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Dec 28th, 2010

Somali Islamist Insurgents Threaten U.S. Attack

Al-Qaida linked al-Shabab targeted Somali-Americans for recruitment

Fuad Mohamed Qalaf (AKA Shongole)

By Mohamed Shiekh Nor

Dec. 27, 2010

MOGADISHU, Somalia — A leader of Somalia’s Islamist insurgency threatened to attack America during a broadcast speech.

“We tell the American President Barack Obama to embrace Islam before we come to his country,” Fuad Mohamed “Shongole” Qalaf said Monday.

Al-Shabab has not yet launched an attack outside Africa but Western intelligence has long been worried because the group targeted young Somali-Americans for recruitment. About 20 have traveled to Somalia for training and at least three were used as suicide bombers inside Somalia.

Al-Shabab holds most of southern and central Somalia and has the support of hundreds of foreign fighters, mostly radicalized East Africans. It seeks to overthrow the weak U.N.-backed government, which is protected by 8,000 Ugandan and Burundian African Union peacekeepers.

The al-Shabab militia launched coordinated suicide attacks in Uganda in July that killed 76 people. It has also announced its allegiance to al-Qaida and is believed to be harboring a mastermind of the twin 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that killed 224 people.

The radio message was recorded in the town of Afgoye, near the Somali capital, during a meeting of Shongole and Sheik Hassan Dahir Aweys, formerly the leader of insurgent group Hizbul Islam. The two insurgent groups had clashed several times previously but announced a merger last week. Aweys said his group will fight under al-Shabab’s command. …

The arid Horn of Africa nation has not had a functioning government since a socialist dictatorship collapsed in 1991. Its position on the Horn of Africa means pirates can use its long coastline to capture shipping.

Analysts fear that al-Qaida linked insurgents are also gaining ground across the Gulf of Aden in the unstable nation of Yemen. If Yemen fell, that would mean failed states on either side of the shipping route leading into the strategically vital Suez Canal, the route taken by a substantial portion of the world’s oil shipments.


Related reports on this site

Somali Terror Suspects Indicted (Aug. 7, 2010)


U.S. indicts 14 suspected terrorists (MSNBC, Aug. 7, 2010) — MSNBC’s Alex Witt talks with Brian Katulis of the Center for American Progress about the U.S. unveiling indictments against 14 suspected terrorists, 12 of them Minnesota Somalis. (03:37)

Yemen-Somalia Terror Nexus (Jan. 12, 2010)

Image: Somali refugees in Yemen
Somali refugees gather in the village of Basateen near the Yemeni port city of Aden on May 17, 2009. Basateen is often called “small Somalia” because of the number of Somali refugees who live there. (Photo credit: Khaled Fazaa / AFP — Getty Images file)

Fears of ‘Homegrown Terrorism’ (Dec. 12, 2009)

FBI interrogates American Muslims (MSNBC, Dec. 11, 2009) — Five American Muslims accused of using the Internet to organize a plot to attack U.S. military forces in Afghanistan are interrogated by the FBI. (02:10)

FBI Probing Somali Terror Link (March 12, 2009)

Image: Abubakar As-Saddique Islamic Center
Worshippers at the Abubakar As-Saddique Islamic Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota’s largest mosque. The mosque is suspected by the families of some missing Somali men of having a role in their loved ones’ disappearance. (Photo credit: Craig Lassig / AP)

Minnesota Somalis Jihad-Bound? (Jan. 26, 2009)

The Oct. 29, 2009 suicide bombing by Minneapolis Somali immigrant Shirwa Ahmed was part of a series of coordinated attacks that targeted a U.N. compound, the Ethiopian consulate, and the presidential palace in Hargeisa, capital of the Somaliland region. (Photo credit: CBS / WCCO)


FROM THE ARCHIVES: One Year Ago — December 28, 2009

Obama Opens Third War Front

Yemenis protest in the Radfan district of Lahj on Thursday, Dec. 24, 2009 against a government raid that targeted suspected al-Qaida members. (Photo credit: AFP — Getty Images)

One year ago today, I reported that in the midst of two unfinished wars — Afghanistan and Iraq — the United States had quietly opened a third, largely covert, war front against Al Qaeda in Yemen.


FROM THE ARCHIVES: One Year Ago — December 28, 2008

Taliban Power Growing

Image: Afghans holding weapons
This image taken from television footage June 26, 2008, reportedly shows Afghan militants holding weapons next to the burning wreckage of a vehicle in Wardak province, Afghanistan. (Photo credit: The Associated Press)

Two years ago today, on Dec. 28, 2008 I reported that the Taliban, which had long operated its own shadow government in the most dangerous parts of Afghanistan, had begun spreading north, encroaching on the capital city of Kabul. I also reported that 2008 had been the deadliest year yet for NATO forces in Afghanistan and that more than 20 people were killed and 50 wounded in a Baghdad bombing.

One Response to “Somali Terrorist Attack on U.S.”
  1. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Yemen-Somalia Terror Nexus Says:

    […] Somali Terrorist Attack on U.S. (Dec. 28, 2010) […]

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