March 10, 2009

Good News: Al Qaeda about to get its first state! [UPDATED]


An image from Shabaab's website shows bin Laden

****Bumped because it needs attention now yesterday****

*note: I changed the title of the post to reflect what I think is the grave danger of the situation. Updates at end of post.
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They already pledged allegiance to Osama bin Laden, so I'm not sure how the relationship isn't already official. But, let's just call the relationship up to now unofficial.

And it's a two way street: the last video from Ayman al-Zawahiri focused almost exclusively on support for the Shabaab fighters.

Forget all the news about the 'Somalian government'. The only government in Somalia is the Shabaab. The UN backed government controls precisely zero territory.

If they do go ahead and formalize the already preexisting relationship, this would mean that large swaths of Somalia would now be in al Qaeda's hands.

How will The One handle what is quickly turning into a nightmare scenario in The Horn of Africa? If he follows the State Department's lead, he will treat Somalia much like we treated Afghanistan under the Taliban - diplomatic pressure followed by the occasional limited cruise missile strike.

But this is worse than that since the Taliban were only harboring al Qaeda. Somalia under Shabaab would be more like al Qaeda ruling Afghanistan.

Is there any hope of something more aggressive than that? Something more forceful than our pre-9/11 stance but something short of full on Bush style invasion?

We've already tried the proxy war strategy -- EPIC FAIL. After the Ethiopians declared victory and scooted home, what did they leave in their wake? They ousted the Islamic Courts Union (ICU)-- something akin to the Taliban -- only to find the Shabaab -- an al Qaeda affiliate -- in power. Now the US seems to be backing the new ICU led "government" who only yesterday openly declared Islamic Law (a moot point since they are in exile and Shabaab has already established sharia).

But it gets worse as it seems that the Shabaab fighters have followed the Ethiopian troops home threatening all out civil war.

Al Qaeda declared an "Islamic State of Iraq" led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a dream they were never able to fulfill thanks to the Patraeus surge. But in Somalia, they appear to be on the verge of establishing The Islamic State of Somalia.

Allowing this to happen spells catastrophe of epic proportions. When the next 9/11 hits, and it comes from Somalia, don't say I didn't yell, scream, and warn you over and over and over and over again.

Yet, for all my fears about what this means, I still don't have a good plan for dealing with it. Suggestions?

AP:

A top military intelligence official says the Somali extremist group al-Shabaab is poised to formally merge with al-Qaida, expanding the terrorist franchise in East Africa.

Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lt. Gen. Michael Maples told the Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday that the propaganda released by both groups recently highlights their ideological similarities, suggesting a merger is forthcoming.

Whether or not the merger is official or no, the al-Shabaab share all of the same goals, methods, and loyalties as al Qaeda. They are threatening the stability of the entire Horn of Africa and farther -- including Kenya. And it will not be long until they threaten us.

UPDATE: The Senate's Homeland Security Committee will have a hearing tomorrow about Shabaab's recruitment in the United States of fighters. This is how this is going to come back to haunt us.

UPDATE: Russ Feingold, clueless tool:

"Achieving stability and restoring the rule of law in Somalia will not be easy or quick - 18 years of dysfunction have proven that," Feingold said. "But I am optimistic, as a result of both new political dynamics in Somalia and new leadership in the White House, that we have a unique opportunity to take critical steps in that direction."Wow, the man is an idiot.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 04:34 PM | Comments |