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Friday, July 31, 2009

Sufi Islamists Defeating al Shabaab

Date: 31 Jul 2009

The nature of the intractable civil war in Somalia is undergoing a change, with Sufi groups taking up arms against Al-Shabaab, adding an ideological, sectarian dynamic to the conflict, Georg-Sebastian Holzer writes for ISN Security Watch.

For the first time ever, Sufi groups under attack are taking up arms and are effectively fighting Al-Shabaab with popular support on the rural plains of central Somalia. This new axis of conflict, where Islamist fighters are battling one another along religious lines, has the potential of changing the conflict dynamics in the long run.

Somalis are generally moderate Sufi Muslims, embracing music, dancing and mediation. They do not share the strict, Saudi-inspired Wahhabi interpretation of Islam of the hard-line Al-Shabaab group.

Over the last two decades of civil war, characterized by a lack of central government, Sufi leaders had managed to steer clear of clan and political wars, but this pragmatic and moderate approach came to an end when Al-Shabaab fighters began desecrating their religious shrines in the south of the country late last year.

An impressive example is Al-Shabaab's policy in the port city of Kismayo. The group not only tore down an abandoned 60-year-old Roman Catholic Church to replace it with a mosque, but they targeted Sufi sites, among them ancient graves of cleric sand other prominent Sufis – sites Al-Shabaab deemed un-Islamic. These attacks hit hard at local religious sentiments.

As moderate Sufi scholars increasingly felt discriminated against and targeted for ascriptive reasons, they found themselves engulfed in what they perceived as a religious, zero-sum identity conflict. Hence, they decided to take up arms and thereby changed the dynamics of the Somali conflict.

Rashid Abdi, a Somalia analyst at the International Crisis Group (ICG) in Nairobi, tells ISN Security Watch that this development comprises a "terra incognita [as] we are now seeing contours of an ideological, sectarian war for the first time" in Somalia.

A clear, but limited challenge

On 7 May, Al-Shabaab fighters were able to launch an attack on the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) in the capital Mogadishu only a few blocks away from Villa Somalia, the presidential palace. However, this is only part of the story, as in a fragmented country like Somalia political developments often vary drastically from region to region.

Ahlu Sunnah Wal Jama'a, a well-organized Sufi resistance group, is militarily active only in the central Somali region of Galgaduud. In January, the group openly engaged Al-Shabaab militias in intense fighting, reportedly killing at least 35 people and injuring more than 60 others in Dhusamareeb.

  • Subsequently, Ahlu Sunnah Wal Jama'a succeeded in driving Al-Shabaab insurgents out of several towns of the region.
  • In their place, the Sufi movement has established its own incipient local administration, liaising with UN officials and patrolling the locality.
  • Grassroots support and local clan-backing has allowed this new movement to transform rapidly from a civil to a military force.

Roland Marchal, a senior research fellow at the National Center of Scientific Research in Paris, tells ISN Security Watch that Ahlu Sunnah Wal Jama'a "represents clearly a challenge to Al-Shabaab but eventually also the TFG. [However,] it is limited at this stage."

It appears that the accomplishments of Ahlu Sunnah Wal Jama'a imply two realities.

  • First, the severe Wahhabi governing methods of Al-Shabaab, which echo those on view in Pakistan's Swat Valley and include stonings and amputations, elicit little local support. In fact, the same could be observed of all radical Islamic groups in Somalia since the 1990s. Today, popular resistance to the insurgency is reported more frequently and conducted more openly. For example, on 26 March, hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets in protest against a ban on the sale of the narcotic khat. In reaction, Al-Shabaab further intensified its strategy of coercion and intimidation of the Somali population by carefully selected assassinations and arrests of clan elders, several of whom have been murdered. In the latest high profile assassination, Omar Hashi Aden, the Minister of National Security, was killed along with 30 other people in a large-scale suicide car bomb in Beletwyne on 19 June, which led to a strong condemnation by a broad cross-section of Somali society.

  • Second, the wide territorial dominance of the jihadists is perhaps more a function of the lack of any countervailing force than an indicator of any innate strength. Actually, the movement should be weakened considerably, since two of its political pillars have been removed by the withdrawal of Ethiopian troops and the introduction of Sharia law by the new government.
    According to Roland Marchal, "Al-Shabaab is benefiting first of all [from] the weaknesses of the other groups. The TFG is highly dysfunctional for political reasons which the UN and the West do not want to assess, as this would need a change of strategy (if there exists any today). […] Al-Shabaab may not be so powerful militarily speaking, but it is the smartest to keep the warfare in conditions that are suitable for its low membership and its lack of popular support."
    Consolidating support


Asked by ISN Security Watch if outside actors to the conflict see the Sufi awakening as an opportunity to counterbalance Al-Shabaab, Marchal says that indeed "there seems to be a growing trend among western countries to narrow gaps and make sure that gains in Galgaduud may consolidate and provide the TFG supporters with hope which they need today."

However, he says, this would be a serious cause for concern if Ethiopia and the US wanted to help Ahlu Sunnah Wal Jama'a, as this may provoke also new problems: "[on the one hand] between this group and the TFG, as their relations are already poor; [on the other hand] between this group and the Somali people as [western] support may undermine their legitimacy."

In any case, the TFG already is already attempting to take matters into their own hands. On 21 June it signed an agreement with Ahlu Sunnah Wal Jama'a in which they agreed to cooperate in the political, security, humanitarian and development areas.

At the same time, the TFG appointed a former official of the Hizbul Islam insurgent group, which fights alongside Al-Shabaab, Sheikh Yusuf Mohamed Siad Inda'ade, as state defense minister.


For now however, none of these attempts and changes in the dynamics of Somalia's civil war has been able to fundamentally change the current stalemate between the TFG and the insurgent groups, prolonging the ongoing war.

Georg-Sebastian Holzer is a Research Assistant at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington, DC. He focuses on conflict management with a regional specialization on the Horn of Africa.

The Rest @ Relief Web
By Georg-Sebastian Holzer for ISN Security Watch
Source: International Relations and Security Network (ISN)

where did the Boko Haram followers get their arms?

Was it a case of an alleged violent criminal being deliberately executed while in police custody, or was he killed while making a genuine attempt to escape?

These are the questions being asked in Nigeria about the death of 39-year-old Mohammed Yusuf, leader of the Boko Haram sect, who was killed on 30 July.His sect had exchanged fire law enforcement agencies over five days in several parts of Northern Nigeria.

The violence started in Bauchi, where the sect claims its mosque was attacked on 26 July. It then spread to Maiduguri. An estimated 500 people died before the trouble was quelled.

Human Rights Watch officials working in Nigeria have demanded an "immediate investigation into the killing", which they described as "extrajudicial".

"Boko Haram" means "Western education is haram [forbidden under Islamic law]" and the sect is the latest manifestation in Nigeria of a radical version of Islam, reflexes of which have wreaked havoc in places like Afghanistan and Pakistan.

As a result, Boko Haram has been labelled by some people as a "Nigerian Taliban". But very little is known about it.

It does bear a striking resemblance to the Maitatsine sect which caused riots in Kano in December 1980 in which at least 4,000 people died.

Then, the deaths of its leader and so many of his followers – their "martyrdom" – did not eradicate the movement. The activities of Maitatsine movement caused further losses of life in Maiduguri and Kaduna in October 1982 and in Yola in February and March 1984. As the anniversary of Maitatsine's death approaches each December, the authorities become apprehensive and beef up security throughout the areas where remnants of the Maitatsine sect are suspected to exist.

This precedent set by the Maitatsine sect therefore bodes ill for the authorities if they hope that as a result of the death of Mohammed Yusuf that Boko Haram would disappear. Video of him after his arrest, and later of his bullet-ridden body, shown on national television, will be used to propagate his teaching that a reward awaits the faithful after death.

But this sort of belief is disowned by some Muslims. Addressing members of a Nigerian internet discussion forum, one Muslim wrote:

I must say I never knew about these undesirable elements parading themselves under the guise of religion. The religion of Islam never deny (sic) people the right to education. To the contrary, there are verses in the Qur'an urging Muslims to go seek knowledge even in very far places (the country China was used in one instance).

On the issue of the abuse of the human rights of the dead Mohammed Yusuf, another member of the forum wrote:

Hey, all crimes are NOT the same. When someone organises people, arms them to the teeth and start (sic) slaughtering innocent citizens recklessly, in the name of religion, there should be no time to be talking about rule of law.

To which Mohammed Yusuf, had he been alive, would no doubt have retorted, "Didn't I tell you that western education is poison?"

What the authorities will be asking themselves, though, is this: where did the Boko Haram followers get their arms?
  • The army said they had rocket-propelled grenades and AK-47s.
  • There have been incidents thefts of arms from some Nigerian military garrisons, and the authorities will have to ascertain whether the sect's arms were bought locally or from abroad.
  • In either case, the authorities must find it worrying that arms are so easily procured in the country.

The Rest @ The Guardian

The Following is about Boko Haram. Its leader Ustaz Mohammed Yusuf was killed Yesterday.

Boko Haram ('Boko' = modified Latin alphabet introduced by the French and English colonial authorities at the beginning of the 20th century for the Hausa language, [from English "book"][1][2] or [derivatively] non-islamic [usually western] education[3] and 'Haram' = Arabic for "forbidden") is a Nigerian militant Islamist group that seeks the imposition of Shariah law throughout all 36 states of Nigeria.

The group was founded in 2002 in Maiduguri by Ustaz Mohammed Yusuf. In 2004 it moved to Kanamma, Yobe State, where it set up a base called "Afghanistan", used to attack nearby police outposts, killing police officers.[4] Yusuf is hostile to democracy and the secular education system, vowing that "this war that is yet to start would continue for long".[5]
In Bauchi the group was reported as refusing to mix with local people. The group includes members who come from neighbouring Chad and speak only Arabic.[6][7]
Boko Haram opposes not only Western education, but Western culture and modern science as well.[8] In a 2009 BBC interview, Yusuf stated that the belief that the world is a sphere is contrary to Islam and should be rejected, along with Darwinism and the theory that rain comes from water evaporated by the sun.[9]

-Source Wikipedia

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Iran Bank Tejarat, Romania Bank ProCredit

Iranian Bank Tejarat may have tried to establish a relationship with Romania SC ProCredit Bank SA.on or around 16 July 2009. Bank Tejarat is on the OFAC List

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Are these Missing Friends Jihadis?

I welcome Comments if anyone has any information to add...

-Shimron

Here is a facebook account of a “Merrel Dillion” who was connected with “Shawn Carter” as a “friend” (before he deleted his account). For some reason unknown to me “Merrell” uses his photo as her/his profile pic. I also have the photos of the others who were connected with him as “friends” on Facebook.

Here is a satellite map of Markaz Fajr, where we studied, and here’s a link to their website
Here is the location where we students stayed in two floors of an apartment building, the al-Haramain mosque we had across the “road”, and the Wikipedia link for al-Haramain


The Rest @ Charles Waddle

18 Burundian Soldiers Get Mystery Illness In Mogadishu

Nairobi — Six Burundian soldiers are still admitted at a Nairobi hospital with symptoms of an unidentified illness, an African Union official said on Tuesday.

Gaffel Nkolokosa, spokesman for the AU envoy to Somalia, said 12 soldiers have recovered and had travelled back to Burundi.

"The medical team from the African Union and Burundi Government is investigating the cause of the illness in the contingent," said Gaffel Nkolokosa, who declined to speculate on the cause of the illness or what the symptoms were.

According to the African Union Mission for Somalia in Nairobi, the soldiers were evacuated from Mogadishu three weeks ago and brought to Kenya for further treatment after exhibiting similar symptoms.

An official at the Burundi Embassy admitted there were some Burundian soldiers in hospital but declined to comment further on the matter saying he was not authorised to speak to the press.

There are 43,000 [I think he means 4,300-Shimron]-soldiers from Burundi and Uganda in Mogadishu defending key sites and helping government sources fight off regular attacks from hardline insurgents.


The Rest @ The Nation by way of All Africa


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Burundi

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at a Glance
Soldiers Still Hospitalised With Mysterious Disease
UBA Seeks Operating Licenses in Kigali and Bujumbura
Burundi, Rwanda Entry Into Customs Union Timely
The Country's Untold Story
EAC Customs Union Comes Into Force in Rwanda And Burundi

Salah Osman Ahmed of Brooklyn Pleased Guilty to Shabaab Link

Brooklyn Park man will plead guilty to supporting terrorists, attorney says
Second terrorism suspect to plead guilty today.

Salah Osman Ahmed, 26, will plead guilty in federal court today to providing material support to terrorists, according to his attorney.

Ahmed, a part-time security guard from Brooklyn Park, is accused of traveling to Somalia in December 2007, allegedly to train with al-Shabaab, an Islamic militant group that federal officials say has links to al-Qaida.

Ahmed's attorney, James Ostgard, said late Monday night that his client will plead guilty to a single count -- providing material support to terrorists -- before U.S. District Judge James Rosenbaum.

In exchange for the guilty plea, Ostgard said three other counts will be dismissed at Ahmed's sentencing: Conspiracy to Kill, Kidnap, Main and Injure and two counts of giving false information to law enforcement.

Ahmed was one of two men indicted by a grand jury in February for training with al-Shabaab. Abdifatah Yusuf Isse, 25, of Seattle, Wash., also has admitted to federal investigators that he trained with the terrorist group. Isse has already pleaded guilty.

The indictments for both men were made public two weeks ago after Ahmed was arrested on his way to his security job. Isse had been in custody since his arrest in Seattle in February.

  • Investigators say the indictments are part of a larger, ongoing investigation into the disappearance of up to 20 Twin Cities men of Somali descent over the past two years.
  • Family members and federal officials believe the men have returned to Somalia to fight in a continuing civil war.
  • Family members or federal officials have confirmed that at least four of those Minnesota men have been killed.
It is believed that the ongoing investigation focuses on who recruited and funded the men's travel to Somalia.

By JAMES WALSH, Star Tribune

The Rest @ The Minniapolis Star Tribune

Lord Malloch-Brown Warns us About Somalia's Role for al Qaeda

While Lord Malloch-Brown's change of stance on the adequacy of helicopters in Afghanistan is widely reported (Report, 23 July), his opinion that Somalia poses a greater threat to the UK than Afghanistan receives little analysis.

Almost the whole of Somalia falls under the control of one or other jihadist-inspired faction, and extremist sharia punishments have been carried out.

  • Vast land areas, airports and seaports are available to armed groups to carry out training, marine piracy and disruption of shipping lanes can be pursued with impunity. Increasingly, IEDs and suicide bombers are beings used as battleground strategies.
Jihadist groups include al-Shabaab, its umbrella affiliate Hizbul Islam and possibly al-Muhajiroun, which have reportedly drawn in seasoned fighters from Chechnya, Pakistan, Afghanistan and probably the US, UK and Scandinavia.

Secondly, the space is being created in the Horn of Africa for a Wahabist-inspired quasi-state, imposing by force its radical ideology on the Somali people. It is not only in close proximity to Europe, but it threatens to destabilise neighbouring states as the groups lay claims to parts of Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti, seek allies in coastal Tanzania and have threatened to blow up "the tall buildings of Nairobi" should Kenya intervene.

Concurrent to this, there is a vast outflow of Somali refugees.

Latest articles

Lord Malloch-Brown warns UK on Somalia

Should foreign troops leave Somalia?
Somalia has become synonymous with the term “failed state.” Even now, after nearly two decades of civ...

Somalia tops "failed states" 2nd year in a row

It is a sobering time for the world’s most fragile countries—virulent economic crisis, countless natu...

The UN approaches, financed by the EC Somalia unit at Nairobi, are ineffectual. Since both the transitional federal government and al-Shabaab advocate a regime of sharia, Muslim states such as Turkey, Indonesia and Algeria should be given roles in peacemaking. Saudi Arabia should also be invited to contribute.

Radical, innovative action is required to prevent a conflict that could have repercussions on our lives, potentially on a greater scale than Iraq and Afghanistan, but with a great deal more powerlessness to influence the outcomes. Malloch-Brown ought to be listened to.

The Rest @ guardian.co.uk

AQIM tries To Win Berber Support

In a communiqué posted on jihadist websites on July 28, 2009, Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) tries to take advantage of popular anger in Kabylia over a recent case of state-sponsored arson in order to win support from the Kabyle Berber population.

The Rest @ MEMRI

Italian Nuns Captured By Shabaab, Ransome Paid By The Vatican

This interesting and useful account of the abduction of Two Italian Nuns in Kenya by Shabaab, and their subsequent release comes from a February 2009 Newsletter.

-Shimron Issacahr


NAIROBI – Sister
Rinuccia Giraudo, 67, and Sister Maria Teresa Olivero, 61, two kidnapped Italian nuns belonging
to Fr Charles Foucauld’s Missionary Contemplative Movement, have been released.

They had been seized on 9 November at El Wak, a Kenyan town on the
border with Somalia. The news came directly from the Italian foreign ministry. Freedom came
during a confused military action as about 200 Somali militiamen in at least ten trucks entered the town around midnight.

At the head of the attack was Adbulkadir “Kommando”, a Muslim leader known to western
intelligence services. The raiders were looking for two Americans, officially employees of a human rights agency but in all likelihood intelligence agents on a mission to El Wak.

However, a radio warning signal had enabled the two to escape to safety as all hell broke loose in the town. When the raiders realised that their targets had got away, they attacked the police station, seizing weapons and three trucks.

The raiders were Somalis from the Garre and Habergidir clans. The Garre, who live in the border country and know El Wak well, were able to lead their companions to the judge’s home, wherethey stole everything they could, including documents and computers, and abducted the judge himself before continuing their noisy progress to the accompaniment of automatic weapon fire.

At a certain point, someone suggested looking for the two nuns. But Sister Rinuccia and
Sister Maria Teresa are prominent, well-regarded figures in El Wak who for many years have
been tending the sick, the hungry and the needy. Some attackers made protests, which were
overruled as it would have been unthinkable to return to Somalia empty-handed, which is why the two nuns were abducted.

Next morning, the furious Kenyans started organising a task force to
cross the border and get the nuns back. Intelligence sources in Nairobi say the Italian ambassador, Pierandrea Magistrati, rightly strove to cool their ardour. At a highly confidential meeting, he pointed out: “That’s the best way to get them killed. When the troops attack, the abductors will execute them”.

Negotiations between the Kenyans and Somalis got under way through the good offices of the elders, who know each other well. Talks eased tensions but failed to produce any results. One negotiator told the Corriere: “It’s true that some of the abductors were Garre but the group’s hard core came from Coriolei, near Merca, 40 kilometres south of Mogadishu”.

The name Abdulkadir “Kommando” emerged. He is a former Somali army officer, businessman, Islamist and military commander of the militant Sunni fundamentalists of the Jabhadda Islaamiga Soomaaliyeed (JABISO), theSomali Islamic Front. The group,
under the political guidance of Sheik Ahmed Abdillahi Omar, has been known since 2007 as
the armed wing of Al-I’tisaam Bil Kitaab Wa Sunna, the organisation
that took the place of the better-known Al-Itihaad Al-Islaami (AIAI). JABISO is closely
linked to the United Western Somalia Liberation Front (UWSLF), an Ethiopian group that opposes the Addis Ababa government in Ogaden, the Abyssinian province inhabited by Somalis.

There are UWSLF forces stationed in the former Italian-held Somalia to fight Ethiopian troops
that invaded the country in 2006 in support of the extremely weak federal transition government. Their base is Bardere, on the road from El Wak to Mogadishu, and that is where they took the nuns. To get to Bardere, you have to cross the Giuba river and there are at least three bridges. The Americans keep a discreet eye on them via satellite but a barge can slip across the river at night. A few days later, the group was off again, this time heading for Mogadishu, where Kommando’s Muslim guerrillas mingle on the southern outskirts of the
capital with the Shabaab (“youth” in Arabic), an ill-defined Muslim militia who are part bandits and part holy men.

WAS THERE A RANSOM?
– Political management of the abduction passed to Hassan Abdullahi Hersi, aka “Turki”,
and the ransom demand came as Italian intelligence sent a task force from Rome to liaise with
the Kenyans (the network of informers that Italy was envied for 20 years ago has been broken up).

The asking price was two million dollars and the release of several – probably four – terrorists arrested in two Kenyan operations, to which the Americans had contributed information.

  • The first took place last summer, when the Kenyans, backed up by American aircraft,
    penetrated Somali territory at Doblei and captured three Arabs.
  • Then in October and November, a second anti-insurgency operation in the El Wak area led to the arrest of another three alleged terrorists.

Negotiations were conducted in secret but sources at the American embassy told the Corriere that cash was not the only “currency” involved. American agents warned their Italian colleagues that you don’t cut deals with terrorists and the Vatican also stepped in. The rest is today’s news.

The two nuns have been released but what, and how much, was paid remains cloaked in mystery.

The Rest @ Giamando Italian American Newsletter

originally published in yahoo news:

Massimo A. Alberizzi 20 febbraio 2009
English translation by Giles Watsonwww.watson.it

Article in Italian

http://www.corriere.it/english/09_febbraio_20/nuns_freed_c6707708-ff51-11dd-a1d5\-00144f02aabc.shtml

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Shabaab Takes over, Closes UN ACtivities in their Area

NEW YORK - The Somali armed rebel group, Al Shabaab, looted two UN compounds and demanded an end to UN relief work in the impoverished Horn of Africa nation, the UN said Monday.

Al Shabaab, which has been trying to overthrow the transitional government in Mogadishu, looted the UN compound in Baidoa of emergency communication equipment, forcing the organisation to evacuate personnel and suspend its operations.

The UN said it was powerless when challenged by the rebels because the compound had no security guards.

In Wajid, protected by a minimum security, the rebels entered the compound of the World Food Programme and drove away with two vehicles and some furniture that did not belong to the UN.
“These two events happened as Al Shabaab broadcast on Monday a message on local Somali radio calling for the closing of offices” of several UN agencies, including the UN Development Programme, the UN said.

“The UN is reassessing the situation on the ground and is optimistic that the minimal conditions
on the ground will be restored to allow the critical humanitarian work to resume in Baidoa and continue elsewhere in Somalia,” the UN said.

The Rest @ Taragana

Shabaab Implementing "Final Soultion" on Somali Christians

Muslim extremists early this morning killed a Christian convert in Mahadday Weyne, Somalia, 100 kilometers (62 miles) north of Mogadishu.

  • Al Shabaab Islamist rebels shot Mohammed Sheikh Abdiraman to death at 7 a.m., eyewitnesses told Compass.

They said the Islamic extremists appeared to have been hunting the convert from Islam, and when they found him they did not hesitate to shoot him.

The sources told Compass that Abdiraman was the leader of an underground “cell group” of Christians in Somalia.

“We are very sad about this incident, and we also are not safe,” one eyewitness said by telephone. “Pray for us.”

The sources were too distraught to share more details about Abdiraman’s death. Another eyewitness who requested anonymity said Abdiraman had been a Christian for 15 years. He is survived by two children, ages 15 and 10. His wife died three years ago due to illness.

Intent on “cleansing” Somalia of all Christians, al Shabaab militia are monitoring converts from Islam especially where Christian workers had provided medical aid, such as Johar, Jamame, Kismayo and Beledweyne, sources said. Mahadday Weyne, 22 kilometers (14 miles) north of Johar, is the site of a former Christian-run hospital.

Linked with Islamic extremist al Qaeda terrorists, al Shabaab rebels have mounted an armed effort to topple President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed’s Western-backed Transitional Federal Government with the intention of imposing sharia (Islamic law). The group is already enforcing sharia in large parts of southern Somalia that they control.

The militants reportedly beheaded seven Christians on July 10, and refugees from Somalia tell of other attacks. One refugee last year recounted an attack in Lower Juba, Somalia. Binti Ali Bilal, the 40-year-old mother of 10 children, was fetching firewood with her 23-year-old daughter, Asha Ibrahim Abdalla in April 2008 in an area called Yontoy when al Shabaab members and Muslim neighbors approached them. Yontoy is 25 kilometers (15 miles) from Kismayo.

The Rest @ Counter Jihad

Monday, July 20, 2009

Issa Osmana Issa Captured?

Unconfirmed reports that Issa Osmana Issa, who killed himself in March of 2006 when almost captured by the US in Somalia, was in fact captured and not killed.


-Shimron Issachar

Any comments?

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Niger Delta Disarmament Plan

Abuja — Up to 10, 000 militants in the troubled Niger Delta could benefit from the amnesty offered by the federal government aimed at ending the crisis in the region, which has almost crippled the oil industry.

The chief coordinator of the Amnesty Implemen-tation Committee, Air Vice Marshal Lucky Ararile, announced this yesterday in Abuja at a special media dialogue on the status of the amnesty deal.

Ararile also announced that the federal government has budgeted N200 million to feed the targeted 10,000 militants that will turn up to lay down their arms at the 50 to 60 camps spread across the six Niger Delta states of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, Edo, Ondo and Rivers.

"We are working on about 10,000 militants. Each militant will receive an allowance of N20, 000 per month in addition to N1, 500 per day for food while at a reintegration centre, translating to N65,000 a month.

"Disarmament and demobilisation part of the programme will last 60 days. Thereafter, the reintegration programme is indeterminate," Ararile said.

He said a few militants have already surrendered their arms but declined to give a specific figure.

Ararile continued: "If you compute 20,000 per month by 10,000 ex-militants, we will be talking of billions of naira. This is for the disarmament and demobilization part of the programme, which is for 60 days.

"Their duration at the camps will depend on the things they want to do. Some of skills will be acquired at home while others will be sent to relevant institutions to learn a trade, or back to school for those who want an education.

"For the re-integration centres, we are thinking of either building new ones or renovating structures that are available. But because of time constraint, we may be forced to renovate.
"So in certain cases, we are renovating and in others we will build. The degree of renovation varies from facility to facility but there is no fixed figure on that."

He called on more militants to take advantage of the amnesty offer and commended the level of enthusiasm so far expressed by those who have already surrendered their weapons.

"I think is in the interest of everybody to end this right now. Most Niger Deltans are tired.
"They are now the victims of this whole struggle. It is virtually impossible for development to take place in the Niger Delta today with the level of violence that we have.

"It is not just development that is affected, even our individual social lives have been completely affected."

The Media Coordinator of the committee, Dr. Timiebi Koripamo-Agary, added that the consequences of this crisis "as we have seen in Gbaramatu Kingdom, is that it is the women and children that have been displaced.

"This is the reason we think the militants should accept this amnesty and save their parents, their mothers, even their grandparents the pain they are going through.
Relevant Links

"If you should visit this camp, you will see a very sorry sight. The activity that led to this displacement shouldn't have happened."

Asked if the committee is in touch with Government Tompolo, a key militant, Ararile said there has been no direct contact with him.

It would be recalled that President Umaru Yar'Adua had announced the offer of amnesty from August 6 to October 4, 2009 for all those directly and indirectly engaged in militant activities in the Niger Delta.

Henry Okah, the leader for the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta had all charges against him dropped as part of the amnesty deal. He was released from jail last Monday.
In response, MEND declared a 60-day ceasefire on its "oil war" which has seen oil production cut by 50 percent.


The Rest @ AllAfrica.com

French Security Advisors to Be Tried by Shabaab Sharia

Two French security advisers seized in Somalia will be tried under Sharia law, an official from their captors, the Islamic al-Shabab militia, says.

The unnamed spokesman said they would be tried for spying and "conspiracy against Islam".
The two, who were training government troops, were kidnapped by gunmen in a Mogadishu hotel on Tuesday and later handed over to al-Shabab insurgents.

Al-Shabab and its allies control much of southern Somalia.
The al-Shabab official said no date had been set for the trial of the two men.

They were on an official mission to train the forces of the interim government, which has recently appealed for foreign help to tackle Islamist insurgents.

Moderate Islamist President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed was sworn in in January after UN-brokered peace talks.

He promised to introduce Sharia law but the hardliners accuse him of being a western stooge.
Somalia has not had a functioning national government since 1991.

Meeting al-Shabab Somali justice, Islamist-style

The Rest @ the BBC via Weasel Zippers

Minnesota Kids Join Terrorists in Somalia

by Laura Yuen, Minnesota Public Radio St. Paul, Minn. — Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison said the U.S. government is trying to ensure the safe return of some of the young Somali-American men believed to be fighting with a terrorist group in their homeland.

Ellison said he has been included in classified briefings about efforts to bring the missing men back to the Twin Cities.

At least four Somali-American men from Minnesota who left to fight in the Horn of Africa have died there in recent months.

One of youngest, a skinny teenager from Minneapolis named Burhan Hassan, was trying to leave the fighting and make his way to the U.S. embassy in neighboring Kenya, according to family members. They believe a fellow member of the extremist group Al-Shabaab shot Hassan to death when the group learned of his plans to escape.

Congressman Keith Ellison thinks the U.S. should try to retrieve the Minnesotan men who may have been misled into joining Al-Shabaab and want out.

“We can’t have a knee-jerk emotional reaction,” Ellison said. “We’ve got to have an intelligent reaction. If a young person says, ‘I have been lied to. I don’t like these people. I want to get away from them,’ we should help them do that, as long as we know that does not create a public safety issue for Minnesotans and Americans.”

Ellison wouldn’t offer more details of the plans, saying the discussions were classified. But he said the efforts involve private non-governmental organizations as well as government entities. A State Department official did not respond to requests for interviews.

Ellison, whose district includes the largest concentration of Somali-Americans in the country, said the U.S. government has a vested interest in bringing the men back to safety. The FBI is investigating how and why about 20 men left the Twin Cities to join the chaos and bloodshed of a homeland they barely knew.Larger viewBurhan Hassan

Ellison said the U.S. should send a message to the young fighters.

“If you’ve learned the truth about these exploitative organizations like Shabaab, who are so dangerous, then abandon them and then help tell the truth about what these groups are really all about,” Ellison said.

The Minneapolis office of the FBI has encouraged any of the Minnesota fighters who have had second thoughts to find their way to “the nearest friendly diplomatic agency.”

“If these men did come to a point where they wanted to return home, that they were disenchanted with the situation over there, tired of the fighting and wanting to come home, we’d certainly like to get the word out that they should do that,” said FBI spokesman E.K. Wilson.

But Wilson also added that the FBI remains focused on the investigation, “and that focus has not changed at all.”

Asking a fighter to simply walk away from Al-Shabaab because he had a change of heart is a tall order. Families have heard that the men are being closely guarded.

Mogadishu has been under siege in recent weeks as groups like Al-Shabaab vie for power. The U.S. has no diplomatic presence in Somalia; however the FBI has staff and agents in neighboring countries that are assisting in the investigation.

Still, at least two men with Minnesota ties were able to escape Al-Shabaab, back in December 2007.

Court records released this week say Abdifatah Isse left for Somalia in hopes of fighting against the Ethiopian troops who invaded the country. According to the documents, only after Isse arrived in Somalia, he realized he joined a movement connected to Al-Shabaab.

At the time, the U.S. had yet to declare Al-Shabaab as a terrorist group. Isse and another Minnesota man were able to flee Al-Shabaab soon after arriving.

A friend identified the other man as 26-year-old Salah Ahmed of New Brighton. The friend said Ahmed told the other Minnesota fighters that he needed to seek treatment for his allergies.

Then Ahmed and Isse escaped to Kismayo, and eventually returned to the United States.
Now, the two men are back in Minnesota — behind bars.

Authorities this week released indictments charging each of them with providing material support to terrorism and conspiring to kill people abroad. At least one of the men, Isse, is cooperating with authorities. A trial for Ahmed is scheduled for October.

But bringing the remaining recruits back to the U.S. isn’t without risk. John Radsan, a former assistant general counsel for the CIA, said the U.S. government is taking such a heightened interest in the case of the Somali-American fighters because of broader concerns on global terror.

“These people are trained, perhaps over there. They become radicalized over there,” Radsan said. “They are engaged in combat, and if those people can be put on that cycle, it’s only another step before they might come back here to do bad things in the Twin Cities.”

Counterterrorism officials have said they have no evidence that the young men were plotting attacks on the U.S.

Congressman Ellison agrees that the U.S. government’s first responsibility is to protect its residents. But he also thinks if the recruits pose no threat to national security, they should be allowed to re-integrate into the American culture they left behind.
__________________________________________________________
Source: MPR(Reporters Elizabeth Stawicki and Sasha Aslanian contributed to this report.)
Related Posts:

The Rest @ Bartamaha
(VIDEO) 2 Somali men indicted in terror plot
Somali-Americans Accused of Al Qaeda Ties Indicted on Terror Charges, Sources Say
Missing Somali-American killed in Somalia
Relative confirms death of fourth young man from Minnesota in Somalia
Somali man's family says he's not a terrorist
Somali terror suspect waives detention hearing
First clue to how Isse and other young Somalis were recruited to fight: He was approached “at a house of worship.”
(LISTEN) Speech may provide clues to missing Somalis' motivation
More Arrests May Happen In Missing Somalis Case
Somalis, FBI in other U.S. cities on alert for terrorist recruiting
Somalia urges Somali-Americans not to join rebels
Minneapolis Somali man killed in homeland

Friday, July 17, 2009

Contact Information

Abdihakim Hassanabdi@somalilink.com



Somali Bantu Youth And Family Org.
Mukhtar Omar Ibrahim
mukhtarsajin@yahoo.com


Somali Community Association of Ohio
Mohamoud Elmi
somcomohio@hotmail.com



Council of United Somali Communities of Ohio
Abdi Issa
kismayo95@yahoo.com

Somali Development Agency Inc. (SDA)
Ahmed Abdi
somalidevagency@yahoo.com


Helping Africans in New Directions
Abdihakim Hassan
abdi@somalilink.com


Somali Women & Children's Alliance
Hawa Siad
info@swaca.org

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Arms Trafficker Robert Hamlin Wainwright, Captured in Mexico

Suspected U.S. arms trafficker arrested in the Mexico

by Mnet on Thu 16 Jul 2009 08:21 PM BST Permanent Link Cosmos

He is wanted by the Environmental Protection Agency as well.

Mexican authorities arrest suspected U.S. arms trafficker Robert Hamlin Wainwright, prepare to send him north. MORELIA, MICHOACAN STATE, MEXICO (JULY 14, 2009) REUTERS - Mexican authorities arrested Robert Hamlin Wainwright on Tuesday (July 14) in the city of Zamora, Mexico, following a capture and extradition request by U.S. government for arms trafficking charges and violating terms of conditional freedom.

After his arrest, Hamlin was transferred by government officials to the migration station in Morelia to begin his extradition process. Although U.S. authorities considered Hamlin to be a highly dangerous fugitive, Mexican migration official Luis Ibarrola said Hamlin was not being extradited for arms trafficking charges.

"We don't have any information regarding his responsibility in arms trafficking from the U.S. into Mexico or the contrary. What we know is that he's an expert in arms operations and, according to U.S. law, one of the crimes attributed to him is possession of arms," Ibarrola told Reuters. After staying for a couple of hours at Morelia's migration station, Hamlin was taken by migration officials to a local hospital for a routine health check to monitor his diabetic condition.

The Rest @ mpelempe Network

AQIM in Most Major Western European Nations


Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghareb (AQIM) is indeed in Belgium, France Italy and Spain as the article below suggests. I would add to the list: the the UK, Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, and Poland.

-Shimron Issachar

LONDON [MENL] -- The Al Qaeda network in North Africa has spread to Western Europe.

Western intelligence sources said the Al Qa1da Organization in the Islamic Maghreb has established cells in a range of European Union states.

Since 2004, the sources said, AQIM has set up 10 cells in such countries asBelgium, France, Italy and Spain."We believe AQIM is present, in some form, in every major North Africane migrant community in Europe," an intelligence source said. "AQIM eithersends agents to these communities or recruits existing community members."

The Rest @ Middle East Newsline

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

AQIM Takes on the Chinese In Africa

Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Mahgreb (AQIM) said it would target the 50,000 Chinese workers in Algeria and elsewhere in Northern Africa.

Two extremist web sites affiliated with al-Qaeda also made threats against the large numbers of Chinese people working in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East.

"Chop off their heads at their workplaces or in their homes to tell them that the time of enslaving Muslims has gone," read one posting.

It is the first time that any al-Qaeda group has threatened China or its interests and illustrates the high price that Beijing may pay for the riots in Urumqi, in which at least 136 Han Chinese and 46 Uighurs died last week.

Beijing's nervousness over its vast interests in Africa and the Middle East was underlined by the Foreign ministry, which rushed to reassure Muslims that China was not oppressing the Uighurs in the desert province of Xinjiang.

"We hope that our Muslim brothers can realise the truth of the July 5 incident in Urumqi. Once they know the truth, they would support our ethnic and religious policies and the measures the Chinese government has taken to deal with the incident," said a spokesman.

The Foreign ministry was also quick to deny a charge of genocide against the Uighurs that has been levelled by Turkey, which, together with Iran, has emerged as one of Beijing's sternest critics over the events of the past week.

"In which country could this be called genocide?" said a spokesman. "In 1949, the population of Uighurs in Xinjiang was 3.29 million, at present the Uighur population there is nearly 10 million, or three times more than 60 years ago. What kind of ethnic genocide is this?" he said.
Justin Crump, the head of terrorism analysis at Stirling Assynt, a London-based risk analysis group, said his company had come across threats from AQIM in the course of its normal monitoring.

"China has been able to operate with impunity in Afghanistan and Pakistan. al-Qaeda and the Taliban have left Chinese well alone," he said.

But a report from his firm said: "There is an increased amount of 'chatter' on the internet among active Jihadists, who claim they want to see action to avenge the perceived injustices in Xinjiang.
"Some of these individuals have been actively seeking information on China's interests in the Muslim world which they could use for targeting purposes
,"

Three weeks ago, AQIM ambushed an Algerian security team protecting a Chinese construction project and killed 24 guards.

"Future attacks of this kind are likely to target security forces and Chinese engineers alike," said Stirling Assynt's report. "They come across the Chinese a lot in the area and AQIM are likely to take the opportunity [when it presents itself]," said Mr Crump.

China's interests in Yemen could also be a target, since al-Qaeda is actively trying to topple President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

However, Mr Crump said the terrorist group's senior leadership was unlikely to endorse a full-scale jihad against China.

He also added that there is no significant link between Uighur separatist groups in Xinjiang and Osama bin Laden's network.

AQIM, which wants to impose an Islamic state in Algeria, was founded in the mid-1990s and pledged allegiance to Osama bin Laden in 2003.

The huge oil and gas reserves in Xinjiang, as well as the web of pipelines that run through the province, funnelling energy from Kazakhstan and Russia all the way to Beijing and Shanghai, make the province vital to China's interests.

However, China's policy of total control has upset Islamic states, especially in the past week. Protesting Muslims in Indonesia called for a jihad against China on Monday, clashing with police outside the Chinese embassy in Jakarta.


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Kosovo Arms Smugglers Captured

Serbia -
July 14, 2009
Person arrested for arms trafficking
The Serbian Interior Ministry stated that the police started an action early this morning in Southern Serbia to break up an arms trafficking ring, suspected of supplying weapons to Albanian terrorist groups.

According to the statement issued by the Ministry, Chenan Mehmeti from Mitrovica was arrested during the police action with smuggled arms, ammunition and military equipment from Kosovo in his truck.

Police found a large quantity of arms and explosives in the family home of Ljuljzim Ibissi, a member of the so called Gnjilane Group.The police are looking for three more people from Kosovo who also took part in the arms trafficking.

Monday, July 13, 2009

AQIM's Swiss Hostage Werner Greiner Release - They Paid 3 Million Euros

Word From MEMRI:

Werner Greiner, a Swiss national who had been taken captive by Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), was released July 11 after nearly six months of captivity...


-Shimron Issachar


of 07/13/2009 7:14 AM
BAMAKO - A Swiss man's six-month hostage ordeal in Mali came to an end on Sunday as he returned safely to the capital Bamako after being freed by an Al-Qaeda group that beheaded a Briton in May.

Swiss officials credited Mali President Amadou Toumani Toure with securing Werner Greiner's release and insisted Switzerland had neither negotiated nor paid a ransom for him.

He was freed in Mali's northern desert region of Gao after fierce clashes there between government soldiers and Al-Qaeda fighters, Malian officials said.Greiner, the last Western hostage held by a group calling itself Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), returned later Sunday to Bamako where he was welcomed by Swiss representatives.

"He will get a medical examination and care. Once his health permits, he will be repatriated to Switzerland to be with his family," foreign ministry spokesman Markus Boerlin told the Swiss newswire ATS in Geneva.

His health was "quite good" given the circumstances, said Boerlin. "But it is clear that he is tired, exhausted."

"The Mali president obtained the liberation. Switzerland neither negotiated with the kidnappers [Emphasis added by Shimron] nor paid any ransom," he added.

Greiner was snatched in January along with his wife Gabriella Burco, and fellow tourists Marianne Petzold of Germany and British national Edwin Dyer in Niger, near the border with Mali.

Burco and Petzold were released on April 22, along with two Canadian diplomats kidnapped in December.

But on June 3 the Al-Qaeda group announced it had beheaded Dyer because London would not release radical Muslim cleric Abu Qatada from a British prison. It was the first time AQIM had killed a Western hostage.

An AFP reporter saw a weary-looking Greiner, dressed in a brown shirt, nod and wave earlier Sunday as he got into a vehicle in a convoy guarded by Malian security forces in the town of Mopti, halfway between Gao and the capital.Earlier this month an official in northern Mali involved in the talks with the kidnappers had said Greiner was in poor shape.

"He is hardly eating at all. He is suffering a lot," he had told AFP on condition of anonymity. Another negotiator had described him as "in a critical state."Dozens of people were reported killed in Gao this month in violent clashes between the Malian army and Al-Qaeda fighters.

Following Dyer's execution Mali stepped up efforts to hunt down the Al-Qaeda militants with President Toure announcing all-out war on the group.

The army said dozens of people were killed on July 4 in the deadliest clashes yet reported in the remote northern region between government troops and Al-Qaeda fighters.AQIM claimed to have killed 28 soldiers and taken three prisoner in an ambush against an army convoy.

The Al-Qaeda group only confirmed one death from among its own ranks, that of a Mauritanian combatant. AQIM emerged from and includes members of the former Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat, a radical Islamic movement in Algeria that battled the secular state.

Since 2006, it has sought to enlist extremists in Tunisia and Morocco and extended activities deep into the Sahara and beyond to the Sahel nations of west Africa, where Briton Edwin Dyer was captured and executed.

The movement seeks close ties to Osama Bin Laden's Al-Qaeda and wants to be considered its north Africa-based armed wing. An official Malian source said a ceremony to mark Greiner's liberation was scheduled at the presidency in Bamako on Monday.

The Rest @ ABS CBN News

as of 07/13/2009 7:14 AM

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Body of Foreign Fighter Shown in Somalia

MOGADISHU(Mareeg)—Somali government has displayed the body of “a foreign fighter” in Villa Somalia, the presidential palace on Saturday.

A spokesman for the military of the Somali government, Farhan Asanyo, showed reporters the body of a white man which he described as a fighter from Afghanistan.

The body of the foreigner that the governmnet displayed on 11 July 2009. Farhan said the fighter was killed in fierce fighting between the Islamist forces and the government soldiers which took place in Abdi Azizi district in Mogadishu early on Saturday.

Somali government has been repeating that foreign fighters were fighting alongside Al Shabaab and Hzbul Islam Islamist groups.

Separately, foreign fighters addressed hundreds of people in Mogadishu’s Heliwa district in the north of the capital on Friday afternoon where al Shabaab has a main base and said they came to Somalia to help the Somali Islamists to form an Islamic government through out Somalia.

Witnesses said the foreign Islamist fighters spoke to the people in English and Arabic and some of them claimed they were from Britain and the United States of America.
By Ahmednor Mohamed Farah

The Rest @ Mareeg

AQIM Hits the Press

AQIM seems to be putting the Ransom money they United Nations arranged to pay to work...

-Shimron Issachar


Just about a year after the last time and two-and-a-half years after the first time, the New York Times again treats al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb on July 10 (AQIM) to some lurid front-page publicity, "Qaeda Branch Steps Up Raids in North Africa."

The story alarmingly fails to mention the US military advisors that have been dispatched to the region in supposed response to the AQIM threat, but does say that "Algerian security forces [are] now offering military and intelligence support to poorer neighboring countries like Mali, where the insurgents have sought refuge."

Like most such Times accounts, the report is based largely on quotes from anonymous officials—such as "a senior French counterterrorism official" who said AQIM "are now part of the global jihad." One one-the-record quote is from US Africa Command chief, Gen. William E. Ward: "Is there a threat? There sure is a threat."

The report focuses on a litany of AQIM's recent audacious attacks—some of which we already noted. Iin late May, AQIM killed a Briton, Edwin Dyer, a day after its second deadline for meeting its demands expired. Dyer had been kidnapped on Jan. 22 along with a Swiss citizen and two other tourists in Niger and was held in Mali. In return for his life, AQIM had demanded the release of Abu Qatada, a Jordanian-born Palestinian cleric held in Britain, as well as $14 million. (Qatada's release was also sought by the militants in Iraq who took members of the Christian Peacemaker Teams hostage in 2005.)

  • About two weeks later, gunmen in Timbuktu, Mali, killed a senior Malian army intelligence officer who had arrested several suspected AQIM members.
  • Within days, Malian armed forces retaliated, capturing a militant base near the Algerian border and killing more than two dozen fighters.
  • On June 23, assailants in Nouakchott, Mauritania's capital, killed Christopher Ervin Leggett, an American aid worker, in what authorities called an attempted kidnapping.
  • In Algeria about the same time, militants using roadside bombs and automatic rifles ambushed a convoy of paramilitary police forces about 110 miles east of Algiers, killing 18 members of the security forces.
  • And last weekend, presumed AQIM fighters attacked a Malian army patrol in that country's northern desert, killing nearly a dozen soldiers and capturing several others.
  • AQIM leader Abdelmalek Droukdal has also threatened a "flagrant war" against France in retaliation for an effort by France's president, Nicolas Sarkozy, to ban burqas.

Times sources conjecture that the "mayhem may be partly a result of a vicious rivalry" between two AQIM subcommanders in Mali, Mokhtar Belmokhtar and Abdelhamid Abu Zeid, "a clash that underscores the kind of autonomous jihad cells that counterterrorism officials say are particularly hard to combat." The rivalry may exist, but the attacks seem to be directed at common enemies, not fellow militants.


Lauren C. Ploch, an Africa specialist with the Congressional Research Service, said AQIM's ideology is unlikely to win much sympathy with the populace of the Sahel states. "Nevertheless," she said, "the vast spaces in northern Mali, Mauritania, Niger and southern Algeria are extremely difficult to police, so it’s quite possible that we may see surges in extremist activity in certain countries depending on how well their neighbors are able to control their own territories."

The Rest @ The World War Four Report

Friday, July 10, 2009

African Union Says Foreign Fighters in Somalia Could Be in the Thousands

By DANA HUGHES and KIRIT RADIA
July 9, 2009 , ABC News

In an interview with ABC News, Prime Minister Shamarke says the ongoing violence in the war-torn country has taken a decidedly international turn. A large in flow of Al Qaeda-backed foreign fighters coming into Somalia has made the country "uncontrollable," says the Prime Minister.

He says his moderate Islamist government, which has been in power for less than six months, needs international help to make it a fair fight.

"We don't have an edge in terms of capability and that's why we have requested this international emergency help to salvage the country," says Shamarke. "

"We cannot prevail on these extremist groups when they have Ak-47s, and other weapons and we only have Ak-47s."

In a memo obtained by ABC News dated in May, U.S. officials requested an exemption to the arms embargo Somalia has been subject to for the last 17 years. The memo requests permission to ship 19 tons of ammunition including small arms, RPGs and mortars directly to Somalia's Transitional Federal Government forces. It states, "In light of the on-going fighting in Mogadishu, this emergency support is needed to ensure the continued war fighting capacity of the NSF [National Security Force] and the survival of the TFG."

The Somali government claims there are thousands of foreign fighters in the country coming primarily from Pakistan and Yemen to fund and fight along side al Shabaab, the country's primary insurgent group.

  • African Union officials working with the mission in Somalia, known as AMISOM, have also said they think the number of foreign fighters within Somalia could be in thousands, but U.S. officials believe the number to be smaller.Despite differences in opinion of the exact number of extremists present, the Somali government and the United States are in agreement over their concern that this government may fall to al-Shabaab and other insurgent groups, who now control the majority of the country.
  • U.S. State Department"We do not want to see Somalia become a safe haven for foreign terrorists," a Senior State Department official told reporters. "And we believe that one of the best ways to prevent that is to help the TFG establish itself as a strong, legitimate government."But Somalia has not had a functioning government in nearly 20 years.

  • The country has no system of justice, no infrastructure and no established rule of law. The government forces have had little to no training and there are reports that in the past troops have sold weapons and supplies to insurgent groups.
  • Prime Minister Shamarke does not dispute those reports, but says al-Shabaab is exploiting them for it's own agenda. "They know when people hear that most of our weapons have fallen into the hands of these people, people will say don't give weapons to the government. And that's actually the objective, to create some sort of suspicion or distrust with the people who want to assist us," he says.

The fighting between government forces and insurgent groups has intensified since May, with the insurgent groups launching an offensive and the government countering, causing a humanitarian disaster.

More than 200,000 Somalis have fled Mogadishu in just two months according to the UN's refugee agency.Reports of young men roaming the streets with clubs, machetes and guns as well as mortar fire targeting civilian areas deemed friendly to the government have forced families to flee, sometimes relocating more than once.

"These are areas that in the last 19 years people never flee. 125,000 in a matter of 2,3,4,5 days," said Shamarke. "That's unheard of, even in the worst times of Somalia.

"Those that stay must live by al-Shabaab's rules, a strict interpretation of sharia Islamic law. Last month four young men reportedly had their hands and feet cut off as punishment for stealing cell phones.

The group has pledged its allegiance to Al Qaeda numerous times. An Osama bin Laden audio tape released last spring entitled "Fight on, champions of Somalia" called for al-Shabaab and other insurgent groups to overthrow the current government.The Prime Minister says he believes that would be disastrous, not just for Somalia, but for the entire world.

"It would turn the country into a safe haven where people could actually organize attacks in the EU, in the United Stations, in Asian Countries in African countries," he said. "I think the consequences are unimaginable."

Posted by Medeshi on Thursday, July 09, 2009


The Rest @ Medeshi

TFG and Shabaab temporary halt in fighting about to End

MOGADISHU (HOL) - Today is the last day of the five-day ultimatum the leader of Al-Shabaab movement Sheik Mukhtar Abdirahman Abuu Zubeyr has given Somalia’s Transitional Government (TFG) troops to surrender to Al-Shabaab forces.

Sheik Mukthar called on government soldiers to surrender to his forces adding that they will not accept government troops to keep their weapons. “We will not accept that they keep their arms and we ask them to surrender their arms to the Mujahidiin forces and continue on with their lives” said Sheik Mukhtar.

The leader of Al-Shabaab added that the leaders of the TFG who have renounced the authentic teachings of Islam will be brought to an Islamic court and will be prosecuted for crimes they have committed against Somalia and the Somali people and for inviting foreign troops to the country” said Sheik Mukhtar.

In response to the remarks of Al-Shabaab leader, the TFG’s Parliament Secretary for National Defence Sheik Yuusuf Mohamed Siyaad Indha-ade said that the Al-Shabaab leader is misguided to suggest that TFG troops should surrender in five days and Sheik Mukhtar is someone who is hiding.

Sheik Indha-ade added that TFG is willing to talk to any opposition group on the basis of the teaching the Quran and Sunnah. “If it is proven that we are wrong, we are prepared to repent but let Ahmed Godane accept talks and accept his mistakes if it is proven he is wrong” added the Parliamentary Secretary for National Defence.

These exchanges of accusations and counter-accusations and claims of victory by each side come at a time when in the last two months the two sides have been engaged in deadly fighting where hundreds of civilians were killed and injured and thousands were displaced.

The Rest @ Hiiran.com

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Hizb ut-Tahrir, an International Threat

Religious-extremist organization "Hizb ut-Tahrir" (literal translation of which is — "Liberation Party”) was established by Shiekh Takiitdinom Nabahony in Bayt ul-Maqdis (Syria) in 1953. Some other sources claim that the first cell of the organization was established in Jerusalem (Israel) with overall aim of reviving "Khalifat" by seizing power.

T. Nabahony — the ideologist and the permanent leader of the movement till 1979, was a member of an extremist group "Muslim Brotherhood". Among other founders of "Hizb ut-Tahrir" could be mentioned Haled Hasan, one of the leaders of Palestinian organization "FATH" and Asaad Tahmimi, the spiritual leader of "Islamic Jihad".

The structure of "Hizb ut-Tahrir” is strictly constructed by a pyramidal principle and corresponds to all requirements of the undercover terrorist organization. Each member after completion of preliminary 6-month courses of "zombiing" on book "Islom Nizomi" (the structure of Islam) swears on fidelity to the movement. The oath, in particular, contains such words: "in the name of Allah I swear to carry out any orders of "Hizb ut-Tahrir" leaders even if these orders do not correspond to my belief".

Self-initiative and non-authorized actions are not permitted to any level members of "Hizb ut-Tahrir". Members of "Hizb ut-Tahrir", whether they are of ordinary rank or heads of regions strictly coordinate their actions with leaders. The effective e-mailing system functions to help in salvation of complicated issues. Questions are mailed trough Internet to the secret addresses of "Hizb ut-Tahrir" leaders ("Kiedat") and within 2-3 days precisely formulated answer is being sent back.

"Hizb ut-Tahrir" also holds an armed wing called "Harakat ul-Muhojirinfi Britaniya". The leader of the wing is Muhammad Abu Bakr (the native of Palestine, 50 years of age, one of the founders of "Hizb ut-Tahrir" cells in Great Britain). According to the data available "Harakat ul-Muhojirinfi Britaniya" was established under guidance of Abdulkaddum Zaium (the former world leader of "Hizb ut-Tahrir", he has died in March 2003) and is engaged in training of military experts in the spheres of conducting chemical, bacteriological, biological war, and also deal with bombs and mines.

In the beginning of its activity "Hizb ut-Tahrir" was recognized in the majority of Muslim countries. In particular, Iran, Iraq, Algeria, Sudan, Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Jordan. However, initially anti-governmental character of its activity, aversion of any laws, including laws of Islamic states, open opposition and attempts to seize power, discredit of official authority, support of terrorist organizations, became the reason for banning "Hizb ut-Tahrir" in the countries where they originally developed their activity.

The hope of Nabahoni and his followers that strategic aims of the movement will be quickly perceived and realized through Islamic Revolution were not justified. Therefore "Hizb ut-Tahrir" movement was declined to the idea of seizing power in one separately taken country and spreading "jihad" on neighboring countries.

We shall result some known facts from so-called "peaceful" activity of religious-political organization "Hizb ut-Tahrir":

1968 — attempt of armed revolution in Jordan. Members of the Jordanian “Hizb ut-Tahrir” branch were involved at all preparatory stages. Guidance was performed directly by Nabahony, at the time living in safety in Europe. Attempt has failed, "Hizb ut-Tahrir" members were arrested. That became a big shock for Nabahony, assigning hopes on this revolution and hoping that the idea of "Khalifat" will be acknowledge.

1974 — attempt to decline recruits of "The Egyptian military-technological academy" to military rebellion in Egypt. Guidance was performed by one of the most radical leader of "Hizb ut-Tahrir" — Salah Sariya. Operation was preceded by a long period of ideological “zombiing” of Moslems and young recruits in secret cells. A number of instigators of the revolution including Salah Sariya have been executed.

1974 — the second attempt of seizing power in Jordan failed.

1993 — Jordanian Special Forces undisclosed the latent preparation of assassination of King Hussein (Jordan) by thirty "Hizb ut-Tahrir" activists. Ten of them were sentenced to a death penalty.

Armed conflict of "Hizb ut-Tahrir" insurgents with Lebanese Special Forces and Syrian army in the north of Lebanon from December 1999 till January 2000. The basic slogan of insurgents was: "The modern Islamic countries should be salvaged for a devilish infection dangerous not only for Allah, but also for Moslems, who can be curved only participating in "jihad". By end of special operation 800 «Hizb ut-Tahrir» active members were arrested.

In April 2000 Egyptian Special Forces have arrested 26 "Hizb ut-Tahrir" activists preparing armed revolution in the country. Three of the arrested extremists were ethnic Arabs holding Great Britain passports. Insurgent-terrorists have been sentenced to long terms of imprisonment after investigation.

In 2002 "peaceful" character of "Hizb ut-Tahrir's" activity was demonstrated on Philippines, where Indonesian insurgents - "Hizb ut-Tahrir" members were detained. They are alleged to carry explosives and weapon. All terrorist acts committed by arrested insurgents were coordinated by regional structure of "Al Kaida". Taking into consideration political situation between Philippines and Indonesia, the incident was not devoted to publicity.

In April 2003 bomb blasted in "Mike's Place" cafe located on quay of Tel Aviv. Executors of this terrorist act — Great Britain citizens — Osif Khanif and Omar Sherif, insurgents of British grouping "Al-Muhadjirun". According to the statement made by Omar Sherif, previously he was a member of "Hizb ut-Tahrir's" British branch and only recently has been transferred to its military wing "Al-Muhadjirun".

In December 2003 the attack on Ahmad Maher, Foreign Affairs Minister of Egypt, inside "Al Aksa" mosque (Jerusalem) was accomplished by "Hisb ut-Tahrir" supporters. Leader of "Hizb ut-Tahrir's" Jerusalem branch, Muhammad Hammuri was arrested during the investigation.

"Hizb ut-Tahrir's" "peaceful" activities are also traced in CIS countries:

In 1997 the meeting of Tahir Juldashev (leader of Islamic movement of Uzbekistan) with Nizamiddin Jusupov (born in 1965, living in Karasu, Kyrghyzstan, one of leaders of "Hizb ut-Tahrir's" Kyrghyzstan branch) has taken place in Rawalpindi. «Hizb ut-Tahrir» activists initiated the meeting. In particular, N. Jusupov has met with so called "Abu Mahmud" (coordinator of "Hizb ut-Tahrir's" activity in CIS) in November 1997 in Jordan. During the conversation, Abu Mahmud instructed N.Jusupov to meet with T.Juldashev and to propose him an idea of coordination of their activity. Non-coordinated activities could undermine the common aim of these organizations in establishing the Islamic State in Uzbekistan. The meeting was organized by Rahmatullo Aminiy (around 50 years of age, the ethnic Uzbek, citizen of Pakistan) and took place in Pakistan, where annual conference of "Tablig" has taken place in November 1997. During the conversation T.Juldashev has declared, that armed capture is the only way to overthrow the authority in Central Asian countries. However N.Jusupov informed that "Hizb ut-Tahrir" holds an armed wing "Harakat ul-Muhojirinfi Britaniya" for fulfillment of these activities.

Alongside with Afghani, Tajik, Uygur mercenaries in D.Hodjiev's band grouping, which has carried out armed intrusion on the territory of Babkent, Kyrgyzstan, there were fanatically adjusted "Hizb ut-Tahrir" members from among heads of regional structures, avoiding criminal liability and who have joined the armed wing of "Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan".

In 1999, during combat operations in Babkent, Kyrgyz law enforcement bodies inspected the suspicious car in Osh, driven by Kahramon Yakubovich Abdusamatov (date of birth: 1971, citizen of the Republic of Kyrgyzstan, address: Volgograd st, 9, Osh). During the inspection there were leaflets of religious-political organization "Hizb ut-Tahrir" found under the forward seats of the vehicle. During the interrogation, K.Abdusamatov informed Department of Internal Affairs of Kyrgyzstan, that he is a messenger of "Hizb ut-Tahrir" cells in Tashkent and Osh.

Ilhom Toirovich Izatullaev from Kokand, an activist of religious-political organization "Hizb ut-Tahrir", who has joined "Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan" in 2001, was among arrested by Kyrgyz law enforcement bodies in connection with the explosion in one of "Ineksim bank" branches in Osh in 2001. He was a member of band group commanded by "Abdurakhman" and coordinated by D.Hodjiev.

On September 12, 2000 Kyrgyzstan Minister of Internal Affairs O.Kutuev has declared, that during the collision between Special Forces and IMU insurgents in Chatkal (Djalal-Abad, Kyrgystan), seven insurgents were abolished. He also informed that “Hizb ut-Tahrir" literature and leaflets were withdrawn. The issue was, in particular, about "Hizb ut-Tahrir’s" intentions to cooperate with a wide spectrum of movements in order to bring "umma" into the struggle with "Kufr".

Several operations on suppression of "Hizb ut-Tahrir’s" antigovernment activity were undertaken in Russia, in 2003. 121 members of the organization (basically citizens of Kyrghyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan) have been arrested during the operation. The whole arsenal consisting of 100 grams of plastid, manual pomegranates, 400 grams of trot, two detonators, and also propaganda leaflets and brochures calling the Russian Moslems to struggle with faithless people and to create Islamic State in Russia were withdrawn from the heads of the cells Oybek Jusupov, citizen of the Republic of Uzbekistan (had a counterfeit passport of the citizen of Kyrghyzstan - Alisher Musaev) and Akram Jalolov.

In February 2003 the Supreme Court of Russian Federation has recognized religious-political organization "Hizb ut-Tahrir" as terrorist organization and forbidden its activity on the territory of Russia.

It is an established fact that Rustam Mahmud (also known as "Zubayr ibn Abdurahim") one of the ideologists of IMU terrorist organization is also "Hizb ut-Tahrir" activist, and has been a head of "Hizb ut-Tahrir’s" Namangan branch before departing to the camps of insurgents. Now, "Zubayr" is a close confidant of T.Juldashev and his assistant on ideology questions.

Tajikistan Special Forces received documentary acknowledgement of stable relationship between "Hizb ut-Tahrir" and IMU activists and former Consolidated Tajik opposition. There were weapons, explosives, blasting literature and also D.Hodzhiev's letter with appeals to consolidated forces for achievement of common aims found during the inspection of Anarbaev's ("Hizb ut-Tahrir" Sogd region leader) house.

Those "Hizb ut-Tahrir" members, avoiding the justice have joined groups of Djuma Namangoni insurgents.

In October 2001 A.B.Holmatov and R.A.Valiev from Fergana Valley, members of religious-political organization "Hizb ut-Tahrir", who have left for Afghanistan in February 2001 under influence of IMU functionaries and have joined bands surrended to the law enforcement bodies of Uzbekistan and on their free will admitted their guilt.

In October 2000 Kazakhstan Committee for National Security arrested the group of "Hizb ut-Tahrir" members guided by Abduali Ismailov from Turkestan, intending to distribute leaflets, with appeals for violent overthrow and fluctuation of constitutional system, among visitors and city-dwellers during the celebration of 1500-anniversary of Turkestan. Automatic pistol "Borz" of Chechen construction, hand-made bombs and also extremist literature and leaflets were withdrawn during the inspection of Mamatsafo Abdukarimov - one of the group members.

However the specified facts are denied by "Hizb ut-Tahrir" Supreme leaders and presented as actions of the broken away part, or as local cells self-initiative. At the same time, it is necessary to take into account, that "Hizb ut-Tahrir's" structure, program and tactics do not suppose insubordination or self-initiative actions of its members. Starting from the ordinary functionary up to the heads at a regional level "Hizb ut-Tahrir" members entirely comply with orders and instructions of so-called "Kiedat" ("Hizb ut-Tahrir" legislative assembly) and "Amir".

Nowadays, various religious-extremist structures previously acted locally and separately, (international terrorist bands, "Jihadists", "Hizb ut-Tahrir", etc.) are united into the uniform, widely ramified transnational system, under aegis of the "International Jihad’s front".

In this context "Hizb ut-Tahrir" holds an extremely extremist position, protects Islamic terrorists and tries to call all Muslim world "to rise" on sacred "jihad" against “faithless people”.

Practically every single leaflet, brochure, book, distributed by “Hizb ut-Tahrir” and Internet sites maintained by this organization contains an idea of "jihad" with various proves of its necessity. These statements confirm that through "jihad" "Hizb ut-Tahrir" intends to transform all states from "Dar al-Kufr" (the country of unbelief) into "Dar al-Islam" (the country of Islam) and it could include the armed struggle with "faithless people” if they refuse to proceed in Moslem or to pay tax as a token of humility. Fragments of Koran are frequently used. In particular its interpretation is typical to the terrorist organization "Moslems Brotherhood".

As the main enemies of the organization "Hizb ut-Tahrir" declares such countries as USA, Israel, Great Britain and France. Religious handling of the population is carried out in negative relation to them. Almost in each printed edition of a batch there is an article negatively consecrating actions of the specified countries against developing of terrorism in the world.

The false of "Hizb ut-Tahrir" leaders statements, that organization does not promote neither violence, nor terror, is confirmed by "Hizb ut-Tahrir" Internet-sites and printed literature justifying violent forms of "jihad".

The editions illegally distributed by "Hizb ut-Tahrir" (brochures, such as "The structure of Islam", "Democracy is a charter of heresy", "Al-Vayа" and "Hadar" magazines, and leaflets) propagandize the politicized Islam, calling for civil disobedience and promote kindling of religionism. We shall result some examples; "Without Islamic state there is no opportunity anew to begin life on canons of Islam" ("Structure of Islam", page 59); "All Islamic, including Arabian countries, to a deep regret, are governed by heretical laws and conclusions" ("Structure of Islam", page 5); "The Democracy is a product of human mind. Allah did not grant it. It is not based on suggestion from outside and it is not connected to any religion, granted by Allah through the Prophet" ("Democracy is a charter of heresy", page 12); "Islamic Khalifat is a defender of all Muslim countries. Its construction is duty and the delay in its recovery is not allowed" (the leaflet from January, 16, 2000); "... If so, hurry up with practical acts, blessed by Allah and his Prophet, act with those who is on a correct way of Prophet and Allah, a way to reconstruct Khalifat).

Annotated translation of the article called "General principles of self-sacrifice in the name of Allah", published in # 170 of monthly "Hizb ut-Tahrir" magazine — "Al-Vay" just before terrorist acts in USA in September, 2001, is “fatva”[1] of approval and eulogy of terrorists-suicides acts, the tactics widely used against Jewish population in Israel nowadays.

In particular it is written in the article that "According to Sheriyat methods of struggling against faithless people – “kufrs” are unlimited... Moslems are permitted to use any methods and whether he will fight the enemy on distance using the weapon or face to face, whether he will struggle without any means, or having penetrated into the territory of the enemy opens a gate for Moslems or whether he will direct the padded plane on a place of a tie-up of faithless people not jumping out of it with a parachute, or whether he will blow up for the sake of causing harm to soldiers in enemy's military camps, or having tied with bomb belt will blow up himself and faithless people — all these are allowed, if these means are directed on struggle with faithless people.

The analysis of "Hizb ut-Tahrir" nowadays activity shows, that organization made active its ideological support of Islamic terrorist organizations, and also purposeful handling of the population in religious-extremist spirit.

A number of modern “Hizb ut-Tahrir” publications show open support by organization of religious extremists terrorist acts. In particular, there is an article under the title "The mother stepped into suicide bombing act” on page 40 of “Al-Vaya” periodical (#203, February 2004) praising the terrorist act committed at the entrance to Israel industrial district Erets by 22 years old Palestinian woman Riym Solih ar-Rieshiy, which resulted in 4 death and hard wound of 11 civilians. After the publication of specified article women-suicide accomplished terrorist acts in Tashkent in March 2004.

There are theses under the title “Prepare for them” published on page 52 of the periodical “Al-Vaya” (#205, April 2004) for use in sermons during Friday prayers of Moslems in which the necessity of use of modem armory (tanks, rockets, weapon of mass destruction, including nuclear and chemical) during sacred war "jihad" is justified. In the same article "Hizb ut-Tahrir" ideologists declare, that Moslems should be ahead of others in purchase and possession of weapons.

Uzbekistan borders with five central-Asian states, including Afghanistan and has close political, economic and cultural relations. Presence of these contacts, especially after gaining independence by Uzbekistan, became attractive to various kinds of radical religious-political movements, terrorist and extremist organizations. They consider Uzbekistan with its favorable geographical position as a transit zone for drug trafficking, illegal trade with weapons and other embargoed objects and infiltration of terrorists from Asia to Europe. Therefore, political and economic stability, security in the region is extremely unfavorable for the terrorist organizations. They are objectively interested in escalation of density, destabilization of political situation and security in the region.

Proceeding from this, international terrorist centers annually designate millions of dollars for financing illegal activity, directed against our and neighboring states, both from outside and inside.

1989 events gave Uzbekistan good knowledge of what does the expansion of Islamic organizations means. From that year an intensive introduction into separate regions of Central Asia of radical Islamic ideology began. In such conditions the state has been compelled to take adequate measures. For this reason the development of legislation for combating terrorism and its spiritual-ideological platform – religious extremism became the priority matter for Uzbekistan. The given measure has allowed strengthening the legal base necessary for prevention of spread of radical-religious ideas not compatible with an international adjudicated standards on human rights.

This problem is of exclusive importance for Uzbekistan due to the following facts: only in the period from 1998 to 2002 law enforcement bodies have withdrawn about 600 thousand leaflets and 300 thousand copies of religious-extremist literature. By March 2004 only in separate criminal cases there were more than 30 thousand copies of leaflets and literature withdrawn. Their main theme is propaganda of religious intolerance, anti-Semitism, jihad, necessity in construction of the theocratic state - Khalifat, etc.

Basically "Hizb ut-Tahrir" ideologists are the authors of the confiscated literature. Their conceptual attitude to human rights can be understood from the following thesis: "One of the most monstrous tragedies of humanity is the idea of human general freedom brought by democracy".

By December, 31, 2003, 3244 persons, including 24 women have been called to the criminal liability in connection with excitation of national, racial or religious hostility; an encroachment on constitutional system; manufacture or distribution of the materials presenting threat to public security and public order; creation, management, participation in religious and extremist, separative, fundamentalist or other prohibited organizations; etc. As for March 15, 2004, 2836 persons served various terms of imprisonment for committing the specified crimes. At the same time, 2569 persons, including 21 women were amnestied during this period.

It is necessary to note, that only the Supreme court of the Republic of Uzbekistan considered 51 criminal cases on "Hizb ut-Tahrir" activists, members, heads and also other people connected to this organization during 1998-2004 and corresponding verdicts were delivered for participation in terrorist acts.

In august 2004, Supreme court of the Republic of Uzbekistan has delivered its verdict on 15 persons (F.Jusupov, F.Kazakbaev, M.Mirzakulov, N.Kurbanaliev, R.Jusupov, A.Zulpikarov, K.Sohotaliev, Z.Nigmanov, Y.Umarov, H.Ishmatov, U.Hamraev, E.Aslanov, K.Tujchiev, K.Kajumov, I.Toshpulatov), accused in committing terrorist and subversive activities on March, 29-30 and April, 1, 2004 in Tashkent and Bukhara. During the court hearings, participation of the accused in committing of such grave crimes, as murder under aggravating circumstances, terrorism, religious extremism, seizure of weapons and ammunition, manufacturing, carrying, storage, smuggling of explosives has been established. Nevertheless, court delivered its verdicts based on principles of humanism and justice established by Constitution and Criminal legislation of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

The legislation of our country contains a number of articles providing the criminal liability for committing the crimes on religious base or religious covering. In particular we can cite the following article of the Criminal code: article 145 - infringement of freedom of consciousness; article 156 - excitation of national, racial and religious hostility; article 159 – overthrow of constitutional system; article 216 - illegal creation of public associations and religious organizations; article 244"note" - manufacture and distribution of materials maintaining threats to public security and public order; article 244 -creation, management, participation in religious extremist, separative, fundamentalist or other prohibited organizations.

Due to all above-stated the activity of religious-political organization "Hizb ut-Tahrir" contradicts the legislation of the Republic of Uzbekistan and concerned as terrorist because it includes the following:

1) Organization, programming, preparation and realization of terrorist acts;

2) Instigation to terrorist acts, violence over natural persons or the organizations, destruction of material objects in the terrorist purposes;

3) Organization of illegal armed bands, criminal communities and terrorist groupings, and participation in such actions;

4) Recruitment, support in ammunition, terrorists training;

5) Financing of obviously terrorist organizations either terrorist groups or rendering other assistance to them.

On the basis of the above-stated facts we believe, that the activity of religious - political organization "Hizb ut-Tahrir" must be counted as terrorist.

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