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Al Shabaab Makes it's Entrance into Global Terrorism!

Interesting Article: "Somalia: Puntland Military Attacks Al-Shabaab Bases in Golis Mountains" by Sabahi/Washington DC published 30 September 2013

An interesting article mentioned that Puntland security forces raided al-Shabaab bases in Sugure village near the Golis Mountains on Saturday (September 28th), killing one militant and wounding three others, Somalia's Garowe Online reported. Puntland forces have recently scaled up their operations in the mountainous area, where the al-Shabaab-affiliated Golis Mountain Militia launches its attacks. Shabaab, which is often incorrectly described by some terrorism analysts as a local jihadist group interested only in taking control of Somalia, made clear in another tweet (via their press officer) that it is striving to implement a global Islamic Caliphate (Khilaafa): "A new era is on the horizon. A new dawn, illuminating the path towards #Khilaafa.” It's a paradigm shift.
While the double suicide attack in Uganda in the summer of 2011 and the group's oath of allegiance to al Qaeda in early 2012 should have made it painfully clear to analysts that Shabaab was part of the global jihad, the attack at Westgate is undeniable proof that Shabaab cannot be considered merely a local threat confined to Somalia.

Would you like to know more?





A quick side note, I have written extensively about Al-Shabaab in the past, for more information, please read through my previous articles below. Simply copy and paste them to the search box on the right and they will come up.

What is Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mujahideen?,
Kenya is coming for al Shabaab!, 
Al Qaeda welcomes Al Shabab into their Arms!,
Somalian Hostage Rescue Mission!,
U.S Military Personnel Arrested in Kenya and his connection to Al Shabaab!,
AQIM and Europe!,
Al Qaeda's Influence Rising In Kenya!

The Westgate Mall attack in Nairobi (the 4 day siege took the lives of 61 civilians and 6 officers, with 240 injured. All together 5 terrorists were killed with 11 others arrested) is not only tragic but is a clear show by a group that wants to explode onto the terrorist scene and capture as many recruits as they can for their cause. What is interesting is that about 2 months prior to the attack the UN warned that Shabaab's main ally in Kenya was planning a complex operation. Al Hijra, was looked upon as planning an attack using fighters in Somalia that had returned to carry an attack out. The warning was within a report published by the UN's Monitoring Group on

A central figure is Abubakar Shekau, who works among the groups to inter link Al Qaeda and various other terrorists groups highlighted in my own blog. Abubakar Shekau is the leader of Jama’atu Ahl as-Sunnah il-Da’awati wal-Jihad, more commonly known as Boko Haram. Boko Haram, which means “Western education is forbidden,” is a Nigeria-based terrorist organization that seeks to overthrow the current Nigerian government and replace it with a regime based on Islamic law. The group has existed in various forms since the late 1990s. There are reported communications, training, and weapons links between Boko Haram, al-Qaida in the Lands of the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), al-Shabaab, and al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, which may strengthen Boko Haram’s capacity to conduct terrorist attacks.

What is interesting is the reappearance of Samantha Lewthwaite, the pregnant wife of one of the suicide bombers who killed 52 people during the July 2005 London terror attacks. She condemned the attacks but then vanished. Now, Kenyan authorities say, she is the infamous "White Widow," alleged to be a supporter and financier of people linked to the Somali terror group Al-Shabaab. Reports that a white woman was among the terrorists who stormed Nairobi, Kenya's, upscale Westgate Shopping Mall on Saturday -- an operation for which Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility -- have prompted a slew of media speculation that she might have been involved. But according to the groups press via twitter, that is not the case. Lewthwaite, born in Buckinghamshire, England, earned her nickname as the widow of Germaine Lindsay, one of the four suicide bombers who attacked London's transportation system on July 7, 2005. Now age 29, Lewthwaite met Lindsay, a British Muslim, when she was 17, according to the Daily Mail. A convert to Islam, she married him in 2002. 
Kenyan government officials denied women were among the Islamic fanatics who took over the mall amid a hail of gunfire, killing at least 62 people. But Reuters quoted two Kenyan soldiers and an intelligence officer saying one of the dead terrorists is a white female.

Somalia and Eritrea on July 12. According to the report, Shabaab, an al Qaeda affiliate, "expected to exploit its strong ties with extremist groups in Kenya and the United Republic of Tanzania to facilitate its external operations," according to the "testimonies" of "serving and former" Al Hijra fighters, as well as "documents attributed to senior" Shabaab leaders.

In December 2011, Kenyan authorities raided three homes in Mombasa, including one allegedly used by Lewthwaite, and arrested some people on suspicion of planning to destroy a bridge, a ferry and hotels frequented by Western tourists. At Lewthwaite's residence, investigators found the kind of bomb-making materials that were used in the London attacks, Kenyan counterterror police said. But Lewthwaite was not found. A security guard who spoke to CNN on condition of anonymity in 2012 said he saw a white woman leave the residence hours before the raid. Authorities have yet to catch up to her.
Kenyan authorities also suspect Lewthwaite of hatching a plot to break fellow Briton Jermaine Grant out of jail after he was arrested in connection with the alleged Mombasa plot.

Interestingly, the mall attack seems to be something that has been plotted for a long time, utilizing citizens from Iran, England and America. In July last year, two Iranian terror suspects were arraigned on accusations of possessing explosives. Ahmed Mohamud and Said Mausud had been found with 15 kilogrammes of RDX explosives. International media quoted an Israeli minister who said the two Iranians had planned to attack Israeli, American, British or Saudi targets inside Kenya. Westgate Shopping Mall is one of several Israeli-owned businesses in Kenya.

In addition, in 2011-2012, a British man was among four people who have been charged in Kenya with planning a terror attack in the country. Jermaine John Grant, a 29-year-old Muslim convert, and three Kenyan nationals appeared in court in the capital Mombasa charged with possessing explosive materials. He and three other men are accused of conspiring to use the items, which allegedly included wire and hydrogen peroxide, to make a bomb. "On December 20 ... jointly with others not before the court, they conspired to improvise an explosive with intent to cause loss of human lives and harm to innocent citizens," the charge sheet said. Police reportedly looked into whether the four men had links to  al Shabaab at the time of the arrest. Police believe he and the white widow were days away from carrying out their attack before he was arrested. They had planned to use a deadly cocktail of bombs to target tourists in Mombasa.




In March of this year, the US State Department's Rewards for Justice Program posted $5 million rewards for information leading to the arrest or conviction of two Americans who have served in leadership positions in Shabaab. One of the Americans, Jehad Serwan Mostafa, is believed to have served as an emissary for Ayman al Zawahiri, al Qaeda's emir, the FBI told The Long War Journal. The other, Omar Hammami, is currently engaged in a personal dispute with Shabaab.
Al Shabaab has been on the radar for a while, and their connections throughout Somalia, Eritrea run deep. In fact back in July of 2012, the U.S. Department of the Treasury designated six individuals pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13536, “Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Conflict in Somalia.”  The individuals targeted included Col. Tewolde Negash and Col. Taeme Goitom, two Eritrean government officials; Suhayl Salim Muhammad `Abd-el-Rahman (aka Abu-Faris), a Sudanese al-Shabaab foreign fighter facilitator; and Abubaker Shariff Ahmed, Omar Awadh Omar and Aboud Rogo Mohammed who are three Kenyan al-Shabaab supporters.   

Another person of key interest is Abubaker Shariff Ahmed, a leading facilitator and recruiter of young Kenyan Muslims for violent militant activity in Somalia, and a close associate of Aboud Rogo.  He provides material support to extremist groups in Kenya (and elsewhere in East Africa).  Through his frequent trips to Al-Shabaab strongholds in Somalia, including Kismayo, he has been able to maintain strong ties with senior Al-Shabaab members. Abubaker Shariff Ahmed is also engaged in the mobilization and management of funding for Al-Shabaab, an entity listed by the UNSC Committee established pursuant to resolution 751 (1992) concerning Somalia and resolution 1907 (2009) concerning Eritrea for engaging in acts that directly or indirectly threaten the peace, security, or stability of Somalia.

We have not seen the last of Al Shabaab unfortunately. This organization and it’s leaders must be hunted and captured as soon as possible. Their latest press release stated that, “The Kenyan government’s decision to keep its invading force in Somalia is an indication that they haven’t yet learnt any valuable lessons from the Westgate attacks,” the extremists added, warning that Kenya was “inviting unprecedented levels of insecurity, bloodshed and destruction.” Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday said troops had been sent to Somalia to restore order to their neighbor and would remain there until this was achieved. “We will not be intimated, we will not be cowed,” Kenyatta said. “We will stay there until they bring order to their nation.”
In reaction to Kenyan Defense Force’s (KDF) decision, al-Shabaab said it was “fully determined to intensify attacks inside Kenya until the last KDF boots exit Somali soil,” saying it had the “right to defend our land and our people from enemy aggression.”

In terms of a threat to us in the United States, the group's leader, Ahmed Abdi Godane, has threatened to attack the United States—but whether it can is debatable. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), the ranking Republican on the Homeland Security Committee, told CBS's Face the Nation that Al Qaeda is "on the rise, as you can see from Nairobi." The American Enterprise Institute's Katherine Zimmerman testified that "any strategy to counter the Al Qaeda network must recognize the role of these local groups in strengthening the network." We need to recognize and eliminate these threats as they rise.

References:
https://twitter.com/HSM_PR/status/384671530682023936
http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2013/09/un_warned_of_shabaab.php#ixzz2gZGDNvgq
http://www.rewardsforjustice.net/index.cfm?page=shekau&language=english
http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/24/world/africa/kenya-white-widow/index.html
http://news.sky.com/story/917299/british-man-charged-over-kenya-terror-plot
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2142524/British-terror-suspect-Jermaine-Grant-planned-bomb-UK-tourists-Kenya.html
http://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/tg1630.aspx
http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2012/sc10748.doc.htm
http://www.nation.co.ke/news/Westgate-Mall--terrorism--President-Kenyatta--Nairobi--al-Shabab/-/1056/2005552/-/q0mf17/-/index.html
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/white-widow-connected-kenya-massacre-article-1.1464982
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/white-widow-connected-kenya-massacre-article-1.1464982
http://www.longwarjournal.org/threat-matrix/archives/2013/09/shabaab_threatens_big_surprise.php
http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/?articleID=2000094160&story_title=detectives-put-westgate-mall-tenants-on-spot-as-investigation-takes-new-turn

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