sending suicide bombers to the main base of the African Union peacekeepers in Somalia’s capital city, Mogadishu. At least 16 people were killed. including four bombers, and dozens were injured.Nonetheless, it appeared that the U.S, and its allies in the war on global terrorism had sent a strong message with the killing of the al-Qaida operative.Last week, however, fighting flared in the capital city, resulting in a death toll of at least 80. Insurgents are attempting to force government troops back toward the presidential palace.The al-Shabab group has declared a new “massive” war against African union troops. Hundreds of people have been chased from their homes, with women, children and the elderly most at risk.The most brazen attack came Tuesday when militants stormed a hotel controlled by the weak central government. Four members of parliament were among the 33 people killed.The Somali government has struggled for years to gain relevancy, but corruption and its minuscule footprint in the country — just a few city blocks near the seaside airport — have limited its effectiveness. It is propped up by 6,000 African Union troops from Uganda and Burundi. Without those soldiers the government would quickly collapse.Somalia hasn’t had a functioning government since 1991, when warlords overthrew the president.The Obama administration is well aware of the dangers inherent in the collapse of the government.In Washington, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said the attack during Ramadan highlighted al-Shabab’s “complete disregard for human life, Somali culture and Islamic values.”Somali President Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed was clear in his assessment of what’s going on in the country.“The only intention of this group is to destroy the nation, massacre people and then finally hand the country to ruthless foreigners,” he said.
financially, to Islamic extremists in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia and other parts of the world.If the African nation is taken over by extremists, it will become a safe haven for terrorist organizations, the way Afghanistan under the Taliban was for al-Qaida. It was from there that the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack on America’s homeland was planned.Osama bin Laden, the head of al-Qaida and mastermind of 9/11, escaped from Afghanistan during the U.S.-led invasion in 2003 that resulted in the ouster of the Taliban. Bin Laden is said to be hiding in the remote mountain region between Afghanistan and Pakistan.Somalia cannot be allowed to fall into the wrong hands. This week’s fighting should be taken seriously. Vindy.com


Press release

Mogadishu – August 28, 2010) Al Shabab militants this week took control of Holy Quran Radio (aka IQK), a private FM station based in Mogadishu. Earlier this year Al Shabab militia also looted a transmitter and other radio equipment belonging to Somaliweyn, a private media based in Mogadishu and installed the same equipment in Elbur, a district in central Somalia.
Al Shabab are now using these stations for their own propaganda.
Abdirahman Omar Osman (Eng. Yarisow), Minister of Information said:
"We strongly condemn these acts. They want to silence the independent media with brutality and intolerance. We know that they are desperate to develop their own media capability so that they can start to impose their will over an ever wider population. They want to use the media they loot for their propaganda."
Furthermore, Al Shabab is currently undertaking a lot of propaganda in some parts of south and central Somalia using traditional means of communication such as madarassas, mosque lectures, and workshops.
"Somalis in remote areas are not educated in the detail of Islam. They are vulnerable to radicalisation and Al Shabab is intent on using radio as a means to impose their views and extreme interpretation of our faith and to brainwash the young men, women and children, especially in rural areas, where the number of educated people is limited. This is a serious issue as we see that the recent forced recruitment of young men and boys is occurring outside the capital Mogadishu.
"The Somali Government needs help to act quickly against the extremists before they plant their seeds of extremism among the most vulnerable among our society. Currently Al Shabab do not have a popular base. We must not let them gain any ground, lest of all through the control of media."
Al-Shabab have previously looted other stations in Baidoa and Kismayo. All media outlets working in Al-Shabaab controlled areas were restricted to prevent independent programming and are constantly harassed and intimidated. Al-Shabab is also responsible for the killing and assassination of a number of journalists during the last 2 years.
Source: Government of Somalia
Ministry of Information, Mogadishu Ref: WW/XW/Press release/18
Contact address: Ministry of Information, Villa Somalia, Mogadishu, Somalia. Telephone: +252699941070, +25261 5479911, +25262755400, +252699998854 e-mail: engabdirahman@gmail.com or somaliinfo.ministry@gmail.com

Somalia-based al Qaeda affiliate Al-Shabaab claims capture of major militant base

(CNN) -- Somali Islamist fighters on Saturday claimed they captured the largest Mogadishu base for the government-supported militant group.However, Sheikh Shuriye, spokesman for the Ahlu Sunna Wal Jama militia, told CNN that his group retreated from the Mo'alin Nor base on Friday as a "military tactic" against Al-Shabaab, an al Qaeda-linked movement fighting against Somalia's transitional government.Meanwhile, Somali Information Minister Abdirahman Omar Osman denied reports that African Union troops fought Al-Shabaab for nearly a week to maintain control of Mekke Al-Mukarama street -- a strategic roadway in the Somali capital and the only road connecting the presidential palace to the airport. Osman said the road has been in complete control of the government and the African Union forces.Still, medical sources reported 10 fatalities from the fighting, including at least four civilians, and 20 others wounded.Al-Shabaab, which has pledged allegiance to al Qaeda, controls much of southern Somalia and portions of Mogadishu. Ahlu Sunna Wal Jama, which follows the Sufi form of Islam, turned against it after Al-Shabaab fighters destroyed the tombs of several revered leaders of the Sufi Muslim group in 2008.Earlier, a Somali official denied reports that Ethiopian troops had crossed into the country to help battle Al-Shabaab militants."I can confirm to you that no Ethiopian soldier has come to this town of Dolo," said Gov. Abdifatah Gesey of the Bay region in Somalia's southwest. "The reports which are saying so are mere rumors."Gesey spoke to CNN on the phone Friday from Dolo, a Somali town bordering Ethiopia. Dolo is under the control of government forces, the governor said.Attempts to reach Ethiopian officials Saturday were unsuccessful. However, Ethiopian Communications Minister Bereket Simon, in a mobile phone interview with Bloomberg, also denied the reports, saying "We have made no decision to intervene at this point."Somali government officials warned Friday that Al-Shabaab may intensify attacks against civilians and security forces over the Ramadan period.Osman, the Somali minister of information, said government and African Union forces are prepared for any assaults. He urged residents to be vigilant and remain indoors. The African Union Mission in Somalia, known by the acronym AMISOM, has forces made up of troops mostly from Uganda and Burundi and is helping the Somali government fight the militants.Al-Shabaab rebels have killed at least 70 civilians and wounded 200 others this week, the minister said.Government forces have killed 25 Al-Shabaab fighters since Monday, according to Osman.The United States considers Al-Shabaab, which is al Qaeda's proxy in the country, a terrorist organization. Al-Shabaab is waging a war against Somalia's government in an effort to implement a stricter form of Islamic law known as sharia.Somalia has not had a stable government since overthrowing  Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre 1991, and fighting between the rebels and government troops has escalated the humanitarian crisis in the famine-ravaged country.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Ethiopian forces enter Somalia as nation expects more militant attacks

(CNN) -- Ethiopian forces entered Somalia on Friday, accompanied by forces from Somalia's transitional government, to challenge militants trying to take control of the nation's capital, local media sources reported.
A journalist in central Somalia told CNN that the Somali forces accompanying the Ethiopians exchanged fire with Al-Shabaab militants, who control the central part of the country and who are trying to take Mogadishu.
The Somali forces got as far as Kalaber junction in Hiiran region in central Somalia, according to local reports.The Ethiopian troops have since returned back to Fer Fer, a border town in the Ethiopian side of the border, according to those reports.The Ethiopian troops entered Somalia in the broder town of Dolo, according to Ethiopian newspaper Addis Neger.But a high-ranking Somali official in Dolo denied the presence of any Ethiopian troops, calling the reports "mere rumors.""I can confirm you that no Ethiopian soldier has come to this town of Dolo," said Abdifatah Gesey, Somali governor of the Bay region in the nation's southwest.Somali government officials warned Friday that Islamist Al-Shabaab rebels may intensify attacks against civilians and security forces to mark the 17th day of Ramadan on Saturday.Al-Shabaab, an Islamist group, warned Mogadishu hotels on Friday not to accommodate members of the Somali government
"[A]void accommodating in your hotels members of the parliament and other government officials because these people are not good ones," said Shiekh Ali Mohamud Rage, Al-Shabaab's spokesman."If you don't heed this warning, then you are responsible for what happens," he said.Most of Somalia's 450 parliament members stay in hotels in the city.Four members of Somalia's parliament were killed and five more were injured in in a bomb attack on Tuesday.At least 33 people died in the attack, for which Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility.Two men stormed the Muna Hotel in Somalia's capital Mogadishu and detonated explosives, officials reported.The 17th day of Ramadan stems from a historical day in 624 A.D. denoting the Battle of Badr when the Prophet Mohammed won a key battle, said Abdirahman Omar Osman, the government's minister of information."Al-Shabaab thinks that this is the best day for them to win against us," he said. "We are here. We are committed. We are determined to win against Shabaab."Osman said government and African Union forces are prepared for any assaults. He urged residents to be vigilant and remain indoors."The best weapon we have against attack is public alertness," he said. "Stay in your homes as much as you can. Keep your children safe. We recognize the importance of Ramadan to our people. Let us not allow Al-Shabab to ruin it."Al-Shabaab rebels have killed at least 70 civilians and wounded 200 others this week, he said.In return, government forces have killed 25 fighters since Monday. Seventy more rebels have been injured, according to Osman.Norway, the United States, the African Union Mission in Somalia, the European Union, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, the League of Arab States and the United Nations Political Office for Somalia released a joint statement condemning the violence.Along with condemning the attacks in the "strongest possible terms," the group had a message for the people of Somalia."Our condolences go out to those who are suffering across the country and to the families and friends of the victims murdered across Mogadishu," the statement said.The United States considers Al-Shabaab, which is al Qaeda's proxy in the country, a terrorist organization.Al-Shabaab is waging a war against Somalia's government in an effort to implement a stricter form of Islamic law known as sharia.Somalia has not had a stable government since 1991, and fighting between the rebels and government troops has escalated the humanitarian crisis in the famine-ravaged country.
Mohamed Amiin Adow and CNN's Les Neuhaus contributed to this report

Galgala: Farole’s Waterloo

Abdirahman Farole, the president of Somalia’s Puntland state, is a latter-day Somali politician of the ilk that ruined Mogadishu and much of the south. Take the inanity of his indefensible tactics concerning the Galgala conflict—a confrontation that is largely of his making. Rather than addressing the legitimate grievances of a Puntland community that he and his predecessors exploited or shunned, he chose to silence their voices by opting for a shooting war. Interestingly, President Farole made this decision after turning his back on peace overtures from a wide array of community leaders, over a period of five months.

The community leaders wanted to defuse a potentially explosive situation brought about by Farole’s labeling an entire sub region of Puntland a haven for wild-eyed radicalism. He called their defensive militia dangerous and an existential threat to Puntland. To this end, Farole and his minions began to make early pronunciations of unfounded, propagandistic claims against Galgala which is located in western Bari region of Puntland. In particular, the Farole regime started to vilify Mohamed Said Atom, the leader of the militia that seeks to defend that community from all kinds of harassment going back to the inception of Puntland in 1998. But the record shows that it was Farole and his predecessors that singled out that community for callous abuse that took many forms: arbitrary arrests, attempts at intimidation and, worse of all, targeted episodes of land grab.
So it was after being variously ignored, boycotted and generally besieged by the regime that a defensive militia began to emerge in the western Bari community’s mountainous area of the previously hospitable Galgala town and its surroundings. There, members of the community sought to organize makeshift defenses led by the now famous or infamous (depending on one’s point of view) Mohamed Said Atom.
Contrary to the Farole propaganda machine, this militia is, according to knowledgeable sources, recruited from within Puntland and the overwhelming majority of its members hail from the hamlets of the western Bari sub region. Their leader, Mr. Atom, is not a radical individual nor is he, unlike President Farole, given to dictatorial tendencies. Those who know him well say he is a mild-mannered, thoughtful person. Nor is his philosophy particularly anti-Western in outlook, as the regime would have the world belief.
The reason Farole’s Puntland is hounding him has to do with his unwillingness to leave the fate of his community to its acknowledged tormentors. For example, in a recent speech to his sub clansmen, President Farole counseled the besieged community to “vacate [their ancestral] land—which happens to be endowed with substantial natural resources including oil and minerals—and “move elsewhere”!
The mountain villagers are largely traditional farmers or they raise livestock. They supply substantial farm products in the form of fruits and vegetables to the city of Bosaso. They are known for being peaceful but also fiercely independent. The reason that Farole and his predecessors continue to harass this community is not well known to the general public in Puntland or to the wider Somali community, for that matter. Most of what the media picks up is the much rehearsed propaganda speaking points mouthed by Farole and underlings. But the truth is entirely different than what they say, as it will become clear later.
After refusing all manner of peaceful settlement of the artificially created conflict, President Farole, suddenly and without prior notice, called for an all out war against the defenders of Galgala town and nearby settlements. It is ironic that in the subsequent assaults, the regime paid a heavy price in the loss of both men and materiel.
It is note-worthy that President Farole’s clan-tinged call for an all out war was not fully heeded by the people of Puntland. But that too did not faze him as he went ahead anyway to use the State’s military and economic resources under his disposal: first to isolate the target community and then to launch a number of vicious attacks on their villages.
Predictably, many lives were lost, mostly on the side of the attacking forces. Throughout the crisis, the regime made baseless claims each of which is more outrageous than the previous one. President Farole claimed for example that the entire western Bari sub region was infested with Al-Shabab militants; a charge that turned out to be blatantly untrue, as the regime has to date produced not a shred of evidence to back their scurrilous charges. He repeatedly stated that Mr. Atom was a radical, dangerous individual linked to known outlaws who must be stopped by force. But in interview after interview, with all kinds of media outlets, including the Voice of America and the British Broadcasting Company, it turned out that the opposite was indeed the case. Atom himself insisted that he is in no way linked to any of the radical groups operating in the South such as Al Shabab, Hizul Islam, etc.
When Horseed Radio in Bosaso, in an interview with Atom, broadcasted this fact, the director of that prominent Puntland media out was arrested and given an extrajudicial sentence six years in kangaroo court, dictated to by President Farole.
President Farole vehemently rejected peace offerings and negotiated settlement that would have removed all hostility between the peaceful people of Galgala and nearby settlements, and his administration. Instead he issued more threats sprinkled with wild, unfounded claims all the while urging the international community to support his unilateral declaration of an internecine war within Punland—a move that boggles the mind.
Imagine! All this holier than thou attitude and righteous indignation coming from a man whose campaign for president was principally financed with cash from pirates headquartered in his hometown of Eyl. It is there that an internationally known band of criminals enjoy the tacit acceptance if not the full support of the Farole’s Puntland regime. There is a reason to believe that President Farole continues to cuddle those same pirates that elude international capture. Under the nose of the Puntland regime, the same pirates operate from bases and sanctuaries not only the pirate den of Eyl town but also in Garowe and other locales in the State. This is the kind of support system that allows pirates and their cohorts to launder ill gotten ransom moneys from the owners of the commercial vessels they routinely commandeer in the high seas. It also enables them to hide from the reach of international law.
After he kindled a needless war in which his forced suffered heavy losses, Farole’s jackbooted militia was able to take Galgala. But that is due to the fact that the defenders vacated the town to spare the community the kind of destruction that would inescapably result from mechanized combat in a population center. Not surprisingly, President Farole’s forces were unable to show any kind of evidence or proof of Al-Shabab or other outside fighters ever being there. This put the lie to the regime’s claims that Galgala housed fighters from all over the Somali peninsula and beyond. It was also discovered that the man Farole called public enemy number one was not the monster he insisted on painting falsely. He turned out to a local Sheikh with a militia force estimated at 60 young men and boys recruited from the Puntland sub region.
What followed in the next few weeks surprised Farole and his regime. It was reported that Atom got a substantial support from the surrounding settlements, which allowed him to stage daring attacks of his own that took the wind out of the sail of the regimes army. This forced Farole’s army to retreat to hastily Karin after the spectacular Madarshoon battle in which his forces beaten rather badly. Subsequently, soldiers from almost all Puntland regions, began to abandon their posts and desert the regime’s armed services, which they saw as oppressors. They got wind that they were being used as cannon fodder for a secret war aimed legitimating attempted robbery involving land and natural resources. But it was the sudden resignation and departure from the battle scene by the regime’s top military officer, Tutaweyne, that sealed Farole’s fate in the looming protracted war.
To add insult to injury, President Farole’s forces proved to lack the most basic training in dealing with civilians regarding humanitarian considerations. As a consequence, they left a searing tragedy in their wake. It is reported that Farole’s occupation forces plundered the small town of Galgala and surrounding hamlets. They destroyed houses. And, they tragically burned to the ground historic farms of old growth date palms and other fruits trees that were planted and nurtured by local families in more than one hundred years of toil. The would-be occupiers also forced the people of the town to flee their houses in order to avoid the harm from unchecked military onslaught by the regime’s army. Consequently, Galgala, the oasis of the Bari desert, became a virtual ghost town, for a while at least, with its residents scattered, to fend for themselves in the rugged mountains of eastern Al Madow. This is particularly onerous since the Galgala conflict will probably continue, even escalate, unless cooler heads prevail on President Farole or he is impeached, by the rubberstamp parliament, both of which are highly unlikely.
The situation is in some ways becoming a quagmire. Its unforeseen consequences are already indicating dire circumstances for Puntland under President Farole. One particular concern is the spillover effect in the form of the shooting war that pitted two branches of President Farole’s immediate constituency around the Puntland capital of Garoe. This armed confrontation already claimed substantial casualties. Clearly, events of this sort can only spell bad news for the weakening authority that the rapacious Farole regime exercises in many parts of the Puntland State.

The Root Causes of the Conflict:

It is all about the natural resources, stupid!

As mentioned before, the western Bari region of Puntland in which Galgala is located is endowed with untold riches in minerals and petroleum oil—resources that if properly developed would make not only Puntland but the whole of Somalia a wealthy nation. Moreover, the people of Puntland share kinship and are not given to pursuing mindless conflicts. With good leadership, they would be happy to live in peace side by side as they have done for eons. It is the insatiable, greedy ruling elites that are behind the conflict that is negatively impacting on the brotherly citizens of the Puntland State.
President Farole’s is the last of three regimes led men whose arrogance is only exceeded by their awfully short-sighted and self-serving policies. He and his two predecessors, Abdullahi Yusuf and Ade Muse were never accused of being visionaries. They are typically egotistical and exceedingly condescending to all communities outside of their immediate circle of affiliation. They are also war hounds who do not entertain peaceful co-existence prior to their realization of certain defeat at the hands of their opponents!

As heads of autonomous, “self-governing” state, they somehow got hold of data indicating the riches laden in parts of Puntland, including western Bari sub region, Sanaag, Hylan, Sool, among others that fall outside of their immediate constituencies. They dreamed that perhaps the folks in those parts could be hoodwinked and their territories exploited at random for the benefit of the circle of ruling elites and their associates. So they tried to exploit the discovered oil in Hol hol area of Sool a few years ago but were soon turned back on their heels. They then went to Majiyahan and a war ensued in which the Puntland regime was badly beaten by a local militia that included Mohamed Said Atom as one of the defenders.

Today, President Farole has a deadline to meet and Puntland State has a date with destiny. His charge, see attached digital maps, is to clear a certain area of Puntland by a date certain, say the Fall, 2010. Reliable sources indicate that this would signal African Oil, a Canadian firm, to make an initial payment of $2.8 million dollars to regime for “making the [target] area safe” enough to start drilling the “discovered” oil well at (Ceel) Maroodi near Galgala.

But that short-sighted plan, like others before it such as Mijiyahan, is likely doomed to failure. The reason is simple. President Farole is committed to facing his waterloo in the off chance of hitting pay dirt by illegally authorizing a fly by night Oil Company to drill oil on land area the residents of which were never so much as consulted. They would not under the circumstances let that happen.

Therefore, the Farole regime’s increasingly incoherent propaganda notwithstanding, the struggle for the soul of Puntland State would continue! But the good news is this. The eastern Al Madow mountain folks, having justice on their side, will prevail and in the end the Puntland State will be better for it. source Laasqoray Online.
some background
Africa Oil war has impacted communities in Galgala, Balanbal and places in the Ogaden
SOMALIA: Prominent Somali Legislator speaks about Puntland’s oil deal and the uprooted Galgala community . In related news Puntland pirates join the Galgala fight

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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The Foundation is dedicated to networking like-minded Somalis opposed to the terrorist insurgency that is plaguing our beloved homeland and informing the international public at large about what is really happening throughout the Horn of Africa region.

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We Are Winning the War on Terrorism in Horn of Africa

The threat is from violent extremists who are a small minority of the world's 1.3 billion Muslims, the threat is real. They distort Islam. They kill man, woman and child; Christian and Hindu, Jew and Muslim. They seek to create a repressive caliphate. To defeat this enemy, we must understand who we are fighting against, and what we are fighting for.

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