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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Al Shabaab Driven from Beledweyne Near Ethiopian Border

Ethiopian troops and Somali government forces have seized control of a key rebel-held town in Somalia after battling al-Qaida-linked militants.

Somali officials say the fighting began early Saturday after Ethiopian and Somali forces attacked positions held by al-Shabab, an Al-Qaeda affiliate, fighters on the outskirts of Beledweyne, about 30 kilometers from the Ethiopian border.

A resident of Beledweyne told the French news agency that 18 people, most of them militants, died in the fighting.

But al-Shabab denied it was defeated and said many Ethiopian troops were killed in the clashes. The militant group said it carried out a planned withdrawal from Beledweyne after the fighting.

Saturday's assault on Beledweyne marks the third location in Somalia where militants have been challenged. Control of the town has changed hands often in recent months as different militias push to seize control of it.

African Union troops have mostly forced al-Shabab out of the Somali capital, Mogadishu, and Kenyan troops are battling militants in the south.

Somalia has been mired in anarchy since warlords toppled military dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991.

Khalil Ibrahim of JEM Killed By Khartoum While Trying To Leave Darfur for South Sudan

Darfur rebel group confirms leader killed
from Al-Darb Diya by Defender Owl
Dec 26, 2011

Johannesburg - The Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), the main rebel group in Darfur, has confirmed that its leader was killed by the Sudanese military and vowed revenge, according to a statement carried by local media on Monday.

While the Sudanese army had said the rebel leader Khalil Ibrahim was killed in battle as he was trying to sneak into South Sudan last week, JEM countered that he was killed in an airstrike and charged that foreign powers were involved in the attack.

'This indicates a collusion and conspiracy by some quarters in the regional and international milieu with the regime of genocide in Khartoum,' JEM was quoted as saying by the Sudan Tribune daily.

'By this plot, Khartoum opened the door for political murders,' according to a spokesman for the group, which pulled out of a peace deal with the government last year.

Ibrahim reportedly returned from Libya this year, after the downfall of the Moamer Gaddafi's regime, from whom JEM allegedly received support. Newly independent South Sudan is also accused by Khartoum of aiding the rebels.

According to reports and video footage circulating online, police in Khartoum dispersed supporters of JEM who tried to pay condolences at the house of Ibrahim's family on the outskirts of the Sudanese capital.

It was unclear who would replace the rebel leader at the helm of the group, which he helped found in 2000.

In the conflict in Darfur, ongoing since 2003, some 300,000 people have died according to the UN, though Khartoum says the figure is lower.

The Rest @ Al-Darb

Nigerian President Declares State of Emergency, Closes Northern Borders

President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency on Saturday on parts of northern Nigeria plagued by a by a violent Islamist insurgency, and said he would shut any borders with other nations in those areas covered by the decree.

"I have in the exercise in the powers conferred on me ... declared a state of emergency in the following parts of the federation," Jonathan told state TV, before going on to list the northern local governments affected by the decree.

"The temporary closure of our borders in the affected areas is only an interim measure designed to address the current security challenges and will be resumed as soon as normalcy is restored," he added, in a speech addressing deadly Christmas Day bombings by the Boko Haram sect a week ago.

(Reporting by Tim Cocks)

The Rest @ All Africa

Scotland Yard to Work With Kenya Investigating Al Shabaab Terror Network

London — A team from the Scotland Yard has been sent to help Kenyan authorities investigate a terror network after a British national was arrested on allegations that he is an explosives expert for the Somali militant group al-Shabaab.

Kenyan police arrested the suspect, who has not been named, in the coastal city of Mombasa, last week. Seven other suspects were also arrested and accused of plotting to carry out attacks in Kenya during the holiday season, a peak time for tourism in the country.

Kenya's anti-terrorism police reportedly raided the suspect's house and seized material and chemicals used for making explosives, including dynamite, detonators and timers, according to the Daily Nation, which first reported the involvement of Scotland Yard.

Police officers also questioned the suspect's wife, a Kenyan of Somali origin.

A Kenyan police spokesman told The Daily Telegraph the name of the suspect was being withheld until Kenyan and British investigators synchronise the case.

Foreign Office sources told The Telegraph that a Briton was "involved" with a group of individuals found with bomb-making equipment in Mombassa. They could not confirm whether the individual was in Kenyan custody.

Scotland Yard sources said a team from the Metropolitan Police Counter-Terrorism Command had already arrived in Kenya to help the local police.

A Foreign Office spokesman said: "British counter-terrorism officials have offered assistance to the Kenyans in this case and a team from the Metropolitan Police is deploying to Kenya to assist in the investigation."

MI5 and MI6 have become aware of an increasing number of young British men arriving in the East African country in order to cross the porous land border into Somalia.

In Somalia they have been joining up with the al-Qaeda affiliated group al-Shabaab and there have been concerns that they could return to Britain to launch suicide attacks.

Three suspected British al-Shabaab members who had arrived in Kenya through Mombasa were arrested in Garissa County in the North East of the country in May.

The three men were of Bangladeshi origin but holding British passports, according to reports.

The Rest @

Al Shabaab Arrests Elders in Bardhere Town in Gedo

Bardhere — The Al-Qaeda inspired militants of Al-shabab have early morning on Thursday detained a number of prominent elders in Gedo province southern strongholds of Somalia, according to witnesses and residents.

  • Local residents indicated that Al-shabab fighters seized several elders, including a well-known community chief from their houses in their strong held-Bardhere town in Gedo region, which is located close to Somalia's border with neighboring Kenya.
  • Mahamud Arahay, one of the intellectuals in Somalia's southern Gedo region confirmed to Shabelle Media in Mogadishu by the telephone, that elders were arrested by Al-shabab militants, while they were departing to El-gadud village in the same region, he added the reason behind the arrests is unclear so far.
  • "The imprisoned local elders are not absolutely involved the country's politics or link with one of power struggling sides, they are impartial peace lovers and this is a part of problems against civilians committed in by Al-shabab fighters." Mr.Arahay. 
  • Al-shabab fighters have not yet commented about the arrests in Gedo region of Somalia.

The Rest by the Shabelle Media Network.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Former Muslim Convert Attacked with Acid in Uganda

He is also an ex-Muslim and is receiving death threats from the Religion of destroying Peace. via Compass Direct: Muslim Extremists in Uganda Throw Acid on Bishop

KAMPALA, Uganda, December 28 (CDN) — Islamic extremists threw acid on a church leader on Christmas Eve shortly after a seven-day revival at his church, leaving him with severe burns that have blinded one eye and threaten sight in the other.

Bishop Umar Mulinde, 37, a sheikh (Islamic teacher) before his conversion to Christianity, was attacked on Saturday night (Dec. 24) outside his Gospel Life Church International building in Namasuba, about 10 kilometers (six miles) outside of Kampala.

From his hospital bed in Kampala, he told Compass that he was on his way back to the site for a party with the entire congregation and hundreds of new converts to Christianity when a man who claimed to be a Christian approached him.

“I heard him say in a loud voice, ‘Pastor, pastor,’ and as I made a turn and looked at him, he poured the liquid onto my face as others poured more liquid on my back and then fled away shouting, ‘Allahu akbar [God is greater],’” Mulinde said, still visibly traumatized two days after the assault.

  • A neighbor and church members rushed him to a hospital in the Mengo area of Kampala, and he was then transferred to International Hospital Kampala.
  • “I have to continue fighting this pain – it is too much,” Mulinde said. “My entire body is in pain. Most of the night I miss sleep.”
  • His face, neck and arms bore deep black scars from the acid, and his lips were swollen.
  • “The burn caused by the acid is so severe that there is an urgent need for specialized treatment,” said area Christian Musa Baluku Symutsangira. “I suggest that he be flown outside the country as soon as possible; otherwise Mulinde might lose both of his eyes, coupled with the spread of the burns. The burns seemed to spread and go very deep. He might need some plastic surgery.”

A doctor told Compass that acid burns cover about 30 percent of his face and has cost him sight in one eye.
“We are doing all we can to save his other remaining eye and to contain the acid from spreading to other parts of the body,” the doctor said.

Mulinde’s shirt, tie and suit were in tatters after the attack. Mulinde said his father, Id Wasswa, was a local prayer leader or imam. “I was born into a Muslim family, and although I decided to become a Christian, I have been financially assisting many Muslims, as well as my relatives who are Muslims,” he said. “I have been conducting a peaceful evangelism campaign.”

Mulinde said Muslim extremists opposed to his conversion from Islam and his outspoken opposition of sharia (Islamic law) courts in Uganda, known in East Africa as Kadhi courts, attacked him. On Oct. 15, area Muslim leaders declared a fatwa against him demanding his death.

The Rest @ Creeping Sharia

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Hizbolla's US West African Money Laundering Auto Ring

Michigan car dealership investigated in multi-million dollar scheme to fund Hizballah
from Dhimmi Watch by Robert

Would you buy a used car from these jihadis? They're doing this in Tennessee and Tulsa, too. "Lansing used car dealership investigated in terror scheme," by Niraj Warikoo for the Detroit Free Press, December 28 (thanks to Kenneth):

A Lansing car dealership is named among 30 around the country in a federal investigation into an alleged $480 million money laundering scheme tied to Mideast terrorist group Hezbollah, federal prosecutors said.
According to a federal lawsuit filed in New York City, Oussama Salhab, the owner of Cybamar Swiss, a Redford Township transport company, "is a Hezbollah operative" who was part of an effort to funnel part of the proceeds from car sales to the Lebanese group.

The 66-page complaint lists a Lansing company called A&J Auto Sales Inc. as one of the dealers in Michigan - along with eight in and around Detroit.

However, the used car dealers are not accused in the federal complaint of being aware that they were part of a money laundering scheme and may have been unwitting participants.

It's unclear who owns A&J Auto Sales Inc. A business search turned up no results in Lansing, and the U.S. attorney's office referred to the complaint in lieu of comment.

The suit seeks the forfeiture of the assets of Cybamar.

In addition, federal officials sought the forfeiture of used car dealerships in Detroit, Dearborn Heights, Lansing and Redford Township that sold vehicles whose proceeds may have ended up going to Hezbollah.

Salhab bought vehicles from at least two of the dealerships, and his Redford company shipped many of the used cars overseas....

The complaint, filed Dec. 15, is the latest U.S. effort to target Hezbollah, a group based in Lebanon that the U.S. State Department classifies as a terrorist group and says has Iranian support. U.S. authorities say the group was behind bomb attacks against the U.S. Embassy and Marine barracks in Lebanon in 1983 and 1984.

"We are putting a stranglehold on a major source of that funding by disrupting a vast and far-flung network that spanned three continents," said Preet Bharara, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York.

The complaint says that banks and money exchanges in Lebanon tied to Hezbollah purchased cars from 30 car dealers - eight of them in metro Detroit - and sent them to west Africa. Cybamar in Redford was often used to ship the cars.

"Between 2008 and 2010, used cars valued collectively at over $1 billion were shipped from the United States to Benin (in Africa)," the complaint says. "Cybamar is ... frequently used by the car buyers."

Proceeds from car sales ended up in Lebanon, with some of the cash going to Hezbollah. Drug smuggling also was involved in some parts of the operation, the complaint said.

Salhab, who lives in Lebanon and the African country of Togo, tried to enter the U.S. in November 2009 through Metro Airport.

He was sent back after inspectors found images on his laptop of Hezbollah "Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah; audio of the Hezbollah national anthem; images of Hezbollah militants stomping on an Israeli flag," the lawsuit says.

The Rest @ Jihad Watch
 Accordidng to al Shabaab, the Qur'an sanctions sex with captive and slave women: "And all married women (are forbidden unto you) save those (captives) whom your right hands possess. It is a decree of Allah for you" (4:24). They see this is Sharia law.

MOGADISHU, Somalia — The girl’s voice dropped to a hush as she remembered the bright, sunny afternoon when she stepped out of her hut and saw her best friend buried in the sand, up to her neck.
Her friend had made the mistake of refusing to marry a Shabab commander. Now she was about to get her head bashed in, rock by rock.

“You’re next,” the Shabab warned the girl, a frail 17-year-old who was living with her brother in a squalid refugee camp.

Several months later, the men came back. Five militants burst into her hut, pinned her down and gang-raped her, she said. They claimed to be on a jihad, or holy war, and any resistance was considered a crime against Islam, punishable by death.

“I’ve had some very bad dreams about these men,” she said, having recently escaped the area they control. “I don’t know what religion they are.”

Somalia has been steadily worn down by decades of conflict and chaos, its cities in ruins and its people starving. Just this year, tens of thousands have died from famine, with countless others cut down in relentless combat. Now Somalis face yet another widespread terror: an alarming increase in rapes and sexual abuse of women and girls.

The Shabab militant group, which presents itself as a morally righteous rebel force and the defender of pure Islam, is seizing women and girls as spoils of war, gang-raping and abusing them as part of its reign of terror in southern Somalia, according to victims, aid workers and United Nations officials. Short of cash and losing ground, the militants are also forcing families to hand over girls for arranged marriages that often last no more than a few weeks and are essentially sexual slavery, a cheap way to bolster their ranks’ flagging morale. [...]
Somalia is a deeply traditional place, where 98 percent of girls are subject to genital cutting, according to United Nations figures. Most girls are illiterate and relegated to their homes. When they venture out, it is usually to work, trudging through the rubble-strewn alleyways wrapped head to toe in thick black cloth, often lugging something on their back, the equatorial sun burning down on them. [...]

At the same time, aid workers and United Nations officials say the Shabab, who are fighting Somalia’s transitional government and imposing a harsh version of Islam in the areas they control, can no longer pay their several thousand fighters the way they used to. Much as they seize crops and livestock, giving their militants what they call “temporary wives” is how the Shabab keep many young men fighting for them.

But these are hardly marriages, said Sheik Mohamed Farah Ali, a former Shabab commander who defected to the government army.

“There’s no cleric, no ceremony, nothing,” he said, adding that Shabab fighters had even paired up with thin little girls as young as 12, who are left torn and incontinent afterward. If a girl refuses, he said, “she’s killed by stones or bullets.” [...]
“You have no idea how difficult it is for them to come forward,” she said. “There’s no justice here, no protection. People say, ‘You’re junk’ if you’ve been raped.”...

The Rest @ NY Times

Is Sheikh Muktar Abdirahman the Newest Verson of Godane

A prominent Al Shabaab leader known as Sheikh Muktar Abdirahman who has never spoke to media spoke to the Al Shabaab controlled radio telling listeners that Al Shabaab will continue their fight and will not give up, Radio Garowe reports.

Muktar stated that Al Shabaab's role is to bring the Sharia law to Somalia which can be brought back through jihad.

"Al Shabaab was founded to bring back jihad so we can govern our country and the citizens of Somalia by Sharia law," said Muktar speaking to Al Shabaab controlled radio.

Muktar gave a brief history of how Al Shabaab was founded by Adan Hashi Ayrow whose was killed in air raids in the town of Dusomareb and how his killing sparked the attacks from Al Shabaab in Mogadishu according to Muktar.

Al Shabaab is an off-shoot of the Islamic Courts Union (ICU), which splintered into several smaller factions after its defeat in 2006 by the Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and the TFG's Ethiopian military allies.

Al Shabaab has lost their control in southern Somalia in August they admittedly retreated from Mogadishu vowing that they would continue their fight.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Al Shabaab Money Laundering Results in the Closing of Hawala in the US

Nairobi — Humanitarian groups in Somalia have raised the red flag as foreign banks prepare to pull out of money transfer business as the world seeks to paralyse Al-Shabaab operations.

Franklin Bank -- the last of the US financial institutions in the unregulated money transfer business (hawala) in Somalia -- plans to suspend money wiring services this week, putting at stake millions of dollars remitted from abroad.

Last week, Oxfam Group and the American Refugee Committee said the decision would disrupt aid from family members and well-wishers abroad, affecting 250,000 Somalis in need of urgent life-saving assistance.

"This is the worst time for this service to stop. Any gaps with remittance flows in the middle of the famine could be disastrous," Shannon Scribner, Oxfam America's humanitarian policy manager, said, adding that the $100 million in worth of remittances from US that is received each year in Somalia will be affected.

Franklin took the decision two weeks ago to ditch hawala, an unregulated money transfer service, at the end of this month saying it violates US counterterrorism financing regulations crafted after the September 11, 2001 al-Qaida bombings.

"The US government should give assurances to the bank that there will be no legal ramifications of providing this service to Somalis in need," Ms Scribner said. Under hawala which is widely practised in Islamic countries, a recipient simply claims money from a broker in home city on promise that the sender has deposited similar amount with another hawala broker abroad.

This way, currency worth billions of shillings is exchanged across borders without any documentation as the parties rely on trust embedded in Islamic law to conduct the business.In war-torn Somalia where many residents do not have bank accounts, hawala services have thrived.

In Nairobi, the growing number of hawala merchants in Eastleigh estate is seen as the channel through which billions of shillings sent by Somalis living in the diaspora has found its way into Kenya's real-estate segment.

The Rest @ AllAfrica

Monday, December 26, 2011

AQAP The Most Successful al Qaedea Franchise

Yemen has become one of al Qaeda's most secure bases and a hub for its activities on the Arabian Peninsula and on the Horn of Africa. AQAP maintains safe havens in various parts of the country and is also known to operate terror camps in Aden, Marib, and Abyan, and in the Alehimp and Sanhan regions in Sana'a. The terror group has conducted attacks on oil facilities, tourists, the US embassy in Sana'a, and Yemeni security forces.

AQAP's base in Yemen serves as a command and control center, a logistics hub, a transit point from Asia and the Peninsula, and a source of weapons and munitions for the al Qaeda-backed Shabaab in Somalia.

AQAP has also used its Yemeni base as a hub for attacks against the West. The 2009 Fort Hood shootings and the Christmas Day airline plot, as well as an airline parcel bomb plot in 2010, have all been traced back to Yemen.

"Yemen is Pakistan in the heart of the Arab world," a US intelligence official told The Long War Journal in 2009. "You have military and government collusion with al Qaeda, peace agreements, budding terror camps, and the export of jihad to neighboring countries."

The Rest @ The Long War Journal

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Two German Al Qaeda Terrorists Arrested in Berlin

European Islamists have been charged in Berlin with being members of Al-Qaida. Yusuf O. of Berlin and Maqsood L. from Vienna have been trained in the terror camps of Waziristan and are allegedly part of an Al-Qaida plot to carry out attacks in Europe.

Berlin Islamist Yusuf O. traveled to Pakistan in May 2009 alongside his friend Fatih T. and joined the “Taifatul Mansourah” Group in Waziristan tribal area. Later the German Jihadi militants together with several other German Islamists who arrived in Pakistan in September 2009 founded a new group named “German Taliban Mujahidin” (DTM).

In a propaganda tape released just prior to the September 2009 German Parliamentary Elections the DTM threatened attacks in Germany. Spokesman in that video was 26 year-old Yusuf O. aka “Abu Ayyub al-Almani”.

According to the complaint filed by German prosecutors in November Yusuf O. left the DTM somewhere around May 2010 and joined Al-Qaida. During the training program he received, Yusuf O. met Maqsood L., a 22 year-old Austrian national whose family immigrated to Vienna in the 1990s after fleeing the Taliban-rule in Afghanistan.

Sheikh Younis al-Mauretani who was arrested in Pakistan back in September, to be part of a Europe attack plan. Maqsood L. to return to Europe and recruit Islamists for terrorist attacks in European cities.

  • Documents discovered by German counter-terrorism officials lead to the conclusion Al-Qaida wanted the German Islamists to carry out kidnappings and killings. 
  • Al-Mauretani´s plot involved assault attacks in which hostages would be killed in long standoff with police – the “Mumbai Style” of terrorist attacks.
  • In May 2011 Maqsood L. and Yusuf O. traveled to Budapest (Hungary) via Iran and Turkey. 
  • Yusuf O. made his journey to Austrian capital Vienna and arrived in the city carrying a audio tape recorded by Maqsood L.. 
  • He played the tape to Maqsood´s old friends, urging them to support the Jihad and join the terror network.

After Yusuf O. returned to Budapest he sent Maqsood L. to Berlin. Apparently Yusuf O. thought sending a foreigner instead of traveling himself would not alert the authorities. Yusuf O. was wrong. Maqsood´s task was recruit about a dozen of Yusuf´s friends from several radical mosques in the German capital. The Austrian Jihadi was able to rally supporters amongst Berlin´s Islamist community and collect about 1.000 EUROs in donations, before he was arrested on May 16.

Yusuf O. was captured a little later in Vienna where he returned to from a trip to Budapest on May 31. Austrian authorities sent him back to Germany where he and Maqsood L. will be on trial soon.

The Rest @ Jih@d

Friday, December 09, 2011

Kenya's Soldiers in Somalia Facing Battle-Hardened al Shabaab, but Make progress

The number of casualties is on the rise as Kenya-backed Transitional Federal Government troops and al Shabaab militias battle for control of large swathes of lawless Somalia. The Garissa District Hospital has admitted 128 injured TFG solders since Operation Linda Nchi was launched in mid October.

Multiple sources confirmed the soldiers have, mainly, gunshot wounds and burns from explosives. “These people came to the hospital in very bad conditions from bullet wounds, burns and deep head cuts, injuries consistent with a situation of fierce gun fighting, use of explosives and other weapons between the TFG solders and the al Shabaab,” one of the sources said. Critically injured troops are flown to Mombasa or Nairobi for special care.

Because of the rising numbers, Kenya Army doctors have fashioned out a wing at the district hospital for the foreign soldiers injured in Somalia. The separate and isolated wing has been established to shield the men from public view because many in Garissa are not comfortable with the high security mounted at the hospital by the army in and outside the hospital. Over 54 TFG soldiers were injured during the deadly one-on-one fight on Monday while over 30 al Shabaab fighters were injured in the clash and taken to Mareray and Afmadhow hospitals for treatment.

According to the Kenyan military spokesman Emmanuel Chirchir, out of the 54 injured TFG soldiers, 25 were airlifted to Garissa for treatment. "The attack in Hayo in Central Sector marks the deadliest one on one engagement between TFG and Al Shabaab. In the TFG 11 died, 54 injured, 25 of those injured were airlifted to Garissa and Nairobi for treatment. Over 40 Al Shabaab dead and many more injured. The KDF on 5 December 2011 hit two al Shabaab camps in Afmadhow," Chirchir said on Monday.

Garissa District Hospital has been receiving most of the casualties from from both the Kenyan Defence Forces and the TFG soldiers from the fighting in Somalia against al Shabaab. The injured soldiers are being treated by doctors from the Kenyan military who have established centres and wards at the hospital which is reportedly overwhelmed by the injured. The Shabaab have deployed more fighters in Mogadishu following a spate of bomb explosions in central Mogadishu some of which have been claimed by the al Qaeda-linked group.

More al Shabaab fighters have been deployed in Mogadishu's Baklad area in the middle Shabelle and through Heliwaa in Banadir area while the fighting has been reported in Karan and Huriwa areas of the city. Several TFG soldiers were reportedly injured during an attack by al Shabaab in Mogadishu's Holwadag junction.

Meanwhile, the newly relaunched al Shabaab has now taken its battle to Twitter after opening an account to counter the Kenyan military. The insurgents yesterday began tweeting @HSMPRess where the Harakat Al Shabaab Al Mujahideen press office is now sending tweets. Maj Chirchir on Monday said the group is likely to split into two with one group, Imaarat Islamiya, led by one Muktar. "Al Shabaab likey to split into two ... watch out for Imaarat Islamiya ... Muktar likely to lead the faction," Chirchir tweeted then.

Recent tweets:

Al-Shabaab:@HSMPress: We hereby clarify that we do not recognize the United Nations, or any of its institutions and affiliates, as legitimate authorities


The Rest @ Blog Foreign Policy

Jama Mohamed Miraa Trafficker is a Name That has come up Before

A Nairobi businessman was arrested in Eastleigh and later charged with trying to obtain money by false pretense and altering genuine documents. The man, who also claims to be a pilot at the Wilson Airport and commonly known by his friends as Captain Jama Mohamed, was arrested on Eastleigh's 12 Street on Thursday last week. Police said the man had tried to steal from Barclay's Bank where he presented a forged Bankers Cheque.
  • The suspect is said to have entered into a contract with another city businessman, Yassin Mohamed, to transport his miraa from Nairobi to foreign destinations including Netherlands and Somalia. 
  • According to statements seen by the Star, the suspect is said to have been given a down payment of Sh3.5 million by the businessman in September while the remaining amount was to be paid later. 
  • The total contract amount was Sh17 million. However, police investigating the case said the suspect was arrested after he presented a fake bankers cheque claiming it was drafted by Yassin.

According to the police, he was to link up his client with Kings Air Services who were to execute the transporting business. He appeared before Kiambu Senior Resident Magistrate Dolphine Okundi where he was charged with obtaining cash by false pretense and making altering a genuine chegue to make it appear a genuine and a valid document. He was given a cash bail of Sh5 million and a surety of a similar amount.

The Rest @ All Africa via Nairobi Star

Monday, December 05, 2011

Mohamed Salem Ould Mohamed Lemine, alias Almajliss sharia mufti of "Ansar Allah Almourabitoun" group

Mauritanian security forces last week conducted a large-scale operation in Nouakchott, dealing a severe blow to the country's Salafist jihadist groups. Nineteen suspects were arrested, including a prominent al-Qaeda sympathiser.

The raid, launched on November 22nd, was based on information obtained by a Mauritanian terror threat monitoring body. According to security sources, the suspects were planning massive terror operations on Mauritanian Army Day (November 25th), which included the biggest military parade since the country's independence.

Nineteen Salafists believed to be affiliated with al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) were detained. Among them was

  • Mohamed Salem Ould Mohamed Lemine, alias Almajlissi, who was released last year under a presidential pardon. Almajlissi had spent three years in jail for issuing a fatwa to three young Salafists about the permissibility of targeting French nationals. The fatwa led to the 2007 Aleg terrorist attack, which killed four French tourists.Security agencies suspected that Almajlissi might have been recruiting young people in Nouakchott for armed organisations in the desert.

He is also believed to be the sharia mufti of "Ansar Allah Almourabitoun" group. Almajlissi refused to partake in a dialogue between a committee of scholars and Salafist prisoners. He also declined to receive a loan from the state after he was released.

In May, Almajlissi defied security authorities and held prayers to commemorate Osama bin Laden at al-Shorafaa Mosque after its imam, Mohamed Lamine Ould al-Hasan, withdrew to avoid embarrassment.

"We would have liked to hang posters and rally people to attend the prayers," Majlissi said. "Yet, many people attended it, and we co-ordinated with some brothers who attended and they raised their hands up to pray for mercy for Osama bin Laden."

The prayer largely drew adherents of Salafist ideology. Mauritanian religious scholars neither attended nor encouraged it.

In his radical sermons at the Badah Ould Busayri mosque, Almajlissi lashed out at the West and insisted that "Muslims must not love the infidels". While his teachings lured some disenchanted youths, many believe they contravene the core values of Islam, such as co-existence and tolerance.

AQIM has used Mauritania as a rear base to recruit fighters in the past five years and bet on local preachers to reach young people to form a community of sympathisers. In this light, the recent operation comes as a significant blow to extremist ideology.

Sahel security agencies recently argued for demolishing the wells that provide water to AQIM along the Mauritanian-Algerian-Malian border. The measure is akin to targeting radical ideologues as both are aimed at drying up the sources that jihadist groups depend on.

The Rest @ La Magharebia

Bangladesh Arms Trafficking an International Affair

The port city of Chittagong is a transit point in international small arms trafficking. In an interview with THE WEEK, Chittagong police commissioner Mohammad Abul Kashem spoke about his resolve to stop this menace. Excerpts:

Is Chittagong a key transit route for arms trafficking in South Asia?
I don't agree with that assumption. Yes, there have been incidents of smuggling. We have cracked down on illegal arms trade. To understand how arms trafficking works, you have to look at the larger picture.

What is the larger picture?

  • All weapons we have seized in Chittagong are manufactured in foreign countries. 
  • Most of these come through the sea. 
  • There are people: the international arms companies and their dealers who sell these small arms to terrorists, criminals and underworld dons. These arms dealers enjoy political backing.

What drives the trade of illegal arms in Bangladesh? There are two reasons behind this. First, Chittagong is a port city with a long and porous border. Second, our country is situated between the Golden Triangle of drug-producing countries and the arms-producing sub-region.

What was the most surprising thing about the Chittagong arms haul?
The involvement of our top intelligence officers was really shocking.

What steps have you taken to prevent arms smuggling?
We have improved our coastal security. There is better coordination between our coast guard and the navy. But, we have only a limited police force.

The Rest @ The Week

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Nima Yusuf Pleads Guilty to Helping Al Shabaab in San Diego

San Diego: Somali refugee pleads guilty to helping funnel jihadists from Minnesota to al-Shabaab

Nothing says "gratitude" for refugee status like turning around and helping the main reason Somalia is hemorrhaging refugees. "Somali refugee acknowledges aiding terror group," from the Associated Press, December 1 (thanks to Kenneth):

A Somali refugee living in San Diego pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday to aiding four men who left Minnesota to join a Somali terror group, including one man who is suspected of carrying out a suicide bombing in the African nation in October.

Prosecutors have said Nima Yusuf conspired in Southern California and elsewhere to aid al-Shabab, an al-Qaida-linked militia trying to create an Islamic state in Somalia. As part of her plea, the 25-year-old permanent resident of the U.S. acknowledged that she agreed to help the men with money and personnel.
Over the past three years, Minnesota has been the center of a federal investigation into the recruitment of people from the U.S. to train or fight with al-Shabab in Somalia, which hasn't had a functioning government since 1991.

  • Twenty people have been charged in the state in connection with the travelers and alleged terror financing. 
  • Others have been charged in St. Louis with funneling money to the terror group, and Yusuf was among four people charged in San Diego in late 2010 with helping al-Shabab.
  • Yusuf acknowledged to prosecutors that she knew the four men had left the United States to become fighters for al-Shabab. 
  • She said she sent $1,450 between February 2010 and November 2010, and also acknowledged lying to federal officials twice when she denied that she had sent money to Somalia.

The men - Abdisalan Hussein Ali, Mohamed Abdullahi Hassan, Cabdulaahi Ahmed Faarax and Abdiweili Yassin Isse - are accused of fighting for al-Shabab and are charged in a separate federal indictment in Minnesota.

Authorities have said they believe Ali and Hassan left Minneapolis for Somalia at different instances in 2008. Members of the city's Somali community fear Ali carried out a suicide bombing on Oct. 29 in Mogadishu that Somali authorities said killed 15 people.

Al-Shabab released a recording of the alleged bomber, who the group identified as a Somali-American, Abdisalan Taqabalahullaah. One of Ali's relatives told the AP he listened to the recording and believes it was Ali's voice.

The FBI hasn't confirmed the identity of the bomber's remains. If they are confirmed to belong to Ali, it will mark the third time someone from Minnesota has been involved in a suicide attack in Somalia.

According to court testimony and documents, Faarax and Isse left Minnesota in a rental car on Oct. 5, 2009, and headed south to the U.S.-Mexico border. At the San Ysidro border crossing in San Diego, they told a U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officer that they were flying from Tijuana to Mexico City. They ultimately made their way to Somalia.

Federal officials wouldn't say whether Yusuf had contact with Faarax and Isse while they were in the San Diego area.

Yusuf faces up to 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. She remains in jail without bail. Her plea is subject to final acceptance by U.S. District Judge Barry Ted Moskowitz at or before sentencing on Feb. 1

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