February 12, 2010

Americans & Europeans Inside al Qaeda in Somalia

The Global Post has an in-depth piece on al Qaeda's Somali affiliate, the al Shabaab. Of special interest:

Hardened foreign fighters have brought with them a radical ideology of global jihad and some such as a white U.S. citizen known as Al-Amriki have taken prominent field commander roles.

Foreign fighters and even suicide bombers have joined Al Shabaab from the Somali diaspora in the United States and Europe. More than 20 young men from Minnesota are believed to have joined Al Shabaab. One of them, 26-year-old Shirwa Ahmed, blew himself up in a suicide attack in the northern Somali region of Puntland in 2008.

The man responsible for another deadly suicide bombing in Mogadishu in early December 2009 was a young Somali man from Denmark. A former Al Shabaab fighter told GlobalPost he had met Americans while he was a member of the armed group.

This foreign influence is changing Al Shabaab from a local insurgent group with national ambitions into a growing player in the wider battle between Islam and the West.

Nothing new in that for long time readers of the Jawa Report. But always good to remind people what is going on in the Horn of Africa.

In related news, the al Shabaab are again making a play at Mogadishu. As we speak, the al Qaeda linked group is fighting for control of the city. Scores dead in the past few days since the assault began.

Hat tip: Rahm from Terror Free Somalia.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 09:44 AM | Comments |