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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Algeria - AQIM Ramadan Results

A suicide car bombing near the eastern Algerian town of Dellys killed three people Sept. 28, as Ramadan draws to a close amid a heavy deployment of security forces throughout the country.

  • Three armed Islamists were killed by security forces in eastern Algeria a day earlier, and an alleged leader of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) on Sept. 5.
  • Four police officers were also wounded in a bombing near the eastern city of Tizi Ouzou Sept. 14, and a gendarme killed
  • Two others wounded in Ain Defla, west of Algiers, Sept. 24.

For all that, it was Algeria's least bloody Ramadan since 1992; 60 were killed in the Muslim holy month last year.

The month of daily fasting, which began Sept. 1 and ends this week, was preceded by a series of suicide attacks and ambushes in eastern Algeria.

Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia issued a stark warning to Islamic extremists at the onset of the holy month. "We will fight them to the end. They have two choices: to surrender and take advantage of national reconciliation or be killed for the crimes they are committing," Ouyahia said.


A peace and reconciliation law, which took effect in February 2006, offers amnesty to militants who surrender to the Algerian authorities. It has led to the release of more than 2,000 people convicted of terrorism offenses and the surrender of some 300 armed militants.

But AQIM chief Abu Musab Abdul Wadud remained intransigent. "Unite around the jihad that is the only alternative power to the apostate regimes that dominate our lands," he said in an audio speech posted on Islamist websites, the SITE Intelligence Group said. (News24, South Africa, Sept. 29)

The Rest @ World War 4

American and Russian Ships Surround Pirated Ukranian Ship full of Tanks Off Somalia

CNN) -- Gunfire broke out Tuesday aboard a cargo ship carrying tanks and other heavy weapons which was hijacked last week by pirates off the coast of Somalia, a Kenyan maritime official says.

It was not known whether the gunfire was among the pirates, or an exchange of shots with authorities near the vessel, said Andrew Mwangura of the Kenya Seafarers Association.

On Monday, a shootout between rival pirate factions left three pirates dead, he said.

That shootout centered on a disagreement between moderate and radical pirates aboard the MV Faina, Mwangura said. The moderates wanted to surrender, but the radicals did not.

The presence of the U.S. Navy nearby had made some of the pirates nervous, Mwangura said.

Several Navy ships continued to monitor the seized ship, which is loaded with Soviet-era tanks and weapons, Lt. Nathan Christensen told CNN on Tuesday.

Christensen declined to specify how many U.S. ships were involved. He also declined to specify how close the warships were to the seized vessel other than to say: "Several are in visual range, and several are in the immediate vicinity."

U.S. ship fires shots toward boats off Somalia
French hostages freed in gunbattle with pirates
The pirated ship, he said, was anchored off the coast inside Somalia's territorial 12-mile limit.

The Navy ships were not involved in negotiations between the pirates and the shipping company, Christensen said.

"We want the crew to remain safe and for the cargo not to fall into the wrong hands," Christensen told CNN earlier.

The pirates, who Christensen said were "loitering on and around the ship," had lowered their ransom demand from $35 million to $20 million.

Mwangura told CNN on Monday that the organization's sources in Somalia reported the change in the ransom amount.

The pirates hijacked the ship off the coast of Somalia on Thursday. The Faina had been headed to the Kenyan port of Mombasa after departing from Nikolayev, Ukraine, and was seized not far from its destination.

The Faina is owned and operated by Kaalbye Shipping Ukraine, and its crew includes citizens of Ukraine, Russia and Latvia, the Navy said.

Abdi Salan Khalif, commissioner of the coastal town of Harardhere, told CNN the pirates told a group of town elders that one crew member had died of high blood pressure problems.

The Ukrainian ministry said the ship is carrying 33 Soviet-made T-72 tanks, tank artillery shells, grenade launchers and small arms. Ukraine sold the weapons to Kenya, said Ukraine Defense Minister Yuri Yekhanurov, according to the Interfax-Ukraine news agency




The Rest @ CNN

Monday, September 29, 2008

Quintan Wiktorowicz

"Quintan Wiktorowicz "


(2005 data)
Dr. Quintan Wiktorowicz
Professor of International Studies
Rhodes Collegewiktorowiczq@rhodes.com
2000 North ParkwayDepartment of International Studies, Rhodes College
Memphis, TN 38112-1690(t)
901-843-3609(f)
901-843-3371
Areas of Expertise - Muslim Politics

The Jihadi Salafis Name Of The Enemy by Quintan Wiktorowicz (2004)
  • Dr. Wiktorowicz is the J.S. Seidman Research Fellow and assistant professor of International Studies at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee.
  • He is author of The Management of Islamic Activism: Salafis, the Muslim Brotherhood and State Power in Jordan (2001); Global Jihad:
  • Understanding September 11; Radical Islam Rising: Al-Muhajiroun and High Risk Activism(forthcoming); and numerous articles and book chapters on Islamic movements in the Middle East and Europe.
  • He has recently published an edited book titled Islamic Activism: A Social Movement Theory Approach. His current research examines Islamic fundamentalist debates about issues related to Jihad and violence.

Articles in Middle East Policy


THE SALAFI MOVEMENT IN JORDAN
Quintan Wiktorowicz 1

Abstract

Since the 1970s, the Salafi movement in Jordan has grown substantially. Today, Salafis are ubiquitous in every major city in the kingdom, and Salafi bookshops, lessons, and activities are common.
  • The purpose of the movement is to institute religious behavior and practices that capture the purity of Islam, as understood by the salaf (early Companions of the Prophet).
  • Salafis believe that because the salaf learned about Islam directly from the Prophet or those who knew him, they commanded a pure understanding of the religion.
  • All decisions in life must therefore be based upon evidence from the Qur[superset or implies]an and sunna, as recorded in authentic sayings (had[horizontal bar]iths) by the salaf. In instances where particular actions or behaviors were not sanctioned by the original sources of Islam, they are rejected as “not Muslim.”
  • Those who strictly adhere to this religious understanding are considered Salafis.1
  • Footnotes
  • 1 Quintan Wiktorowicz is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science, Shippensburg University, Shippensburg, Penn. 17257, USA.

Original Source @ The Journals of Cambridige

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Somalia: 10 killed in Mogadishu's Bakara Market shelling
27 Sep 27, 2008 - 4:31:05 PM

MOGADISHU, Somalia Sep 27 (Garowe Online) - Somali insurgents waging war in the country's capital Mogadishu used mortars to target Aden Adde International Airport on Saturday as an African Union military plane landed, Radio Garowe reported.

Several mortars hit inside airport grounds but caused no damage and the AU military plane landed safely, according to AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) spokesman Major Bahoku Barigye.

Wounded civilians Sep 27/GOSomali government forces responded to the mortar attack by shelling the capital's Bakara Market, which the interim government has long suspected is home base for anti-government rebels.

AMISOM peacekeepers driving tanks entered city streets in a show of force.
At least 10 civilians were killed and 17 others wounded in the shelling, witnesses told Radio Garowe.

Al Shabaab militants claimed responsibility for the mortar attack. Last week, al Shabaab issued a threat to shoot down airplanes landing at Mogadishu's airport.

It was the third mortar attack on the airport in a week, sparking street battles and artillery barrages that have killed upwards of 50 civilians.

At least three Ethiopian soldiers were killed in a roadside explosion as their convoy drove towards Mogadishu, witnesses reported.

"Ethiopian army trucks who came from Afgoye and were heading to Mogadishu were targeted in a heavy explosion and I saw dead bodies fall out of the cars," said witness Khadar Mohamed, who fled Mogadishu violence months ago.

Ethiopian soldiers opened fire in panic but no one was wounded in the subsequent gunfire.
Islamic Courts spokesman Abdirahim Isse Addow claimed responsibility for the roadside bomb, adding that Ethiopian forces "suffered heavy casualties."

The Rest @ Garowe Online

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

AQIM Praises Yemen Attacks and Threatens North African Countries

wcseafrol News, 23 September - Al-Qaeda's North Africa wing chief has urged all Muslims to join jihad (holy war) and slammed governments in the region where group has claimed frequent attacks, United States monitoring service said.
  • The group has also issued new threats against Western interests, including France, Spain and US States.
  • Threat comes close on heels of last week's deadly suicide-bomb attack on heavily fortified US embassy in Yemeni capital Sana'a, claimed by terrorist outfit Islamic Jihad in Yemen.

"Unite around holy war that is the only alternative power to apostate regimes that dominate over our lands," Abu Musab Abdul Wadud, leader of Al-Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), said in an audio speech posted on Sunday on Islamist militant websites, said SITE Intelligence Group.

Mr Abdul Wadud blasted regimes in

  • Mauritania,
  • Algeria and
  • other North African countries, charging that Mauritania has become a nest of foreign intelligence at its forefront Mossad, and has become a station of crusader colonial ambition," he said, according to a SITE transcript.

"History will continue to mention that this is first Arab country, outside of Tawq (Arab nations surrounding Israel) that recognised state of Israel and exchanged ambassadors with it," he said.

SITE said the remarks came in a 29-minute video titled "A message to our ummah (nation) in the Islamic Maghreb.

"Mr Abdul Wadud also claimed that former colonial power France continues to impose its authority in Algeria, using the Algiers government as a proxy.

“Algeria is threatened not only by France, but also by United States which seeks to install military bases there,” he charged.

Al-Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb has repeatedly claimed responsibility for deadly attacks in Algeria, including an increase of bombings in July and August, and also been blamed for an ambush on a Mauritanian patrol last week that killed 12 Mauritanians and found 11 soldiers and one civilian.

Mr Abdelmalek Droukdel, leader of al-Qaeda's North African warned Algerian officials that if they sought refuge there as the confrontation with al-Qaeda increases it would be a mistake, implying that French territory could also be targeted.

An Algerian authorities was Mr Droukdel's main target, he accused them of fighting a proxy war against Islam in the name of US and French interests. He cited as proof US plans for military bases in Sahara Desert to fight trafficking and terrorism, and a French-backed effort to create an alliance between European Union and countries south of Mediterranean Sea.

The Rest @ Afrol

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Somali Pirates Holding 12 Ships and Crews

for more of an intervention - more than indiviudal rescues
MOGADISHU, SOMALIA Sep 21 2008 09:31
Somali pirates are holding a record 12 ships following a week of relentless attacks that is threatening to disrupt regional trade and fishing and has spurred foreign powers into action.

  • French commandos intervened a week ago to free a retired couple who had been captured on their yacht earlier this month, but pirates continued to plough the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean in search of lucrative ransom opportunities.
  • The latest to fall in the hands of pirates were the Hong Kong-flagged Great Creation and Greek ship Centauri on Wednesday and Thursday respectively. Both have a crew of 25.
  • Pirates attacked the Centauri from a speed boat and were armed with three rocket launchers, leaving the crew no chance despite intensified patrols by foreign navies.
  • Once aboard, an operation that takes about 20 minutes, the hijackers are almost untouchable with hostages in their hands, explained Andrew Mwangura, who runs the Kenyan chapter of the Seafarers Assistance Programme.

"They've got at least two mother ships at sea and they launch speed boats from these two cargos [vessels] to hijack other ships," he said.He also noted that the latest attacks showed the pirates had the ability to extend their area of operations further south in the Indian Ocean than Somalia's coastline.

"They are changing locations due to the heavy concentration of navy ships" near the Gulf of Aden, he said.

According to Noel Choong, head of the International Maritime Bureau's (IMB) Piracy Reporting Centre in Kuala Lumpur, 56 ships have been attacked in Somali waters since the start of 2008.

Attacks this week on French and Spanish tuna trawlers operating from the Seychelles also disrupted Europe's fishing industry.Denis Esparon, a 33-year-old Seychellois who was on board the targeted French trawler le Drennec, told how the captain took evasive manoeuvres to elude the pirates."He turned the engine to full throttle, causing a swirl and preventing the pirates from climbing aboard," he said.

But crews in the Seychelles' port-capital of Victoria are increasingly at dangers by sailing the Indian Ocean, and 30 out of 50 tuna boats remained moored in protest over the weekend. The French and Spanish fishing boats have 350 000 quota from the zone, three-quarters of which is ferried back to Europe and the remainder processed in the Seychelles.

With marauding pirates on an unprecedented rampage, delivering much-needed food aid to war-torn Somalia has become impossible without a navy escort.A Canadian frigate shepherded a World Food Programme cargo ship carrying 4 000 tonnes of basic food goods into Mogadishu port on Thursday.

But the WFP's Somalia director, Peter Goossens, said that no country had stepped up to take over from Canada when their rotation ends later this month."We decided to go ahead. Basically, the situation in Somalia is too bad, we feel it wouldn't be responsible on our side to stop the shipments. But the risks are enormous," he said. On September,

The Rest @ Mail & guardian Online

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Will Putin Succeed in Keeping Viktor Bout Out of US Hands?

It is interesting to note that Russia's deputy prime minister, Igor Sechin, one of the closest allies of Mr Putin, the Prime Minister, visited Venezuela and Cuba this week. Sechin is widely reported to be the main backer of Viktor Bout, the notorious weapons trafficker in prison in Thailand, awaiting an extradition hearing next week to determine if he will be handed over to the United States to stand trial.

(In an ominous sign that Bout's extradition will not be approved, the Thai appellate court, for the first time this week, rejected a U.S. extradition request. This one was for Jamshid Ghassemi, an Iranian indicted in the United States for acquiring dual-use equipment and accelerometers for Iran's nuclear program. The court ruling gave no reasons for its decision, which is unappealable, and foul play is suspected.

There are several parallels to the Bout case, where the Russians have been offering large financial inducements, oil deals and preferential weapons deals in exchange for Bout's freedom. Another terrorist supplier under Russian protection.)

The Rest @ The Counter Terroism Blog
By Abdi Sheikh and Ibrahim Mohamed

MOGADISHU (Reuters) - Somalia's warring parties pounded each other with artillery in Mogadishu on Friday after an African Union military aircraft defied a rebel ban on planes using the capital's international airport.

Witnesses said at least 15 people were killed.

The bombed-out city's airport had been abandoned since Tuesday after Islamist insurgents from the hardline al Shabaab group vowed to shoot down any aircraft trying to land there.

In another demonstration of their increasing strength, the Islamists also chased away pro-government militia manning roadblocks in the south of the lawless Horn of Africa nation.

On Friday, a plane carrying AU peacekeepers braved the rebel threats and touched down at the Mogadishu airstrip, provoking a barrage of mortar fire from the insurgents.

Government forces and their Ethiopian allies responded with missiles, heavy machine guns and mortar rounds of their own.

An AU spokesman in the city said the aircraft had been carrying troops from Burundi, but that none of them were hurt.

As usual in Somalia, civilians bore the brunt of the fighting. At least four residents died and seven were injured when one shell detonated in the Kilometre 4 area of Mogadishu.

SHELLS KILL CIVILIANS

"A group of local teenagers was sitting playing cards here under a big tree," witness Abdullahi Farah told Reuters. "Now their flesh is scattered everywhere."

Residents said six bodies lay in another area and that a house nearby was hit and burning with three bodies inside.

An official at the city's main Madena Hospital said about 50 wounded civilians had been admitted. Two of them, including a two-year-old child, later died of their injuries.

The Rest @ Reuters Africa

Friday, September 19, 2008

Analysis from Western Sahara

- Zouërate is the town closest to Tourine, where the assault happened. It's a mining town of economic importance to Mauritania, nowadays with a significant Sahrawi population who have moved out from the Tindouf refugee camps.

-Meaning Mauritania. The Mourabitoun was an Islamic medieval movement that emerged in Mauritania and went on to found a dynasty in modern-day Morocco; an obvious local role-model for today's jihadists.

Also note that the soldiers are alleged to be taken prisoners, not killed as initially reported. This is also what international and Mauritanian media has begun to talk about.
  • It could be based on this statement, but I did read somewhere that army units returning to Tourine could not find bodies or equipment, even while there was blood on the scene. Finally, let's keep in mind that so far this is just something someone posted on a website -- not authenticated as an AQIM statement.
  • Adrian pointed out that there have been rumors of Mokhtar Belmokhtar stepping back, being replaced by Yahia Jouadi as leader in the south. Now a communiqé supposedly from al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM, ex-GSPC) attributes the recent attack in Mauritania to this latter commander, labeling him the Emir of the Sahara. Either they're split threeways in some amicable division of labor, or Jouadi has moved up front (or some organizationally fuzzy combination of the two);
  • It seems reasonably clear that Belmokhtar, for whatever reason, is no longer the Emir of AQIM's southern branch. I wish to apologize to Mokhtar Belmokhtar, Yahia Jouadi and Abdelmalek Droukdel, and their families, for any damage or inconvenience my statements may have caused.

    Well, what do you know -- commenter Adrian turns out to have a blog with lots of interesting stuff on the Touareg rebellions in Mali & Niger. He also has a meaty thesis on the whole thing, available in PDF. Read! Learn!

    The Rest @ The Western Shara Blogspot

    More(Adrian) @ Arab Media Shack

Droukdel's, Statement about Yahia Jouadi's ( AQIM ) Ambush

Declaration regarding the attack operation of Zouërate in northern Mauritania
  • They carried out a new attack in the city of Zouërate in northern Mauritania
  • The brigades of Moujahidin following the Emir of the Sahara, Yahia Jouadi,
  • They took 12 soldiers prisoners, including a commander by the rank of Captain, and to seize a large quantity of equipment and military matériel, including three cross-country cars
  • A threat that there will be more
  • Signed by The al-Qaida Organization in the Land of the Islamic Maghreb

-Abdelmalik Droukdal, Ramadan 15, 1429 H.

The Rest @ The Western Sahara Blogspot

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Mogadishu Airport Nas No Landings in 2 Days AFter Shabaab Threat

MOGADISHU, Somalia Sep 17 (Garowe Online) - Somalia's Islamist al Shabaab insurgent group issued a public threat earlier this week, warning that the capital Mogadishu's Aden Adde International Airport will not work after September 16.

No planes have landed at the airport since Monday, airport employees told Garowe Online.
Secret talks at Mogadishu' s Bakara market between Islamic Courts officers, local business leaders, airline company officials and al Shabaab fighters, reliable sources said.

The talks are aimed at convincing al Shabaab not to attack commercial airplanes landing at the airport, which is guarded by African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) peacekeepers.
"Our planes cannot land at the airport," said an airline industry source who did not want to be named. But he declined to explain whether or not airline companies are worried about a possible al Shabaab attack.

Somali government officials have maintained that Aden Adde International Airport is open for business, but AMISOM spokesman Major Barigye Bahoku confirmed to reporters that no commercial airplanes have landed in the past two days.

Attacks

  • Several people were killed in insurgent attacks in Mogadishu since Tuesday night, witnesses and officials said.
  • The violence raged across three districts in Mogadishu, including the relatively quiet Kaaraan district and the violence-ridden district of Yaaqshiid.
  • Abdullahi Mohamed Roble, Kaaraan's district commissioner, said the attack on his home and the local police station was "organized by clan militia."
  • "Are there any Ethiopian soldiers here [in Kaaraan] or are some groups against the peace here [in Kaaraan]?" Mr. Roble said in comments to the media.
  • Islamic Courts spokesman Abdirahim Isse Addow claimed responsibility for the attack, saying they killed a few soldiers who had "set up illegal roadblocks" in Kaaraan.
  • In a separate attack, al Shabaab fighters attacked a police station and claimed to have killed six soldiers and lost two fighters during the battle. Somali military officials rejected the claims, arguing that the troops defended themselves against the insurgent attack.
    Witnesses told Garowe Online that two children died when a shell hit their home and a lso wounded their two parents.
  • The Rest @ Garowe Online
    Source: Garowe Online
    More Articles

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

US embassy bombed in Yemeni capital

The US embassy in Yemen was attackedby two cars, witnesses said [AFP]
At least 16 people have been killed in an attack on the US embassy in the Yemeni capital Sanaa by a suicide bomber and armed fighters, the country’s interior ministry has said.

  • A suicide bomber on Wednesday morning drove a car close to the embassy before detonating his explosives, witnesses said, leaving part of the building on fire.
  • Armed men then attacked the embassy from a second car, they said.
  • Six guards, four civilians and six attackers died in the assault, the interior ministry said.
  • A group called Islamic Jihad in Yemen has claimed responsibility for the attack and threatened to target the British, Emirati and Saudi embassies in Sanaa, reports say.
  • From Safhaat - an Islamist Website

Islamic Jihad - Yemen: Statement about Sanaa Bombing

17 September 2008

"We, the organization of Islamic Jihad in Yemen declare our responsibility for the suicide attack on the American embassy in Sanaa,"

"We will carry out the rest of the series of attacks on the other embassies that were declared previously, until our demands are met by the Yemeni government."

(not to be confused with Islamic Jihad in several other places)

The Rest @ The Vancouver Sun

They have threatened attacks before that were carried out by

My Best Guess as to Next Embassy Targets, in order of priority


  • Embassies in the Arabian Peninsula, in Countries other than Saudi Arabia
  • Embassies in Mauritania (AQIM)
  • Embassies in Turkey
  • Embassies in Ivory Coast, Niger, Chad

September 17th Ambush at the Gates of the US Embassy in Yemen

16 dead in car bomb, ambush at US Embassy in Yemen

This is classic Al Qeda Tactics

-Shimron

By AHMED AL-HAJ – 1 hour ago

SAN'A, Yemen (AP) — Attackers armed with automatic weapons, rocket-propelled grenades and at least one suicide car bomb assaulted the U.S. Embassy in the Yemeni capital on Wednesday. Sixteen people were killed, including six assailants, officials said.

The U.S. said no Americans were hurt.

  • Multiple explosions rang out outside the heavily-guarded facility, and gunfire raged for at least 10 minutes at the concrete checkpoints that ring the compound.
  • The dead included six attackers, six Yemeni guards and four civilians, the state news agency SABA reported.
  • Security officials said people lined up for visas were among those killed or wounded.
  • It was the deadliest attack on a compound that has been targeted four times in recent years by bombings, mortars and shootings.

Yemen, the ancestral homeland of Osama bin Laden, has struggled to put down al-Qaida-linked Islamic militants, often to the frustration of U.S. counterterrorism officials.

Just last month, the State Department allowed the return of non-essential personnel and family members who had been ordered to leave after a volley of mortars targeted the embassy. The attack instead hit a girls high school next door, killing a Yemeni security guard and wounding more than a dozen girls.

In the 9:15 am attack Wednesday, gunmen in a vehicle attacked a checkpoint outside the embassy with RPGs and automatic weapons, Yemeni security officials said.

During the assault, suicide bombers in a vehicle made it through the checkpoint and hit a second, inner ring of concrete blocks, and detonated, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the press.

  • SABA, citing an unidentified Interior Ministry official, reported that two suicide car bombs detonated and made no mention of a gunbattle.
  • A senior U.S. official in Washington said at least five detonations were heard — but embassy officials spoke of "secondary explosions," suggesting some could have been RPG blasts.
  • Some of the attackers were dressed as Yemeni troops, and that Yemeni emergency personnel who first rushed to the scene were hit by heavy sniper fire from gunmen who had stationed themselves across the street from the embassy.

Yemeni security officials said a little-known group called Islamic Jihad, unrelated to the Palestinian group of the same name, claimed responsiblity for the attack. But Yemeni authorities have blamed the group in past attacks that have later been claimed by al-Qaida in postings on the Internet.


The explosions hit passers-by and damaged a nearby residential compound where many Westerners live.

  • Smoke rose from near the yellow concrete blocks that ring the embassy.
  • Ryan Gliha, an embassy spokesman, told The Associated Press that at least one car bomb detonated. Speaking by telephone from inside the large embassy compound, he could not immediately say if there was any damage to the facility from the blast outside.
  • At least seven wounded civilians, including children from nearby houses, were taken to the capital's Republican Hospital, a medical official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the press.

American officials were also alarmed when Yemeni courts commuted a death sentence for Jamal al-Badawi, convicted of masterminding the Cole attack, giving him instead 15 years in prison.

The Rest @ The Associated Press

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Mauritanian Coup Leaders Blame AQIM for Ambush of Army Patrol Near Zouerat

Al-Qaeda-linked group kills 12 Mauritanian soldiers: security source
1 day ago

NOUAKCHOTT (AFP) — Members of Al-Qaeda's north African branch killed a dozen Mauritanian soldiers on Monday as they patrolled in the northern part of the country, a security official told AFP.

Members of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), ambushed the unit when they were 70 kilometres (45 miles) east of the mining town of Zouerat, the source said.
  • The official did not know how many people were injured in the attack -- the country's deadliest in three years --
  • but said 10 soldiers managed to return to base afterwards
  • Reinforcements had been sent to the area near the Moroccan border.
  • Seven people were injured in the ambush, including one seriously.

But another security source urged caution: "For now, we have to assume they are missing. We must wait for more information before we can talk about who has died or disappeared."

Opposition politicians blamed the ruling military junta for the attack, suggesting they were more interested in retaining the control they acquired during an August coup than defending their country.

"The army leaders left the borders defenceless against armed groups and brought the military to Nouakchott to defend their powers," opposition lawmaker Khalil Ould Teyeb said at a press conference.


His criticism drew a quick retort from pro-coup deputy Moustapha Ould Abeiderrahmane.
"Our country is victim of an ignoble attack and regardless of our political positions, there are some red lines we cannot cross," he said.

  • Last month a statement by AQIM appeared on the Internet condemning the August 6 military coup in Mauritania and urging the Mauritanian people "to prepare for war."
  • The suspected head of Al-Qaeda in Mauritania, El Khadim Ould Esseman, also urged the country's Muslims not to recognise the ruling military junta, calling it an "infidel regime."

Faced with a mounting threat from Islamic militants, security in Nouakchott was beefed up in the last three days, with checkpoints set up along the capital city's main crossroads.

Monday's ambush took place near Zouerat, "the iron capital," where the national industry and mining company, SNIM, employs a large number of foreign workers.

It also came as the African Union's security and peace commissioner, Ramdane Lamamra, was to meet coup leader General Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz to try to broker an end to the country's constitutional crisis.

More than 30 suspected Islamic militants are being held in Mauritania in connection with the attacks IN April, 2008.

The Rest @ AFP Google

Where do the North African Mujahadin go to Bosnia when leaving Iraq?

Security forces have detected a new trend starting this spring: Dozens of foreign fighters leaving Iraq have found refuge in Bosnia-Herzegovina rather than returning home, according to two senior European anti-terrorism officials. The veterans are assisted by an infrastructure of Arab militants who obtained Bosnian passports after fighting there in the 1990s, officials said.

“They go from Iraq to Bosnia and stay there awhile,” an anti-terrorism official said. “They are mainly North Africans. It’s not easy, but they enter Bosnia and live semi-clandestinely with the help of the mujahedin who have always been there. Eventually some show up in countries like France or Italy.”

The Rest @ Douglas Farah

More @ The Los Anglese California Times

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Islamic Emirate of Somalia - The Leaders by Name

"The administration should include the local clans," he told Garowe Online. It is only "composed of al Shabaab and some former members of the Islamic Courts."
According to the Somaliweyn Media Center, the administration in Kismayo will be broken down as follows:

Provincial Commissioner: Sheikh Abubakar Al Zeylici (Shabaab)
Deputy Commissioner: Abdulqani Mohamed Yussuf (Shabaab)
Head of Security: Abdurahman Ali Ahmed (Shabaab)
Deputy Head of Security: Mohamed Sahal Eidle (Shabaab)
Finance Secretary: Abdiweli Adan Dheriyow (Islamic Courts)
Deputy Finance Secretary: Abraham Ahmed Isse (Islamic Courts)
Head of Islamic Protocol: Khalid Mohamed Adan (Islamic Courts)
Deputy Head of Islamic Protocol: Adurahman Ahmed Adan (Islamic Courts)
Information Secretary: Sheikh Hassan Yacqub Ali (Shabaab)
Deputy Information Secretary: Abdifath Abraham Ali (Shabaab

Islamic Emirate of Somalia breaking away from Somalia

Leaders of Shabaab, the Young Mujahideen Movement in Somalia, stated Friday that the group is preparing for the establishment of an Islamic Emirate and that an announcement is expected within days. The statement came as the group consolidated power in the Lower Juba region, which borders Kenya, and formed a sharia-based administration in Kismayo.Shabaab spokesman Sheikh Mukhtar Robow, who is also known as Abu Mansur, and top leader Sheikh Fuad Mohamed Qalaf told a Paltalk forum organized by the radical al Qimmah Forum that fighters "are close to uniting their ranks" and would integrate under the rule of the Islamic Emirate of Somalia. They said that the formation of the emirate is "imminent" and that an announcement would be made "very soon."..

The Rest @ The Longware Journal.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Condaleez Rice to Vsist Gaddafi, Libya

By Viola Gienger

Sept. 4 (Bloomberg) — Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice plans to travel to North Africa tomorrow to welcome an unlikely ally to the U.S. fight against terrorism: Libya’s Colonel Muammar Qaddafi.

For most of Qaddafi’s 39 years in power, the U.S. listed Libya as a state sponsor of terrorism, including the 1988 bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, and banned American companies from doing business there.

  • Now the country is sharing intelligence with the U.S. about the North African activities of al-Qaeda, the Islamic militants behind the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
  • And U.S. energy, telecommunications and construction companies are vying for billions of dollars in contracts tied to expanded oil production in Libya, which has 3.4 percent of the world’s proven reserves.
  • Qaddafi’s help on intelligence matters has been “exemplary,” said Assistant Secretary of State David Welch, whose negotiations with Libya paved the way for Rice’s visit. “One of the benefits of working with Libya in this area over the last several years is that we’ve been able to expand this kind of cooperation,” he added in an interview.

  • The U.S. is negotiating a military cooperation accord with Libya and says the country is helping stem the flow of foreign fighters into Iraq.
  • Al-Qaeda consolidated Islamist fighters in Algeria and Libya in the past two years under the Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb group, or AQIM.
  • In November, al-Qaeda deputy chief Ayman al-Zawahiri urged his fighters to topple Qaddafi, excoriating his decisions to renounce terrorism and shun nuclear and chemical weapons.
  • Libyans may want to buy aircraft and related equipment to help patrol their borders.

As U.S. officials court Qaddafi, they’ve said little about the regime’s suppression of its own people beyond annual government reports citing its “authoritarian” rule and “poor” record on human rights.

Libya holds political prisoners, torture is widespread and the government allows almost no free press or assembly, said Fred Abrahams, a senior researcher at Human Rights Watch in New York.

The Rest @ Aftermath News

Robow Threatens to Kill Any US Citizen Found

Residence city of kismayo are outraged by what appears to be an organized attack resulting in the killing of humanitarian worker at one pm local time in his house in city of kismayo .

humanitarian worker was from gedo region. jubbaland state of somalia .. Civil society groups and the local are organised protest, according to Hawo Ugas Farah, leader of a women's group and one of the organisers. "We are demonstrating to show our anger and dismay at the murder of people who had came to help us," Farah said. She said it was also meant to show the families and friends of the victims that "the people of Kismayo were grieving with them".

The al shabaab Terrorist are in controlling the town. Al-Shabab is an armed group, once connected to the Islamic Courts Union, which is now in conflict with the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia and the Ethiopian military forces supporting them.

On Thursday 8 May 2008, Muqtar Robow now in kismayo with hassan turki was reported in Somali press as saying that Al Shabab “will kill American citizens in Somalia, even if they are journalists and aid workers”. [ in Kismayo ]

This threat was issued the day after a driver contracted by the World Food Program was killed by members of a militia after being stopped at a roadblock 30 kilometers north of Galkayo in Mudug region.

This is the second driver contracted by the WFP to have been killed during a militia attack in Somalia this year. None of the militia is considered to be linked to Al-Shabab.

The Food Security Analysis Unit for Somalia has recently warned that the dire humanitarian situation in Somalia continues to worsen. The combination of drought and rising food prices, in addition to persistent insecurity and armed conflict, has pushed 2.6 million Somalis to the point where they require essential humanitarian assistance.

There is no excuse for attacks on humanitarian workers in any conflict, regardless of their nationality. Amnesty International calls on all armed groups to end attacks on civilians, including humanitarian workers, and to give assurances that their status as neutral non-combatants will be respected. Armed groups that are preventing humanitarian access during this period would be contributing to, and increasing, the risk of widespread starvation among the Somali people.


In Memoriam http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/pr/release.cfm?id=2490

The Rest @ Terror Free Somalia

Nigerian Fighting with Shabaab Killed by Ethipean Troops

Ethiopian Army Kill 10 Rebels in Somalia

September 5, 2008

The Ethiopian army on Friday evening said it killed 10 Al-Shabaab fighters including one Nigerian who was fighting alongside the belligerents in Somalia. An Ethiopian Television (ETV) reporter in Mogadishu said the peacekeepers were engaged in a battle with the Somalian Al Shabaab militia when they attempted to ambush the army.

The incident occurred on route from Baidowa to Dollo.
Reports said the Nigerian fighter was identified as Saad Mohammed Al Sad but gave no further details on the man’s identification.

The ETV report also indicated that the Ethiopian army also seized a quantity of assorted arms as well as a vehicle that was used by the fighters.


The Rest @ Net News Publisher

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Who is al Jabberi?

HARGEISA, Somalia Sep 4 (Garowe Online) - A Somali politician in the country's northwestern breakaway republic of Somaliland was released Thursday after spending a month in jail, Radio Garowe reported.

Somaliland opposition dismisses govt al Shabaab allegations]

Hersi Haji Ali, who resigned from the Somaliland Election Commission, was released by order from President Dahir Riyale.

Mr. Hersi was not formally charged with any crime, but Somaliland Interior Minister Abdullahi Irro had accused the politician of having "links to al Shabaab," a militant group spearheading an anti-Ethiopia insurgency in south-central Somalia.

Sources in the Somaliland capital Hargeisa said Mr. Hersi's arrest was linked to his opposition to the Somaliland administration's agreement with Saudi Arabian company al Jabberi, which gave the company exclusive rights to export livestock via the Port of Berbera.

The Somaliland Livestock Traders' Union, for which Mr. Hersi was deputy chairman, opposes the al Jabberi deal on grounds it gives a foreign company a "monopoly" in the most important sector of the local economy.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Robow and Shabaab Carry out First Ramadan Attacks

MOGADISHU, Sept. 3 (Xinhua) -- Five people have been killed and more than fourteen others wounded in Mogadishu after fierce skirmishes broke out between Somali government forces and insurgent fighters, witnesses said Wednesday.

"Two people died after they were hit by stray bullets in our neighborhood and four others were severely wounded," Hussein Isse, an eyewitness in Wardigley district of Mogadishu where some of the fighting took place, told Xinhua.

The fighting began after Islamist insurgent attacked government military bases around the presidential palace in Mogadishu with mortars and rocket propelled grenades while government forces responded with heavy artillery shells in and around Bakara market in the south of the restive Somali capital.

Witnesses in Bakara market, the largest in Somalia, said that two more civilians were killed by the shrapnel while six others were injured.

Somali government military spokesman confirmed that insurgent fighters attacked their positions in the early hours of the morning. He said that the fighters were repulsed back.
Meanwhile, Sheik Muqtar Robow, spokesman for Al-shabaab Islamist fighters, claimed that his fighters "inflicted heavy losses" on Somali government troops. He did not elaborate. But he said that one of his fighters was "martyred" and four others wounded in the fighting.

Speaking in a press conference by phone, Robow told reporters that his group would intensify their attacks on Somali government forces and Ethiopian troops during the holy month of Ramadan which started three days ago

"We will increase our attacks on the enemy of Allah during this holy month because we are fighting in the way of Allah and we will go to heaven should anyone of us die," Robow said.


The Rest @ China View

Libya to Shut Down Most of Gvt in 2009

Libyan leader, Colonel Muammar al-Qadhafi, has confirmed his intention to abolish most government departments from the start of 2009, and to hand over the country's oil revenue directly to citizens to spend as they see fit.


  • Colonel Qadhafi first outlined his vision for a whittled down government in his address in March to the General People's Congress (GPC), an annual gathering of the popular committees that notionally hold power in his "jamahiriyya" (entity of the masses).
  • Little more was heard on the subject over the subsequent months. However, Colonel Qadhafi returned to this theme in a speech delivered in Benghazi to a rally marking the anniversary of the Fateh revolution that he launched on seizing power on September 1st 1969.
  • He said that the new system of direct distribution of sovereign revenue would go into effect in four months time.
  • He said that the only ministries that would remain would be those dealing with sovereign affairs: justice, security, defence and foreign relations.
  • It would be up to the people to establish new entities to channel the funds that would be allocated proportionately from oil export revenue into activities such as health and education.

Ultimately, people would form companies to undertake projects such as the construction of houses, roads, bridges and airports. He observed that this was the only means to avoid funds being wasted in corrupt bureaucracy—repeating his earlier description of government as an octopus, sucking up the country's wealth and providing little of value in return.

  • Assuming oil exports of 1.5m barrels/day, a price of about US$110/barrel and a Libyan population of 5.6m, the plan would entail about US$1,000 per month being available for every Libyan man, woman and child.
  • Colonel Qadhafi's initiative reflects his evident frustration with the failure of Libya to take advantage of the combination of rising oil prices and a dramatic improvement in relations with the West to press ahead with economic development and modernisation.

Over the past five years, he has lent his support to a core group of Western-educated officials who have sought to reform the economy through opening the system up to private sector investment. However, progress has been painfully slow, owing to the lack of effective centralised decision-making and to obstacles erected by vested interests within the security elite.

  • Public investment in infrastructure and services has similarly been held back by the chaotic state of the Libyan regulatory and administrative systems.
  • His second-eldest son, Saif al-Islam, has been closely identified with the efforts to modernise Libya's government, but he has recently announced his withdrawal from active political life.

Colonel Qadhafi's proposals incorporate some of the ideas put forward by Saif al-Islam, notably in the promotion of private enterprise and the reduction of the powers of the bureaucracy. However, it is doubtful whether Saif al-Islam had in mind the wholesale destruction of the apparatus of government.

His denials of any differences with his father or with the "old guard" were hardly convincing.Saif al-Islam may have made a shrewd decision to step away from the limelight for a while. Colonel Qadhafi's plan—if indeed it is implemented—is likely to be every bit as chaotic as some of his previous initiatives, for example the early-1980s move to abolish retail trade and services such as hairdressing on the grounds that they were petit bourgeois.

The Rest @ Viewswire, The Economists, Econommic Intelligence Unit

Sweden's Somalian Terrorist Financing Network al Barakaat to Reopen

The European Court of Justice in Luxemburg has annulled a 2005 ruling against a Sweden-based Somali banking network which had its assets frozen due to suspicions of ties to terrorism.

Because those associated with the al Barakaat International Foundation, based in the Stockholm suburb of Spånga, had no way to defend themselves against the charges, the Court of Justice ruled that their fundamental rights had been violated.

“It’s with great joy that this ruling has come. Time after time we have said that we are subjected to a violation of our legal rights, and the judgment confirms that,” said Abdirisak Aden, one of the three Somali-born Swedes who were singled out by the United Nations, the EU, and Sweden has associating with terrorists and had their assets frozen as a result.

Thomas Olsson, who handled the case for the three Swedes and their organization, sees the decision as good news for everyone who has used the informal al Barakaat banking network for sending money to relatives back in Somalia.

“But this is also an unbelievable relief for all of us. The court showed that human rights must be enforced when we are fighting terrorism, and that there is a guarantee that the battle is about something which is worth protecting, namely the democratic state governed by law,” he said.

  • The court also nullified the regulations which made the freezing of al Barakaat’s assets possible.
  • In setting aside the 2005 ruling, the court concluded that “the rights of the defence, in particular the right to be heard, and the right to effective judicial review of those rights, were patently not respected”.

The al Barakaat asset freeze took place following the September 11th, 2001 terror attacks in New York and Washington.At the time, the United States Treasury Department generated a list of individuals and organizations it saw as having ties to terrorism.

The list was subsequently accepted in its entirety by the United Nations, which in turn created its own list. As a UN member, Sweden was required to make legislative changes in order to enact the provisions.

In addition to al Barakaat, three Somali-born Swedes were affected by the new asset-freezing legislation.

The Rest @ RaxanReeb Blog