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Thursday, September 06, 2007

Al Shabaab, the Somali Link to Hezbollah

The following is from Wikepdia, so the facts listed here are useful, but not necessarily unquestionable. Note that it was the Shabaab that went to fight in Lebanon, and apparently created a link between Somalia and Hezbollah, an interesting relationship, Since Hezbollah is affiliated Shia, and al Qaeda in Somalia is made up of Sunni Muslims.

Hizbul Shabaab (Arabic, "The Party of Youth")[1] or Al-Shabaab (Arabic, "The Youth") is the militant youth movement wing of the Islamic Courts Union, and described as an extremist splinter group. However, the term "Shabaab" is common in the Islamic world for youth groups, and Hizbul Shabaab should not be confused with other more peaceful endeavors.

Their core comprised veterans who fought and defeated the secular Mogadishu warlords of the Alliance for the Restoration of Peace and Counter-Terrorism (ARPCT) at the Second Battle of Mogadishu.[2] Their origins are not clearly known, but former members say Hizbul Shabaab was founded as early as 2004. Before the losses sustained by the Islamic Courts Union in December 2006, estimates of their strength varied between 3,000 to 7,000 members.

Members earned a salary of $70 a month, paid for by their leader, Aden Hashi Farah "Eyrow" (or Ayro). Training comprised a six-week basic course. A few were sent to advanced training in Eritrea for guerrilla tactics and explosives.[3]

On June 10, 2006 a report in The Guardian stated, "An unnamed network run by one of Aweys's proteges, Aden Hashi Farah "Ayro", has been linked to the murder of four western aid workers and more than a dozen Somalis who allegedly cooperated with counter-terror organisations."[4]

On June 15, 2006 the leader of Al-Shabaab, Aden Hashi Farah "Eyrow", was said to have taken a load of arms sent from Eritrea [5] (see page 12).

On July 26, 2006, Sheikh Mukhtar Roboow "Abu-Mansuur" was reported accepting another load of arms from Eritrea[5] (see page 15).

In July, 720 Somali volunteers were selected by Aden Hashi Farah "Eyrow" to travel to Lebanon to fight against the Israelis. Of those, only 80 returned to Mogadishu. In September, another 20 returned, along with five members of Hizbollah.[5] (see page 24).

The bankruptcy of a remittance company, Dalsan, International, whose staff included the brother of Aden Hashi Farah "Eyrow", involved the suspicious disappearance of $10 million dollars. It was alleged, "an ICU military leader managed to divert a large amount of money to help financially support the organization in their fight for the control of Mogadishu during the June 2006 confrontation with the former counter terrorism alliance"[5] (see page 39). (Also see

ARPCT, Second Battle of Mogadishu)

As of January 6, 2007, after the Fall of Mogadishu and Kismayo to the TFG, the leaders of the Shabaab were in hiding still at large.[6] A member of the disbanded group said they once numbered about 1,000 (lower than other claims by former members), but they do not have any weapons any more. Still, there was support for the call of Al-Qaeda leaders to maintain jihad against the Ethiopians and secular government.[7]

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