by Florian Flade
Two suicide bombers attacked an African Union (AU) base in the Somali capital of Mogadishu on Saturday, October 29. According to the AU the assault which also involved several armed fighters failed. Both suicide bombers have detonated their explosives too early, the AU claims.
Islamist militant group Al-Shabaab on the other hand claims to have killed more than 80 Ugandan soldiers.
“In a fierce battle that lasted over two hours, the Mujahideen have yet again dealt another fatal blow to the African Crusaders”, a statement by Al-Shabaab reads, “Two martyrdom seekers infiltrated the AMISOM compound – the former metal factory – situated along the Industrial Road, near Mogadishu Stadium, and where divisions of the Ugandan soldiers and TFG militia were based, successfully killing the commander as he addressed the Ugandan forces along with several other soldiers.”
Two audio tapes of the alleged suicide bombers – Aden al-Ansari and Cabdi Salaam al-Muhajir – have also been released. Al-Muhajir (“the immigrant”) speaks in fluent English and is described by Al-Shabaab as an American citizen.
“My brothers and sisters, do jihad in America, do jihad in Canada, do jihad in England, anywhere in Europe, in Asia, in Africa, in China, in Australia – anywhere you find kuffar. Fight them and be firm against them!”, the suicide bomber says on his farewell tape.
He urges Muslims living in the West to join the Jihad abroad instead of “sit around and be a couch potato and just chill all day”.
Meanwhile in Minneapolis (Minnesota) Muslim community leaders say they have identified the suicide bomber as 22-year old Abdisalan Hussein Ali, one of 20 Somali men who left the city in November 2008 and traveled to Somalia. Abdisalan Hussein Ali´s voice on the audio tape was recognized by his friends.
If confirmed to be from the U.S., Cabdi Salaam al-Muhajir, would be the third American suicide bomber who carried out an attack in Somalia as a member of Al-Shabaab. Shirwa Ahmed from Minneapolis became the first American suicide bomber when he and four other bombers blew themselves up in October 2008 killing 28 people in the Somaliland and Puntland region.
Mohamad Beledi known as “Abdullah Ahmed” is said to have carried out a suicide bombing against a AU base in Mogadishu in May. Two AU and one Somali soldier died as a result of the attack.
For years know U.S. counter-terrorism officials monitored the travel movements of young Somali-American men, especially from the Twin City Region (Minneapolis) who have joined the Jihad in Somalia. Dozens of men, many of them U.S. citizens and the children of refugees who have fled the Somali civil war in the 1990s, left the U.S. to participate in the fight against Ethiopian occupation forces or African Union troops in Somalia.
A number of these American Jihadis – including a White convert to Islam – died in Somalia, most of them were shot during gun battles. One of those Americans who joined Al-Shabaab is Omar Hammami aka “Abu Mansour al-Amrikki”, a Syrian-American born and raised in Alabama. He is believed to be a high ranking commander in the “Muhajirun” unit of Al-Shabaab, consisting of foreign Jihadis.