Sunday, March 29, 2009
By JULIUS BARIGABA
In the wake of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) withdrawal from a three-month operation in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kampala has quietly deployed another 1,000 soldiers in conflict-ravaged Somalia, The EastAfrican has learnt.
Senior army officers in Kampala confirmed last week that at least 1,000 troops have been on Somali territory for over a week now, despite growing concerns that the presence in Somalia of Uganda’s army poses a serious terrorist danger to the country.
“We’ve completed deployment of another battalion. We now have two battalions standing in Somalia,” said General Aronda Nyakairima, UPDF Chief of Defence Forces.
Army spokesman Major Felix Kulayigye added that this is an “augmentation force” deployed at the request of the African Union.
In the same sprit, Burundi, the other country that has an AU peacekeeping mission in Somalia, will also send more troops to reinforce its contingent.
With 1,600 UPDF soldiers already in place, the new force brings to 2,600 the number of Ugandan troops in the Horn of Africa country.
But apart from being done swiftly — and without parliamentary approval — this recent deployment is surrounded by a number of other curious developments, top of which is the recent visit of new Somali President Sheikh Ahmed Sharif to Kampala, and more critically, the call ostensibly issued by terror mastermind Osama bin Laden to overthrow Sharif.
The death threat came just days after the Somali leader’s visit to Kampala, long suspected to be a target of Islamist terrorists because it is seen as an agent of Anglo-American interests in the Horn of Africa — Uganda was after all the first country to send troops to Somalia in 2007. The threats to Mr Sharif, and his allies should be a cause for alarm, but Gen Nyakairima says the army is unfazed.
“We have been hearing about bin Laden’s threats for a long time. He was living with (LRA leader) Joseph Kony in 1995 and 1996 in the Sudan. He will not stop us, because we have been invited by the international community and Africa union (AU).”
During Mr Sharif’s visit, it emerged that Uganda had been secretly training nearly 600 Somali nationals on Ugandan territory, under a programme jointly funded by the AU and Kampala. The trainees have passed out and are now deployed alongside the Ugandan troops in Somalia, sources said.
Apparently, bin Laden accuses Mr Sharif of taking inducements from the Americans in Nairobi.
Analysts say the Kampala visit was to persuade Mr Sharif to align himself with the Western agenda. A product of the Islamic courts, Mr Sharif is seen as a different kettle of fish from his “progressive” predecessor Abdullahi Yusuf, who was seen as more pro-West
Mr Yusuf was removed after he sacked his Prime Minister early this year, setting the stage for his own removal and the re-emergence of Mr Sharif, who as leader of the Islamic Courts Union that was responsible for the six-months administration that successfully restored calm to Mogadishu in 2007 before being thrown out by US-backed Ethiopian forces.
This is not the first time Uganda is training Somali troops, having earlier concluded training of another special unit of 100. Such actions are said to have annoyed radical Islamist al-Shabaab militia elements in Somalia, hence the concerns over terror attacks against Uganda.
For instance, early this month, a Russian-made private plane, an Ilyushin-76, plunged into Lake Victoria 10 kilometres south of Entebbe Airport, from where it had just taken off, killing all 11 people on board.
The plane was supposed to deliver “water purifiers” to the peacekeepers in Mogadishu, but its crash has since elicited loaded comments from government officials who said they “cannot rule out terrorism.”
Days after the crash, the Russian news agency ITAR-TASS quoted the plane’s owner as saying it had been hit by a rocket from a grenade launcher or a Stinger missile.
On board the plane were South African nationals, Ugandans, a Russian and a senior Burundi army officer who was returning to peacekeeping duties in Mogadishu. Only Burundi and Uganda have sent peacekeeping forces to Somalia.
But the army spokesman said the UPDF presence in Somalia cannot be linked with the plane crash until the black box and flight data are retrieved from the fuselage, which is still embedded in the mud of the lakebed.
“Do not link the two. The crash is an accident until the black box is found,” said Major Kulaigye. “This is not the first time terrorists have threatened this region; as a peacekeeping force, we are on the lookout.”
But a Muslim scholar Imam Kasozi said that by deploying more troops, Uganda was signalling that “we are now preparing for war” against al-Shabaab.
“Let’s not forget, we went into Somalia on behalf of the US, which two years ago paid Uganda $10 million to enable the troops to travel to Mogadishu. But two years later, is there any peace to keep in Mogadishu? No. It means they are now preparing for war.”
The UPDF says Uganda’s peacekeeping mission to Somalia has lost only seven soldiers since the first day of deployment in 2007.
A member of the African Union and the Inter Governmental Authority on Development, Uganda was the only country to send troops — even though more than six countries had committed to do so — raising questions over its motivation for rushing in where other AU member states feared to tread.
The answer came during President Sharif’s visit when Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni said, “You can’t see your neighbour in a problem and you remain silent.”
Mid this month, UPDF pulled out of Congo, where the army had been carrying out aerial and ground assaults since December 14, 2008 in pursuit of the Lord’s Resistance Army rebels
This appears reading to have freed up the extra UPDF troops for the AU mission. With its continuing focus on Somalia, Kampala is trying to consolidate its image as the region’s most forthright peacekeeper against all odds.
Original Source: The East African (Kenya)
-Here are excerpts from their web site.
"...Since its birth, NJ has never closed the door to a negotiated solution to resolve the conflict that opposes the power of Niamey. The authorities in Niamey should be ready with honest dialogue. They must leave their position which is to continue to freeze asking NJ to 'uncoonditionally drop their arms and return to submit to the will of the regime' .n
We announced on 06/03/09 that we will release our prisoners of war with the exception of one officer, responsible for serious crimes against the innocent civilians.
To Show good will and openness to dialogue. the 06 remaining prisoners [Wer released] in the night of 12 to 13/03/09 at Niamey. [Niger]. We wish them good reunion with their families.
- The Movement.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
He allegedly helped resolve clan factions so that they could form a government to oppose the Shabaab.
I am wondering if this means he had influence with the ARS, who defected from the Islamists recently.
Either way, I am wondering which Group Bashir was funding....
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir called Monday on all African, Arab and Islamic countries to support the new Somali government to boost peace, security and stability in Somalia and to end the long-time suffering of the Somali people.
Al-Bashir made the remarks during a meeting with new Somali President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed on the situations in Somalia and the positive developments it had witnessed.
At the end of the meeting, al-Bashir stressed Sudan's keenness on peace and stability in Somalia, and expressed optimism that the newly-elected Somali government with a broad base in the country would start a new era in which Somalia enjoys development and stability.
Al-Bashir said he hoped Sudanese-Somali relations would witness continuous development.
The Somali president, on his part, said his country rejects the allegations of the International Criminal Court (ICC) against the Sudanese president.
The allegations, which served as the base of an arrest warrant against al-Bashir, targeted Sudan's sovereignty and dignity, he said.
Early this month, The Hague-based ICC issued an arrest warrant against al-Bashir for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity in the country's restive western region of Darfur between2003 and 2008.
The Somali president lauded Sudan's role towards the realization of reconciliation between Somali factions and boosting peace efforts in his country.
He stressed that Sudan was capable of solving all its issues in consultation with the Arab and African countries without intervention of others.
The Somali president briefed his Sudanese counterpart on the current situation in Somalia, the reconciliation and consultation efforts aimed at supporting the new government in Somalia to enable the country to restore its local and regional role.
Somalia's new government was sworn in in Djibouti City in February.
Somalia, a nation of about 8 million people, has not had a functioning national government since warlords overthrew Siad Barre in 1991 and then turned on each other.
The Rest @ Somaliweyn
“Today the 24th of March the Islamic Movement of Al-Shabab has formed an administration in the town of Baidoa the headqurters of Bay region, and the regional commissioner from today henceforth is Sheikh Abdi Hafid Omar Ibrahim” said the chairman of Al-Shabab movement in the regions of Bay and Bakool Sheikh Hassan Mohammed Ali Best known as (Abuu Ayman) in a press conference.
The former administration of Bay region is currently fugitive in the Somali, Ethiopian border town of El- Barde, and in the course of last week their was deadly battle between the forces loyal to Al-Shabab and that of the Somali government in the town of Rabdhure some 180km northwest of Baidoa town. In that battle the Al-Shabab movement has claimed victory and said that it has killed 16 of the Somali government soldiers while the Somali government officials called the victory null and void.
Mohammed Omar Hussein +2521-5519235 email@example.com
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Islamist Robow Explains that after Somlia they will go to the whole earth with Jihad and bring Sharia, whether they like it or not.
The video also shows him desecrating a a Sufi toumb.
- MBARUSHIMANA, Callixte, Thiais, France; Paris, France; DOB 24 Jul 1963; POB Ndusu/Ruhengeri, Northern Province, Rwanda; alt. POB Ruhengeri Province, Rwanda; citizen Rwanda; FDLR Executive Secretary (individual) [DRCONGO]
- MUDACUMURA, Sylvestre (a.k.a. COMMANDANT PHARAON; a.k.a. MUKANDA; a.k.a. MUPENZI, Bernard; a.k.a. MUPENZI, General Pierre Bernard; a.k.a. RADJA), Kibua, North Kivu, Congo, Democratic Republic of the; DOB 1955; POB Karago, Western Province, Rwanda; citizen Rwanda; Major General; Commander FDLR/FOCA (individual) [DRCONGO]
- MUJYAMBERE, Leopold (a.k.a. ACHILLE; a.k.a. IBRAHIM, Frere Petrus; a.k.a. MUSENYERI), Mwenga, South Kivu Province, Congo, Democratic Republic of the; DOB 17 Mar 1962; alt. DOB 1966; POB Kigali, Rwanda; citizen Rwanda; Colonel; Commander, FDLR CO 2nd Division (individual) [DRCONGO]
- NTAWUNGUKA, Pacifique (a.k.a. COLONEL OMEGA; a.k.a. NTAWUNGULA, Pacifique; a.k.a. NZERI), Peti, Walikale, Masisi Border, Congo, Democratic Republic of the; DOB 1 Jan 1964; alt. DOB 1964; POB Gaseke, Gisenyi Province, Rwanda; Colonel; Commander of FDLR 1st Division (individual) [DRCONGO]
- NZEYIMANA, Stanislas (a.k.a. BIGARUKA; a.k.a. BIGARUKA IZABAYO, Deogratias; a.k.a. BIGARURA; a.k.a. IZABAYO DEO), Kalonge, Masisi, North Kivu, Congo, Democratic Republic of the; Kibua, Congo, Democratic Republic of the; DOB 1 Jan 1966; alt. DOB 28 Aug 1966; alt. DOB 1967; POB Mugusa (Butare), Rwanda; citizen Rwanda; Brig. General; Deputy Overall Commander FOCA (individual) [DRCONGO]
Taylor, who headed the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL), became the country’s President in 1997. He is currently held by the United Nations in The Hague, pending trial for crimes against humanity.
The allegations were made at the recent Economic Crimes Hearing of Liberia’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Monrovia by Imants Liepiņš, an ivestigator with the Public Investigation Bureau, a business intelligence firm based in Riga, Latvia.
Mr. Liepiņš, who is a recent nominee for UNESCO’s 2009 World Press Freedom Prize, presented his findings during an official hearing titled “Economic Crimes, Corruption and the Conflict in Liberia: Policy Options for an Emerging Democracy and Sustainable Peace”.
AN INTRICATE NETWORK
Liberia’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which aims to unearth human rights violations and the exploitation of the country’s natural or public resources to perpetuate war, heard last Thursday that Roger D’Onofrio
Ruggiero, an Italian-American 40-year veteran of the CIA, worked with Charles Taylor and others to channel diamonds into Europe through a number of front-companies.
According to the allegations, D’Onofrio, who at the time lived outside Naples, Italy, helped organize the smuggling operation with Ibrahim Bah.
Bah is a Senegalese with Libyan connections, who at that time was a member of Liberia’s Revolutionary United Front, a guerilla group that fought unsuccessfully against the government throughout the 1990s. According to Douglas Farah’s book Blood from Stones (Broadway Books, 2004), Bah was connected with D’Onofrio in the 1970s, when the former was funded by the CIA to join the Mujahedeen in Afghanistan in the war against the Soviet Red Army.
In the early 1990s, Bah, who by then had established al-Qaeda connections, became Charles Taylor’s “Minister for Mineral Resources”, a post that enabled him to handle the majority of NPFL’s diamonds-for-arms deals.
SLOVENIANS, AMERICANS AND OTHERS
Bah is alleged to have also drawn on his Libyan connections to involve in the smuggling operation representatives of Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi.
The smuggling was conducted through a front-company, International Business Consultant Ltd, and Kintex, a Bulgarian import-export company with offices in Switzerland.
- Kintex “supplied weapons and bullets to [International Business Consultant Ltd] and sold diamonds in return, camouflaged as oranges and olives”.
- This was allegedly done with the help of a Swiss lawyer, Rudolf Meroni.
During last Thursday’s presentation in Monrovia, Imants Liepiņš recounted D’Onofrio’s 1995 testimony before Italian prosecutors, in which the former CIA agent admitted he owned shares in International Business Consultant Ltd, as did Charles Taylor, Ibrahim Bah, and others.
Interestingly, Liepiņš revealed that among the shareholders was Nill Taylor (no relation to Charles Taylor), an American who claimed to be “a representative of the US Government” (though not apparently connected with the US Embassy in Monrovia, which in the 1990s was headed by a series of interim chargés d’affaires).
Nill Taylor, who met with D’Onofrio in Liberia on at least one occasion, was an associate of Nicolas Oman, a notorious Slovenian weapons smuggler who was rewarded for his services to Charles Taylor by being named Liberia’s honorary consul in Slovenia.
Oman’s son, who lives in Australia, was appointed Liberia’s honorary consul in the county until 2006, when his family’s weapons smuggling ventures became the subject of a diplomatic row between Slovenia and Australia.
A RENEGADE AGENT
Mr. Liepiņš’ allegations have made headlines throughout Liberia, but have yet to appear in any mainstream Western media outlet.
This is extremely disappointing in light of the fact that these allegations about D’Onofrio are not new.
- In 1995, the former CIA agent was arrested by Italian police officers investigating a money laundering and arms smuggling operation into the former Yugoslavia.
- Italian authorities charged D’Onofrio, whom the local press dubbed “Specter’, “after James Bond’s arch-enemy”, with using CIA “contacts [he] made during the 40 years he worked for the US intelligence agency to organize illegal financial deals and arms shipments”.
- These reportedly included a foiled attempt to supply Slovenian arms smugglers with osmium, a chemical element used to manufacture nuclear detonators.
* Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis has been writing and teaching on the politics of intelligence for over ten years. His areas of academic expertise include the institutional analysis of the intelligence community; the interception of communications; and the history of intelligence with particular reference to international espionage during the Cold War. He is co-founder and Senior Editor of intelNews.org.
The wife of Siyabonga C. Cwele, South Africa's Minister of Intelligence, has been implicated by South African and Brazilian authorities in an international drugs trafficking case.
Sheryl Cwele, whose husband has headed South Africa's intelligence Ministry since last September, was found to have exchanged dozens of emails, letters and text messages with a woman arrested last June in Brazil, while secretly transporting over $300,000-worth of raw cocaine.
The woman, Tessa Beetge, from Margate, a resort town in KwaZulu-Natal, traveled last summer from South Africa to Colombia and Peru, and from there to São Paulo, Brazil, where she was arrested on June 13, while transiting through on a flight to Johannesburg.
The Rest @ Intelnews
His next points are directly along Islamist radicilisation party lines, He accuses, without adequate support:
- Impotent Secular Pan - Arab Entities
- Islamic Armies held at bay by Secular Arab Country Leaders, unable to help the Mujaheddin in countries all over the world
- The Crime of privatisation of Muslim Resources around the world that belong to the Ummah (oil, for example)
" However, the signs of awakening for the return of the Khilafah are now clear for all to see....."
It is here He exposes al Aqeda's current strategy:
- The proof of this can be seen in the growing gulf between the rulers and the ruled; (Create dissention in Secular Islamic States between their leaders and righteous Muslims -Manufacture a Crisis)
- the speeches and Khutbahs in universities and mosques throughout the Muslim world that call for a sincere and rightly guided Khilafahto lead the Ummah; (The radicalisation- Propose the Khilafah as the solution to the Ummah)
- witness the mass demonstrations against the bombing and killing of innocent Muslims by US and UK forces in Karachi, Jakarta, Hebron, Dhaka and other places; (Manufacture Demonstrations and Riots to destabilize secular Arab Regimes)
- the increasingly brutal methods and oppression that the regimes are forced to use to quell the desire for political change such as in Egypt and Uzbekistan. (Provoke a harsh response from secular leaders)
- It can also be seen by the actions of the colonial powers who realise that the rulers they imposed upon the Muslim world have no support and no legitimacy, hence they are forced to resort to occupying Muslim lands and cementing their presence through military bases. (convince left - leaning politicians in the west that Muslims just want to be left alone)
- The global reawakening for Khilafah can also be seen in the desperate and pathetic attempts by the regimes and their scholars, who they have bought for a cheap price, to malign, slander and attack the idea of Khilafah. ( malign, slander and attack anyone who suggest that Khilafah proponents are manipulating the Ummah toward unleashing the armies of Islam across the world )
- They lie by saying that the Khilafah cannot be established in the modern age, that Islam and politics do not mix, that sectarian differences are too great, that the western powers are too powerful and that the Ummah of Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم can never be unified. (Now he is reduced to calling everyone a liar)
here is the article....
The 3rd of March is a date that is etched into the history of the Muslim Ummah as one of its darkest days ever. It was on this date in the fateful year of 1924 CE that the last vestige of legitimate Islamic rule was ended. The office of Khilifah was abolished by the treacherous Mustafa Kamal and the Muslim Ummah has since then been plunged in to darkness and humiliation. Thus any trace of the Uthmani Khilafah was extinguished as the 101st Khaleefah of Islam, Abdul Mejid II was exiled from the now secular Republic of Turkey.
His banishment from the land of Anatolia with little more than a suitcase and some cash was the beginning of the humiliation that the Muslim world has suffered to this very day. With what was described as the shield of the Muslims by the Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم - now in exile, the Ummah was set to be subjected to numerous tragedies that would involve against it murderous wars, foreign occupation, economic strangulation, political manipulation as well as a cultural colonialism that sought to distance the Muslim world from the concept of Islamic ruling and the obligation of living under the Khilafah.
With the sole legitimate leadership of the Muslims, the Khilafah, destroyed the lands of Islam were divided in to numerous statelets and disputed territories. These new entities were established along the lines of ethnicity, sectarianism and racism by the colonialist powers of the day in an attempt to ensure that Muslim Ummah would never rise again.
Nationalism that was nurtured by the colonialists in the run up to the destruction of the Khilafah helped to ensure that these new entities would remain at loggerheads, never to think of uniting again. In addition, the blessed land of Palestine was occupied, its inhabitants dispersed so as assuage the West’s guilt and a great injustice was committed in establishing the state of Israel.
Any attempts to replicate the power of a unitary leadership of the Muslim world were replaced by pathetic and impotent bodies such as Arab League and the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC).
These organisations were designed to perpetuate disunity and division as they preserved the borders and barriers betweens Muslims that the colonialists had established. These states have never had the interests of Islam and the Muslims at heart. This can be seen to this day, as the OIC and Arab League issue countless resolutions on issues such as Palestine and Iraq without ever actually doing anything to change the status quo. These resolutions are but lip service by the insincere leaders of these entities to the cause of Islam, designed solely to pacify their Muslim populations into thinking that Islam cannot solve the Ummah’s problems.
These rulers have committed far more heinous crimes against the Muslims than simply issuing empty resolutions.
Western colonialism put in place a motley crew of dictators, monarchs, autocrats and downright puppets that have served their colonial masters in a manner more loyal than their own populations.
Successive rulers have betrayed the interests of Muslims. With their brutality and lack of self-respect seemingly having no limits, the Muslim rulers are falling over themselves in an attempt to please. For example,
- Qatar today hosts the largest airstrip in the Middle East, to be used exclusively by the US Air Force to bomb Muslim lands and control the skies of the Middle East.
- Bahrain, which previously hosted the naval forces of the British Empire, now serves as the base for the US Navy’s 5th Fleet.
- Almost every nation in the Muslim world today has facilitated the military aims of the various colonial at some point.
- Present day Pakistan, in a clear contradiction of General Musharraf’s own motto of “Pakistan First”, is engaging in a war with his own people whilst compromising the sovereignty of the country in allowing US troops to act with impunity. Deploying his powerful military not to defend Muslims from aggression, he has made the Pakistani Armed forces nothing more than mercenaries. They are forced to act as mercenaries by the regime for some paltry economic aid for a corrupt government whilst the blood and honour of their brothers and sisters is violated on a global scale.
- Due to these tyrannical rulers the armies of the Muslim world have been held back, shackled to their bases, unable to come to the aid of their brethren in
- the Balkans,
or anywhere else that conflict rages.
Since the destruction of the Khilafah in 1924 there has been an assault on the resources in the Muslim lands.
- Starting with the 100-year contracts signed with western oil companies to drill for oil in the 1930’s, lucrative contracts are being signed by western agencies for natural resources that rightfully belong to the Ummah. The most recent of which have been the colonial style Production Sharing Agreements (PSA’s) for Iraqi oil.
- These agreements mean that Iraq oil will be privatised, ending up in the hands of foreign, mostly US, oil companies. In addition to this, these agreements spell out that these oil companies will make up to a massive 75% profit on the oil, with 65 of Iraq’s roughly 80 known oil fields being offered to these companies for exploration. In the words of Dick Cheney during his time as Haliburton CEO in 1999 who said, “By 2010 we will need [a further] 50 million barrels a day. The Middle East, with two-thirds of the oil and the lowest cost, is still where the prize lies.”
Even the wealth that has been generated has not been utilised by the rulers for the benefit of the people or to secure long-term independence and self-sufficiency. A lack of investment in education, employment and technological infrastructure means that billions of dollars are wasted on importing resources, which could be developed at home. It is shocking that Iran, the world’s fourth largest oil producer, can only produce 57% of the nation’s daily petrol consumption due to a lack of refineries.
The Muslim world has indeed seen destruction, devastation and calamity for the past 83 years.
However, the signs of awakening for the return of the Khilafah are now clear for all to see. The proof of this can be seen in the growing gulf between the rulers and the ruled; the speeches and Khutbahs in universities and mosques throughout the Muslim world that call for a sincere and rightly guided Khaleefah to lead the Ummah; witness the mass demonstrations against the bombing and killing of innocent Muslims by US and UK forces in Karachi, Jakarta, Hebron, Dhaka and other places; the increasingly brutal methods and oppression that the regimes are forced to use to quell the desire for political change such as in Egypt and Uzbekistan. It can also be seen by the actions of the colonial powers who realise that the rulers they imposed upon the Muslim world have no support and no legitimacy, hence they are forced to resort to occupying Muslim lands and cementing their presence through military bases. The global reawakening for Khilafah can also be seen in the desperate and pathetic attempts by the regimes and their scholars, who they have bought for a cheap price, to malign, slander and attack the idea of Khilafah. They lie by saying that the Khilafah cannot be established in the modern age, that Islam and politics do not mix, that sectarian differences are too great, that the western powers are too powerful and that the Ummah of Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم can never be unified.
Eyewitnesses said smoke was coming out of the police station, located in the capital’s Sitara Market, after the blast, which was so loud that it shattered windowpanes of the surrounding buildings.
The injured were being shifted to nearby hospitals and the police have cordoned off the area.
The bomber blew himself up when a police guard stopped him at the gate of the police’s special branch, located in the heart of the city, just a few hundred yards away from the headquarters of the premier military Inter-Service Intelligence agency.
‘One policeman died in the explosion while another was critically wounded,’ Interior Secretary Kamal Shah said. Several civilians were also injured.
- The blast damaged a mosque adjacent to the police office.
- A witness said the suicide bomber was in his 20s. ‘
He argued with the police guard for quite some time and then detonated himself,’ said Ramzan Ahmad.
Pakistan has seen a series of suicide attacks over the last two years, including several in Islamabad and its adjoining garrison city of Rawalpindi.
Last week, 11 people died in a suicide bombing on a busy street near a bus depot in Rawlapindi and more than a dozen were injured.
‘Both attacks are inter-linked. Their objective is to scare the security personnel,’ Pakistan’s top security official Rehman Malik told reporters at the scene.
The Rest @ GAEA News
Libyan Airlines (Arabic: الخطوط الجوية الليبية; transliterated: al-Khutut al-Jawiyah al-Libiyah), formerly known as Libyan Arab Airlines, is the national flag carrier airline of Libya, based in Tripoli.
It operates scheduled passenger and cargo services within Libya and to Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. Its main base is Tripoli International Airport.
- The airline carried 885,000 passengers in 2007, of which 40% travelled on domestic services. It expects to carry 950,000 passengers this year.
- Libyan Airlines and Afriqiyah Airways, Libya's other state carrier, have recently been grouped under Libyan African Aviation Holding Company, an umbrella organisation created to oversee a co-ordinated development of Libya's air transport sector.
- The airline is also a member of the Arab Air Carriers Organization and the International Air Transport Association.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Published: March 17, 2009
A Palestinian-born businessman was convicted in New York Tuesday on charges that he conspired with the Syrian arms dealer Monzer al-Kassar in a plot to sell weapons, including 15 surface-to-air missiles, to a Columbian terrorist organization.
The businessman, Tareq Mousa al-Ghazi, was told that the arms would be used to kill American military officers, the evidence showed.
Mr. Ghazi, 62, is the third man found guilty in the plot, which involved an elaborate sting operation run by the Drug Enforcement Administration, which used informants who posed as middlemen and said they were seeking the weapons for a Columbian rebel group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC.
Prosecutors said the men also agreed to sell 4,000 grenades, nearly 9,000 assault rifles and thousands of pounds of explosives to the FARC for a profit of more than $1 million.
Mr. Ghazi was acquitted of a broader charge, conspiring to kill Americans generally. But he was convicted of three conspiracy counts, including the plot to kill American military officers and providing material assistance to a terrorist group.
Mr. Kassar, who the authorities say had been involved in arms trafficking since the 1970s, was convicted along with an associate in November and sentenced to 30 years in prison.
The associate, Luis Felipe Moreno Godoy, received 25 years in prison.
Mr. Ghazi faces a minimum of 25 years in prison and could receive a life term when he is sentenced by Judge Jed S. Rakoff of Federal District Court in Manhattan.
Mr. Ghazi’s lawyer, Marc A. Agnifilo, said he would appeal. At trial, he argued that his client had been entrapped by the government, lured into the plot as a way for the government to apprehend Mr. Kassar.
But prosecutors denied that, saying Mr. Ghazi had been a willing and ready participant. “He did everything he could to get the deal done and get paid,” a prosecutor, Boyd M. Johnson III, told the jury.
Jurors interviewed after the verdict said they spent more than a day discussing the question of entrapment, but ultimately rejected it after receiving clarification on the law from the judge.
The Rest @ The New York Times
March 15 (Bloomberg)
-- Sudan’s oil production will increase by 28 percent this year, unaffected by the conflict with the International Criminal Court about war crimes in the Darfur region, Oil Minister Al-Zubair Ahmed Al-Hassan said.
To lift production, Sudan is relying on Asian companies like Malaysia’s Petroliam Nasional Bhd. and China National Petroleum Corp that are less prone to be swayed by international pressure than Western companies, Al-Hassan said in an interview with Bloomberg in Vienna. “We depend on Asian companies, not Western companies,” he said.
On March 4, the International Criminal Court issued a warrant for the arrest of Sudanese President Umar al-Bashir on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur. Bashir rejected the court’s indictment.
Sudan’s crude oil production will increase to 600,000 barrels a day by the end of the year, from 470,000 barrels a day now, Al-Zubair said, speaking on the sideline of a meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, in which the eastern African nation is an observer.
Sudan will proceed with plans to seek bids this year from foreign oil companies to explore three areas, he said.
The Rest @ Bloomberg
Sunday, March 15, 2009
This is new article is the first clue about who kidnapped Fowler. MNJ, take note, the kidnappers appear to NOT have been the government. I wonder if the Tuareg believe that al Qaeda really has their best interest at heart, if they captured their best peace chance for peace, (Robert Fowler) just to raise money?
- Does AQIM really care about the Tuareg cause?
- Is AQIM helping to get the government to spend money on their needs?
- When they try to get you to help kidnap a businessman selling uranium salts from the Uranium mines, will they really share what they get to help the Tuareg or to help their own cause?
BAMAKO, Mali — Malian security forces have detained an Islamist preacher on suspicion of involvement in the seizure of four European hostages claimed by al-Qaeda’s North African wing, a senior Malian security official said.
Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb said in an audio recording released last week that it was holding the four Europeans — two Swiss, one German and a Briton — seized in late January in Mali’s southeastern Gao region, near the border with Niger.
Al-Qaeda, which later published photos of the four Europeans surrounded by gunmen, said it also was holding two Canadian diplomats — Robert Fowler, UN envoy to Niger, and UN aide Robert Guay, both of whom vanished in December in Niger, Mali's eastern neighour.
- Malian security forces arrested the Islamist preacher last Thursday in the remote Anderamboucane locality on the border with Niger, on suspicion of being involved in the abduction of the European tourists, the Malian security official told Reuters at the weekend.
- The preacher was taken to the gendarmerie compound in the town of Gao, said the official, who declined to be identified given the sensitive nature of the investigation.
- The man was carrying Malian identity documents in the name of "Abdalah Ould Salah" but they were believed to be false, the official said.
Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, formerly the Islamist rebel Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC) in Mali’s northern neighbour Algeria, have expanded their reach in Africa’s Sahara and Sahel regions in the past few years.
Last year the group held two Austrian tourists seized during a holiday to Tunisia for several months before handing them over to Malian authorities in the far north of the country, where a rebellion by Tuareg nomads has emerged in the past two years.
Malian officials initially blamed Tuareg rebels for abducting the four Europeans although suspicions soon turned to al-Qaeda.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Originally Published on March , 2009
A Croatian journalist has revealed a secret document containing the names of 300 Iranian intelligence operatives who operated in Bosnia and Herzegovina from 2004 until 2007. Domagoj Margetić, one of Croatia’s most uncompromising investigative reporters, has published on his website a .pdf document that lists the names of several hundred Iranian agents who received official authorization from the embassy of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Tehran to enter the Balkan country.
According to Margetić, numerous Iranian academics, as well as random Iranian government employees, are included in the intelligence operatives’ list, which implies they carried out intelligence missions in Bosnia while traveling under academic or diplomatic cover. Insiders have noted that the long list is indicative of the intensification of Iran’s intelligence activities in the Balkans and southern Europe in recent years, which they attribute to the “reorganization of Iranian intelligence infrastructure in the Balkans”. The disclosed document of Iranian intelligence operatives is available in .pdf format here, with a mirrored link here.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Associate Executive Assistant Director,
National Security Branch,
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Statement Before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and
March 11, 2009
Good morning Chairman Lieberman, Senator Collins, and members of the Committee. I am pleased to be here today. Thank you for the opportunity to provide the FBI’s perspective on the issue of threats from Somalia and their effect on the security of the United States. I will also discuss our assessment of why a number of individuals have left the United States to train or fight in Somalia, and how the FBI is working with our law enforcement and intelligence partners to respond to the threat.
Somalia continues to be wracked by instability and, despite efforts to bring some measure of peace and stability to that country, is still plagued by conflict among various competing factions. The rise of viole nt extremist Islamist elements—like the al-Shabaab militia, which has made significant gains in the aftermath of the Ethiopian invasion in late 2006—has made the security environment there even more unsettled. Al-Shabaab is one of the most significant forces on the ground in Somalia and has conducted a range of operations against a number of differ ent targets inside the country. While the Ethiopian government withdrew all combat forces in mid-January, al-Shabaab has conducted follow-on attacks against African Union peacekeeping troops, as well as international aide workers. Al-Shabaab’s use of tactics such as suicide bombings, kidnappings, beheadings, and murders only serves to burnish its reputation for violence.
Beyond the threat al-Shabaab poses in Somalia, its connections to other extremists in the region and beyond add to concern over its activities. Al-Shabaab has links to the al Qaeda in East Africa network—including individuals responsible for the 1998 embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania—and maintains ties with al Qaeda leaders in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas. Al Qaeda’s focus on Somalia is in part reflected in its propaganda: top al Qaeda advisor Ayman al-Zawahiri, for example, proclaimed in a February 2009 statement that gains made by al-Shabaab in Somalia were “a step on the path of victory of Islam.” Such propaganda suggests al Qaeda leaders see Somalia as a potential recruiting, training, or staging ground for anti-U.S. or Western operations in the region, or even more disturbing, around the globe.
Dynamics in the United States
An estimated two million to three million Somalis live outside of Somalia or the Horn of Africa, and the ethnic Somali community in the United States is estimated to range from 150,000 to 200,000. However, high rates of illegal immigration, widespread identity and documentation fraud, and a cultural reluctance to share personal information with census takers has prevented an accurate count of the ethnic Somali population inside the United States.
Ethnic Somalis began arriving in Minneapolis, Minnesota in the mid-1990s on the heels of a broader resettlement program, and the area is now home to the single largest population of ethnic Somalis in the United States. Other cities with reported large concentrations of ethnic Somalis include Columbus, Ohio; Seattle, Washington; Washington, D.C.; San Diego, California; and Atlanta, Georgia.
Since late 2006, we have seen several individuals from the United States—many with ethnic ties to Somalia and some without such connections—travel to Somalia to train or fight on behalf of al-Shabaab. The number of individuals we believe have departed for Somalia is comparatively larger than the number of individuals who have left the United States for other conflict zones around the world over the past few years. And we have seen more individuals leave from the Minneapolis area than from any other part of the country.
In Minneapolis, we believe there has been an active and deliberate attempt to recruit individuals—all of whom are young men, some only in their late teens—to travel to Somalia to fight or train on behalf of al-Shabaab. We assess that for the majority of these individuals, the primary motivation for such travel was to defend their place of birth from the Ethiopian invasion, although an appeal was also made based on their shared Islamic identity. A range of socio-economic conditions—such as violent youth crime and gang subcultures, and tensions over cultural integration—may have also played some role in the recruitment process. We also note that several of the travelers from Minneapolis came from single-parent households, potentially making them more susceptible to recruitment from charismatic male authority figures.
While there are no current indicators that any of the individuals who traveled to Somalia have been selected, trained, or tasked by al-Shabaab or other extremists to conduct attacks inside the United States, we remain concerned about this possibility and that it might be exploited in the future if other U.S. persons travel to Somalia for similar purpos es. The fact that one of the Minneapolis youths participated in a suicide attack in northern Somalia in late October 2008—which we believe is the first instance of a U.S. citizen participating in a suicide attack anywhere—has only added to concern over the possibility that individuals may engage in terrorist activity upon their return to the United States.
Comparison to the United Kingdom
Much has been written about the circumstances of many South Asians in the United Kingdom, and how a variety of factors has contributed to an environment in which hundreds of individuals became involved in extremist activity there and in South Asia. Among the factors having some impact on South Asian communities in the United Kingdom are social and cultural alienation, demographic patterns, underemployment or unemployment, youth and gang-related violence, the existence of active extremist recruitment and facilitation networks, and natural access to an active conflict zone based on family or ethnic connections.
For the overwhelming majority of immigrant Muslim-American communities inside the United States, this U.K. environment stands in sharp contrast. As recent public opinion polls—such as the May 2007 Pew Poll and recent Gallup Poll—have shown, Muslim-Americans are for the most part well-integrated, and they achieve statistically higher levels of economic and educational achievement than most other minority groups within the United States. While poll results show that grievances do exist for Muslim-Americans, the vast majority do not condone the use of violence to provide any redress.
Despite the events in Minneapolis and examples of U.S. persons from other parts of the country who have traveled to Somalia for training or fighting, we do not believe that Somali communities here face the same challenges as similar South Asian communities in the United Kingdom. Nevertheless, some of the same factors that have contributed to the high level of extremist activity in the South Asian U.K. environment are evident in some Somali communities inside the United States, which indicates the need for heightened outreach and engagement in order to prevent these from manifesting into direct threats to the Homeland.
Outreach and Engagement
Since the 9/11 attacks, the FBI has developed an extensive outreach program to Muslim, South Asian, and Sikh communities to develop trust, address concerns, and dispel myths in those communities about the FBI and the U.S. government. In the wake of developments in Minneapolis, the FBI initiated a pilot program focused on enhancing outreach and engagement activities with select field offices that were dealing with some aspect of the Somalia traveler issue. This program is still in the proof-of-concept phase, but is expected to provide multiple benefits for the FBI and the Somali communities within the purview of the select field offices.
Partnership with State and Local Government
The FBI has long partnered with state and local law enforcement. In the counterterrorism domain, that partnership has been sustained through more than 25 years of involvement in the Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTFs) throughout the country. While the FBI is the lead federal agency for terrorism investigations inside the United States, we recognize the vast resources, experience, and insight our state and local law enforcement partners have within the areas in which our field offices and satellite offices reside. One such example includes a partnership among our Minneapolis Field Office and local law enforcement, educators, and social service agency representatives to discuss issues of interest and concern regarding the Somali community there.
We are leveraging our relationships with state and local law enforcement in various field offices beyond the traditional JTTF structure to enhance our understanding or insight into the Somalia issue and its possible impact on the United States, including fostering new initiatives with units involved in traditional criminal or gang programs.
Intelligence Community Collaboration
The FBI continues to work with other members of the U.S. Intelligence Community to assess, evaluate, monitor, and—if required—disrupt, any potential threats based on activity related to extremism in Somalia. FBI analysts work closely with their counterparts at the Department of Homeland Security, the Central Intelligence Agency, and the Nation al Counterterrorism Center to evaluate events in Somalia and how they might affect the United States. Operationally, FBI agents work with a range of counterparts to develop programs to collect intelligence and disrupt any possible threats relating to individuals who have traveled to Somalia for extremist activity, or wish to travel in the future. Information regarding analysis and operations is shared routinely and continuously, and up to the highest levels of decision-makers in various agencies.
Threat to the Homeland
On balance, we are concerned about the recruitment of individuals from the United States to Somalia and their involvement in training or fighting there. While there are likely a variety of motivations affecting such individuals, it remains unclear whether the allure of Somalia as an active conflict zone has diminished in the wake of Ethiopia’s withdrawal—thereby removing a primary grievance based on nationalism—or whether it will continue to attract individuals from the West who see Somalia as a permissive environment given ongoing instability.
While al-Shabaab’s foothold in Somalia remains tenuous, it has secured a number of gains in recent months, and its proclivity for extreme violence remains a hallmark. Most worrisome are links between al-Shabaab and al Qaeda associates in the region and elsewhere, and the degree to which Somalia will become another safe haven from which to train, recruit, and then deploy Westerners already there for attacks against their home countries is an open question. Currently, there are no clear indicators that this is occurring, but there are several gaps in our understanding of events there that preclude a more robust understanding of the nature and severity of the threat to the West or United States.
Today, the FBI continues to collect intelligence and assess any potential threats to the United States based on activity related to extremism in Somalia. We are working closely with our U.S. Intelligence Community and law enforcement counterparts to analyze the vulnerability of the United States to such an attack. We will build on these relationships as we continue efforts to stay ahead of the threats and protect our Homeland.
We thank the Committee for its continued support of the FBI and its national security mission. And we look forward to continuing to work with you to protect our nation and its citizens.
U.S. Department of Justice.
* Rebel soldier ousts head of army
* U.S. ambassador warns of danger of civil war
* Embassies threaten aid suspension in event of coup
By Richard Lough
ANTANANARIVO, March 11 (Reuters)
- A rebel soldier named himself head of Madagascar's army on Wednesday, ousting the general who had given the island's feuding leaders a three-day ultimatum to resolve the political crisis.
General Edmond Rasolomahandry had on Tuesday asked President Marc Ravalomanana and opposition leader Andry Rajoelina to unite within 72 hours to end weeks of troubles that have killed about 135 people and devastated the economy.
"Discussions proceeded without problems between brothers. From now on, the army is behind me," Colonel Noel Ndriarijoana, leading mutinous troops, told reporters.
The troops mutinied in anger at a crackdown by the government on demonstrations against President Ravalomanana, but opposition leader Rajoelina has distanced himself from them.
Local media reported on Tuesday that U.S. Ambassador Niels Marquardt had warned the Indian Ocean island nation was on "the verge of civil war".
- Rajoelina, a 34-year-old one-time disc jockey, has galvanised widespread anger over the president's failure to alleviate poverty.
- He has repeatedly called on Ravalomanana to resign, saying he no longer controls the capital or provinces.
- The government calls him a maverick troublemaker and accuses him of whipping up public discontent with exaggerated claims.
A group of foreign missions also made clear they would suspend aid in the event of a coup d'etat.
"All non-democratic alternatives are not acceptable -- be it a coup d'etat, a military junta or the ongoing unrest," said Augustine Kasujja, the Vatican envoy, speaking on behalf of the diplomatic community.
"This will have seriously negative consequences for Madagascar's external relations with the outside world and for our capacity to support the country's development."
(Writing by Helen Nyambura-Mwaura; Editing by Matthew Tostevin
Qatar-based real estate company follows Masraf Al Rayan in move into potentially lucrative North African country which is opening up to foreign investors.
Barwa Real Estate, through its international arm, Barwa International, said that that it is in the process of entering into investments and real estate projects in Libya.
The projects will include villas, residential compounds and offices, as well as four-star hotel covering an area of 3000 square meters.
- Barwa already has interests in North Africa through Barwa Egypt Real Estate, Gulf Company for Urban Development, which it owns 100 per cent of, Gulf Construction Company in which it has an undisclosed share and Qatamiyah Residential City.
- It was set up in 2005, has over 1100 staff and was created by Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company.
- It also owns 20 per cent of the iconic Shard of Glass Tower in London, which is currently under construction,
- The Langham Building in the US,
- A tourist resort in Croatia
- Monaco Project. Ghanim Bin Saad Al Saad is the chairman, chief executive and managing director.
A Radical Islamist Is:
- A Muslim or Muslim group who believes now is time for to support physical jihad - war - on all fronts, against any secular (apostate) Muslim governments in all countries
- A Muslim or Muslim group who believes now is time for to support physical jihad - war - on all fronts, against any non Muslim controlled country.
- A Muslim or Muslim group who collaborates with a Radical Muslim Group or person by means of facilitating travel for, training of, providing paying jobs for, providing refugee food to, or any other support to any Mujahadeen fighter, intelligence, operational or logistical support activity who is engaged in activities 1 or 2 listed above.
- Can be Sunni or Shia, usually note Sufi or other sect.
- An Islamic Aid organization or activity working in a war torn area. When this group or Muslim is informed that they are unknowingly participating in paragraph 3 above, they stop the activity, denounce it, and purge the participants from their ranks. Failure to act in this way suggests that the group is, in fact, a Radical Islamist Group.
- A Muslim who believes that their own country should be under Sharia law, but has no interest in exporting this agenda to create a larger caliphate.
- A Muslim who believes their own secular government should be more religious.
- A promoter of secular Arab Culture across several countries, who has no teaching or activity supporting a pan-Arab caliphate agenda demanding that all country members must submit to Sharia.
- The move seems to be splitting the al Qaeda Backed al Shabaab . al Qaeda had been trying to unite several rebel factions under the banner of moving Somalia to Sharia law. They were having some sucess, but now the Moderate government has taken away the issue to great effect.
- This will move to isolate the Radical Islamists in Somalia, who are a vast minority in Somalia.
- The Vast Majority of Somalis would likely democraticaly vote in a moderate form of Sharia for Somalia if they could. They key is to set up a moderate form of Dhimmi laws for the non-Muslims.
- This would actually demonstrate to Somalis what a governmet is supposed to do, which Somalis have not seen for a generation.
The ultimate strategy of the US needs to be the elimination of Somalia as a safe haven for al Qaeda or any other group who's ideology
MOGADISHU (Mareeg)--Al-Shabaab Islamist Terrorist group has described Wednesday the decision of the Somali talaban Cabinet to endorse the Islamic Law as something “ridiculous” and said they would not welcome.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
al Shabaab already rule Southern Somalia. If things go as they plan, then Somalia itself will be reuled by al Qaeda. They are already running Mujahadeen (terrorist) training camps for ehtnic Somalis from the US and the UK.
WASHINGTON (Mareeg) — A top military intelligence official says the Somali extremist group al-Shabaab is poised to formally merge with al-Qaida, expanding the terrorist franchise in East Africa.
Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lt. Gen. Michael Maples told the Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday that the propaganda released by both groups recently highlights their ideological similarities, suggesting a merger is forthcoming.
The Rest @ Mareeg.com
-- Seven months ago, Mustafa Salat told his father he was taking his clothes to the laundromat near their apartment in St. Paul, Minnesota. He never returned.
Salat, 19, later called from his birthplace, Somalia, and said he was okay, though he wouldn’t discuss what he was doing in a country he left when he was one year old, according to his parents, Lul and Ali.
Salat’s parents, along with U.S. authorities, said they fear he and other young Somali-Americans from the Minneapolis-St. Paul area were recruited to train at terrorist camps and fight in Somalia’s civil war.
- Now, the Federal Bureau of Investigation is concerned those Somalis may return to the U.S., where they are citizens, and plot terrorist attacks.
- Those fears were heightened last week when Robert Mueller, the FBI director, said a Somali-American living in Minneapolis was “radicalized” in his hometown, went to Somalia and became the first known U.S. citizen to carry out a suicide bombing.
“I am like a dead person walking,” said Lul, 42, who asked that her last name not be used and spoke in Somali through an interpreter. She and her husband go to bed with the phone under the pillow, fearing bad news about their son, they said. “I am not sleeping,” Lul said.
The FBI said it has been interviewing relatives of the missing and monitoring other cities with large Somali populations such as Columbus, Ohio, and Seattle, for reports of disappearances.
The bureau wouldn’t comment on Salat or estimate the number of Somali-Americans who have disappeared. The FBI wouldn’t say whether those who went missing would face charges if they return.
- At least 17 young men have vanished during the past two years from the Minneapolis-St. Paul area and are believed to be in Somalia now, said Omar Jamal, executive director of the Somali Justice Advocacy Center in St. Paul, a legal-aid organization.
- Jonathan Evans, a counter-terrorism official in the U.K., recently raised concern in a newspaper interview that residents there had trained in camps in Somalia and had returned to Britain.
- The FBI won’t say whether any of the Somali-Americans have returned to the U.S.
- The FBI is concerned that there may be more Somalis who have disappeared and whose parents haven’t reported them as missing, said E.K. Wilson, a bureau spokesman in Minneapolis.
The disappearances also are raising concern among lawmakers. Joseph Lieberman, a Connecticut independent who heads the Senate homeland security panel, plans a hearing March 11 on recruitment efforts in the U.S. by Somali groups.
Somali-Americans have gone to Somalia and trained there in terrorism camps associated with the militant group al-Shabaab, or “the Youth,” which has ties to al-Qaeda, said a U.S. counter- terrorism official who spoke on condition of anonymity. Al- Shabaab was designated as a terrorist group last year by the U.S.
The official said al-Shabaab and al-Qaeda are closely connected and it is unclear which organization runs the Somali training camps.
U.S.-backed Ethiopian troops entered Somalia in 2006. Islamist and clan-based opposition militias began a guerrilla war against the Ethiopian occupation.
Ethiopian troops withdrew from Somalia in January after the occupation failed to end Somalia’s civil war, leaving much of the south of the country under the control of al-Shabaab.
While al-Shabaab has focused its activities within Somalia, its aspirations may be expanding. The FBI investigated a possible threatened attack by the group that could have been directed at Washington, coinciding with President Barack Obama’s Jan. 20 inauguration.
The disappearances are worrisome because of the risk posed by citizens of the U.S. and U.K. who can travel freely and blend in with the population, terrorism analysts said.
“It’s a blinking yellow light that needs further attention before it deteriorates and becomes a dangerous opening for attack,” James Phillips, an analyst at the Heritage Foundation, a Washington public policy organization, said in an interview.
The recruiting in the U.S. “raises the question of whether these young men will one day come home, and, if so, what they might undertake here,” the FBI’s Mueller said in a Feb. 23 speech in Washington.
Mueller flagged the case of Shirwa Ahmed, 27, who lived in Minneapolis before going to Somalia, where he carried out a suicide bombing in October that killed at least 30 people, according to news reports. Ahmed was a naturalized U.S. citizen.
For their part, Salat’s parents said they don’t know if their son is involved with al-Shabaab.
Lul and three other mothers or grandmothers of missing young men have formed a group attempting to make sure the disappearances are reported, and to ensure that if their children return, they won’t be held by authorities. Other parents may not have reported disappearances for fear their children will be targeted by law enforcement, or that family immigration violations may come to light, said Jamal, who helped organize the mothers.
“If he comes back, I’m afraid he will be arrested,” Lul said of her son. “We don’t want him to be victimized again.”
Salat, a high school student, often asked questions about the food eaten in Somalia, and about universities there, his father said. He talked about wanting to become a nurse or police officer in the U.S., never about returning to Somalia.
Salat left behind some clothes and books in Arabic on a shelf in a room with a bunk bed that he shared with his brother Zacharia, 17.
Lul said someone “indoctrinated” her son, though she isn’t sure who persuaded him to travel to Somalia.
- Jamal said those he knows of who disappeared had attended a Minneapolis mosque, the Abubakar As-Saddique Islamic Center.
- Omar Hurre, director of the center, said the mosque played no role and that he has urged anyone with knowledge of what happened to come forward.
- “We don’t know where they picked up those ideas,” Hurre said in an interview. “Attending the mosque programs does not in any way, shape or form mean we had anything to do with this.”
Even so, he said the mosque’s imam and a leader of its youth group were placed on the U.S. government’s no-fly list, preventing them from traveling to Mecca. Amy Kudwa, a Department of Homeland Security spokeswoman, said the department doesn’t comment on those on the no-fly list.
Another member of the mothers’ group, Fadumo Elmi, said through an interpreter that her grandson, Mahamoud Hassan, 18, disappeared in November. In the days before he disappeared, Hassan brought Elmi money to help pay for clothes and shoes for an Islamic celebration, she said.
Hassan called Elmi from Somalia last month. She told him to come back. He said he couldn’t, Elmi said. He also wouldn’t answer questions about what he was doing in Somalia.
“His mind was taken by something we don’t know,” said Elmi, as she wiped away tears using her head covering. “They forced him out of my hand.”