Schlagwort-Archive: Mogadishu

Al-Qaida´s East-Africa Leader Killed in Somalia

by Florian Flade

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One of the most-wanted al-Qaida figures was allegedly killed in Somalia on Wednesday. Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, a terrorist commander born in the Comoros Islands in 1974 , was a al-Qaida veteran who joined the organization in the 1990s after traveling to Pakistan. He was trained at an al-Qaida camp in Afghanistan and was allegedly sent to Somalia in 1993 where he took part in the famous incident known as „Black Hawk Down“ in which two US military helicopters were shot down in Mogadishu and 18 US troops were killed.

Fazul Abdullah Mohammed is thought to be a mastermind of the 1998 US Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania as well as a suicide bombing on a luxury hotel complex in Mombasa (Kenya) in 2002. The US placed a bounty of US$ 5 Million on the terrorist whom the counter-terrorism officials say speaks five languages including French and English.

Since 2006 the US has been hunting Abdullah Mohammed as a main al-Qaida target in East Africa. In January 2007 a US airstrike on a al-Qaida training camp in Somalia failed to kill him. Back then, Fazul Abdullah Mohammed had joined the Islamic Courts, a militant group that later became Al-Shabaab. Allegedly Mohammed established several training camps in Southern Somalia and was bringing foreign fighters into the country.

When in November 2009 US special forces carried out a raid in Somalia and killed al-Qaida´s East-Africa leader Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan, Fazul Abdullah Mohammed was chosen as his successor by the al-Qaida leadership in Pakistan. „I will honestly perform my duties following my appointment to this new big position by Sheikh Osama bin Laden“, the new al-Qaida East-Africa commander said in speech that was recorded as an audio message.

According to intelligence reports, Mohammed was suspected of traveling in and out of Somalia. He holds a Kenyan passport which led those hunting him believe he would occasionally slip into neighboring Kenya.

On Wednesday last week Somali government troops opened fire on a „Toyota Surf“ SUV heading towards a checkpoint in Somalia´s capital Mogadishu. Two terrorists were killed. The soldiers searched their bodies. One of the two militants carried a South African passport bearing the name „Daniel Robinson“. It was issued in April 2009 and showed that the man had entered Tanzania March 19 and was granted visa there. Additionally US$ 40,000 in cash found in the car.

Initially Somali media reported a Canadian national had been killed by government troops in a firefight. A Al-Shabaab fighter named „Abdurrahman al-Kanadi“ was tought to be the one who was shot dead.

Today Kenyan newspaper The Daily Nation quoted Somali security sources as saying Fazul Abdullah Mohammed was one of the terrorists killed in Mogadishu on Wednesday. Kenya Television Network (KTN) claimed police chief Matthew Iteere confirmed Mohammed´s death.

The US State Department would not comment on the reports coming out of Somalia. Pictures published by Radio Mogadisho of the terrorist´s car and one dead body seem to indicate that it was indeed Fazul Abdullah Mohammed who has been killed.

 

Pictures Show Al-Shabaab´s Talibanesque Rule

by Florian Flade

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North of the Somali capital Mogadishu, the Islamists of Al-Shabaab recently executed two men in public. 38 year-old Abdullah Haji Mohammed was found guilty the Al-Shabaab Sharia court of spying for the Somali government. He allegedly was paid up to US-$ 120 per month for providing the „apostate government“, which Al-Shabaab is fighting, with information about the terrorist group.

The second victim of the Al-Shabaab crime punishment was Abdul Nasser Hussain, 26 years old, who was sentenced to death because of „multiple murders“ he confessed to.

Al-Shabaab fighters shot the two men in front of a large crowd and later released pictures of the public execution on the Internet. The killing took place as the Somali government claimed it had defeated Al-Shabaab in recent clashes in Mogadishu and is now in control of most parts of the city. Just outside of Mogadishu, Al-Shabaab´s Talibanesque rule is still in place.

 

Somalia – The Next Waziristan

by Florian Flade


„W elcome to Somalia – there are no worries“

– Al-Shabaab Chief Spokesman Sheikh Mohammed Rage says in the latest video release by the Somali Islamist movement, inviting foreign Muslims to join Al-Shabaab and fight in Somalia. This newest propaganda piece is an outstanding release of surprising quality and the clear intention to recruit Westerners or at least foreign Muslims to the Somali Jihad. The 1/2 hour tape, edited with English subtitles, features not only training camp and combat footage in Somalia, but also presents the statements of several foreign militants including Western Islamists fighting in the ranks of Al-Shabaab.

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A British-Somali man called „Abu Dujana“ is seen sitting on a hilltop, the Somali coast in the background. The British militant explains in fluent English that Jihad is a duty for every Muslim and why he came to the war-torn country at the Horn of Africa to fight for the Ummah. „I would like to use my time“, the militant explains, „to talk about the blessings of living in the land of Jihad…before we came here, we were living in a society in which people were enslaved by their desires.“

„Abu Zaid“, a militant from Sweden, is giving a statement standing in what seems to be a empty football stadium. Speaking in Swedish to the Muslims of Sweden, the masked militant says: „And I also encourage you to make hijrah to this country.“ He then goes on and threatens Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks who drew some caricatures of Prophet Muhammad and received numerous death threats since. The Somali foreign fighter says: „I want to send this warning to Lars Vilks who was behind the caricatures defaming our prophet. And I say to Lars Vilks that wherever you are, if not today or tomorrow, know that we haven´t yet forgotten about you and we will get hold of you and with Allah´s permission we will get you wherever you are and in whatever hole you are hiding know what awaits for you, as it will be nothing but this: slaughter!“ To his Muslim brothers and sisters „Abu Zaid“ says: „If you can kill this dog called Lars Vilks then you will receive a great reward from Allah!“

Another masked British Jihadi appears alongside blurry masked fighters explaining to the audience: „We are here to capture and to slaughter them. That´s the only reason we are here.“

In addition, a Sudanese, a Pakistani, two Kenyan and a Tanzanian Jihadi are shown giving statements and calling Muslims to fight Jihad in Somalia.

The new Al-Shabaab video also reveals the identity of Somalia´s first foreign suicide bomber, a Kenyan militant called „Musa“ who allegedly „in 2007…carried out a Martyrdom Operation that shook the pillars of the invading Ethiopian crusaders.“

A large number of Somali men from the exile communities of Europe and North America have traveled to Somalia in the last years, joining the al-Qaeda affiliated Al-Shabaab movement and fighting the Ethiopian occupation troops and later the Ugandan African Union Peacekeepers. Sweden, Denmark, Norway, the UK and the Netherlands are struggling to face this new terror threat by trying to infiltrate the recruiting networks of London, Göteborg, Amsterdam and Copenhagen. The „Al-Muhajiroun“ as the foreign fighters are called, have become a major concern for Western counter-terrorism agencies as some of these men are EU or American/Canadian/Australian citizens. Especially those Al-Shabaab recruits returning from the frontlines of Somalia pose a security threat. Waziristan still is the main terror training center in the world, European authorities say, but Somalia is quickly heading to become the next al-Qaeda base.

Britain´s MI5 has noticed the emerging terror potential growing in lawless, war-torn Somalia. „I am concerned that it’s only a matter of time before we see terrorism on our streets inspired by those who are today fighting alongside al-Shabaab“, MI5 Chief Jonathan Evans said back in September. „A significant number of UK residents“ were training in al-Shabaab camps to fight in the insurgency in Somalia, he added: „“Al-Shabaab, an Islamist militia in Somalia, is closely aligned with al-Qaida, and Somalia shows many of the characteristics that made Afghanistan so dangerous a seedbed for terrorism in the period before the fall of the Taliban.“

About 100 UK residents are believed to have joined Al-Shabaab, including men of Somali origin, Bangladeshis, Pakistani and West-African. Some of them are University students, others worked as waiters in restaurants. One young Somali men from London carried out a suicide bombing in Somalia in 2007, giving a martyrdom statement and calling for other British jihadis to come to Africa.

Swedish security officials suggest around 20 Islamists have left the country and reached the terror camps of Somalia in recent years. Probably more or less the same numbers are given by Danish intelligence. Terror recruits from the Somali communities of Copenhagen are confirmed to have committed suicide bombings in Somalia, one occurred during the graduation ceremony of medicine students in a Mogadishu Hotel in January – Dozens died in the blast.

In Germany the recruiting network of Al-Shabaab is under intense investigation by counter-terrorism authorities after several men attended and indeed did travel to Somalia on terrorism means. One of them, a 23 year-old White convert, was arrested in Kenya on his way to Somalia. German intelligence had tipped off the Kenyan officials after the suspect´s mother found a letter written by her son stating he would „never return to Germany alive“.

Most recently German federal police discovered a recruiting and support network run by Al-Shabaab sympathizers in Western Germany. The 15-20 men group calls itself „German Shabaab“ and is promoting the Jihad of Al-Shabaab as a religious duty. Most of the men are of Somali-origin, some are Arabs and converts.

The newest Al-Shabaab propaganda video will not fail to attract more Western recruits and the likely result will be an increase in travel movement from Europe to East Africa.