Tag Archives | Somalia

Somali Islamist Leaders Place Ten-Camel Bounty On Obama

Foreign policy or political-commentary performance art? The militant Islamists ruling southern Somalia have made Barack Obama a wanted man globally by offering ten camels to anyone who ensnares him. The organization is also renowned for their outstanding Twitter account. Russia Today reports:

First, the US State Department offered up to $33 million for help in catching the leaders of radical Islamist group Shabab, which controls much of Somalia. But Shabab has made a counter-proposal: a bounty of 10 camels for Barack Obama.

On Thursday, the State Department offered individual rewards for tip-offs about various Shabab leaders depending on their seniority, with the founder Ahmed Abdi aw-Mohamed valued at $7 million. The group has claimed responsibility for mass suicide bombings and prides itself on its connections with Al-Qaeda.

“I can assure you that these kind of things will never dissuade us from continuing the holy war against them,” posted Fuad Mohamed Khalaf (bounty: $5 million) on a propagandist website.

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Somali Rebels Embrace Twitter Terrorism

El Shabbab, the fundamentalist Islamic insurgency group fighting to control southern Somalia, reject most things Western and/or modern, but ironically have embraced Twitter, garnering thousands of followers. In addition to straightforward updates on battles and territory, the best part is the taunting that goes on between the insurgents and Kenyan military spokesman Major E. Chirchir:

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HRW: All Sides In Somalia War Guilty Of Crimes

Photo: Abdurrahman Warsameh/International Relations and Security Network (CC)

Mass burial for those killed during Mogadishu infighting. Photo: Abdurrahman Warsameh/International Relations and Security Network (CC)

Where there is conflict there is someone to point the finger. Human Rights Watch have decided that everyone is ‘guilty’. Via AFP:

All the parties to Somalia’s conflict have violated the rules of war and are guilty of causing civilian casualties in the fight for territorial control, Human Rights Watch said Monday.

Somali government forces backed by troops of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) have fought bloody battles in the capital Mogadishu with the Al Qaeda-inspired Shebab rebels who want to topple the administration.

“All sides have used artillery in the capital Mogadishu in an unlawful manner that has caused civilian casualties,” the rights group said in a report.

“Al-Shebab has fired mortars indiscriminately from densely populated areas and the TFG (government) and AMISOM forces have often responded in kind with indiscriminate counterattacks.

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Secret CIA Prisons And Counterterrorism Sites In Somalia

CIASomaliaThere has been news recently of CIA operated secret prisons in Somalia, as well as sites with counterterrorism training for Somali intelligence agencies. Have these secret sites been funded by US tax payers? Via AlterNet:

Nestled in a back corner of Mogadishu’s Aden Adde International Airport is a sprawling walled compound run by the Central Intelligence Agency. Set on the coast of the Indian Ocean, the facility looks like a small gated community, with more than a dozen buildings behind large protective walls and secured by guard towers at each of its four corners. Adjacent to the compound are eight large metal hangars, and the CIA has its own aircraft at the airport. The site, which airport officials and Somali intelligence sources say was completed four months ago, is guarded by Somali soldiers, but the Americans control access. At the facility, the CIA runs a counterterrorism training program for Somali intelligence agents and operatives aimed at building an indigenous strike force capable of snatch operations and targeted “combat” operations against members of Al Shabab, an Islamic militant group with close ties to Al Qaeda.

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U.S. Expands Its Drone War Into Somalia

MQ-9 ReaperMark Mazzetti writes in the New York Times:

The clandestine American military campaign to combat Al Qaeda’s franchise in Yemen is expanding to fight the Islamist militancy in Somalia, as new evidence indicates that insurgents in the two countries are forging closer ties and possibly plotting attacks against the United States, American officials say.

An American military drone aircraft attacked several Somalis in the militant group the Shabab late last month, the officials said, killing at least one of its midlevel operatives and wounding others.

The strike was carried out by the same Special Operations Command unit now battling militants in Yemen, and it represented an intensification of an American military campaign in a mostly lawless region where weak governments have allowed groups with links to Al Qaeda to flourish.

The Obama administration’s increased focus on Somalia comes as the White House has unveiled a new strategy to battle Al Qaeda in the post-Osama bin Laden era, and as some American military and intelligence officials view Qaeda affiliates in Yemen and Somalia as a greater threat to the United States than the group of operatives in Pakistan who have been barraged with hundreds of drone strikes directed by the Central Intelligence Agency in recent years.

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Blackwater/Xe Mercenaries Arrive In Somalia

Xe logoFrom BlackListedNews.com:

At least 18 people have been killed in clashes between rival factions in southern and central Somalia, and there are reports that Blackwater/Xe mercenaries have entered the country.

A battle broke out between the pro-government Ahlu Sunnah militia and Hizbul Islam fighters in the town of Baladwayne on Sunday and went well into Monday, during which at least 13 people lost their lives, witnesses said.

In addition, five people were killed when Hizbul Islam fighters engaged Al-Shabab fighters in the town of Dhobley near the Kenyan border, Reuters reported.

There are also allegations of US-sponsored bomb plots in the capital.

The bombings will be carried out in order to create a pretext to launch a campaign against Al-Shabab, a spokesman of the group, Sheikh Ali Mohammed Rage, told Reuters.

“We have discovered that US agencies are going to launch suicide bombings in public places in Mogadishu,” he told reporters.

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