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Thread: Somalia: not piracy catch all thread

  1. #181
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Enemies cooperate to make $

    An article 'The Charcoal Connection: US security assistance and Kenyan Counterterrorism' on War on the Rocks blogsite (WOTR), which rightly asks whether Kenya is really fighting:
    In 2012, the Kenyan army succeeding in driving the Shabaab from the Somali port of Kismayo, the group’s major southern redoubt. The army turned the port over to the Ras Kamboni force, a local militia. That same year, a UN resolution banned the export of Somali charcoal in an effort to undercut the Shabaab’s finances. Ignoring the resolution, the Kenyan army and its allied Somali militia has allowed the trade to continue. Members of the army, the Ras Kamboni force, and Kenyan politicians have reportedly benefited from this illicit commerce—as has the Shabaab, which has continued to control and reap considerable profits from the charcoal networks.
    There is nothing like simplicity!

    Link:http://warontherocks.com/2013/09/the...nterterrorism/
    davidbfpo

  2. #182
    Council Member M-A Lagrange's Avatar
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    Target Of U.S. Raid In Somalia Called A Top Attack Planner

    A Kenyan intelligence official of Somali origin says that the "high-value terrorist leader" whose residence was targeted in Saturday was the senior al-Shabab leader Abdikadir Mohamed Abdikadir, alias Ikrima.

    Ikrima is a Kenyan of Somali descent who boasts connections to both al-Shabab in Somalia and to a Kenyan jihadist group called al-Hijra. Kenyan authorities announced on Friday that two of the four terrorists killed in the were al-Hijra militants.

    [...]
    A leaked Kenyan intelligence report confirms that Ikrima was plotting "multiple attacks" inside Kenya, "sanctioned by al-Qaida" in Pakistan, and "involving financial and logistical support from South African operatives." The report continues:

    "By December 2011, the planners had acquired safe houses in Nairobi & Mombasa, trained the executors, received explosives from Somalia and commenced assembly of and concealment of explosives."
    According to the report, Ikrima's small "terror cell" included two British nationals: an explosives expert named Jermaine John Grant and the infamous White Widow, Samantha Lewthwaite. (Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta had confirmed that a "British woman" may have been among the fighters in Westgate Mall.)
    http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/...aid-in-somalia

    Main target seems accurate. For the rest, usual caution with intelligence leaks are to be observed.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 10-09-2013 at 01:44 PM. Reason: Copied from the nairobi attack thread at request

  3. #183
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    Default Failed Navy SEALs raid on Somali target could bolster Al Shabab

    A commando unit from the US Navy’s Seal Team Six launched an amphibious raid on a Somali town, but failed to confirm a capture or kill of their Al Shabab target, suspected to be linked to Nairobi’s Westgate mall terror attack.

    The operation could have opposite its intended result of discouraging further attacks. Analysts warn that even earlier successful targeted strikes against Al Shabab, a Somalia-based Islamist militant group, failed to curb the group's capacity to carry out international terror attacks, and that failed missions could in fact bolster its support and recruitment.
    http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Secur...l-Shabab-video
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  4. #184
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    Despite the failure to capture or definitively kill the target on Saturday, Pentagon press secretary George Little dismissed the notion that the Somalia raid was a failure.

    “Seeing some suggestions that one of our military ops wasn't successful,” he wrote on Twitter. “We knocked on al-Shabaab's front door. They shouldn't sleep easy.”
    Read more: http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/n...#ixzz2h3z2wPDI
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  5. #185
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    The Intel value (or not) of items dropped during the raid.
    http://www.businessinsider.com/navy-...omalia-2013-10
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  6. #186
    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    AdamG:

    That's classic.

    "Despite the failure to capture or definitively kill the target on Saturday, Pentagon press secretary George Little dismissed the notion that the Somalia raid was a failure.

    “Seeing some suggestions that one of our military ops wasn't successful,” he wrote on Twitter. “We knocked on al-Shabaab's front door. They shouldn't sleep easy.” "

    Even our failures aren't failures because if we fail we just change the definition of failure so it becomes a success. Ivy League educations are wonderous things, enabling grads to work miracles.

    Too bad our inside the beltway genii don't understand that to fail is human and not to be ashamed of if it is an honest failure and one learns from it. That attitude is going to get us into real, as in national big war defeat, trouble some day if it doesn't change.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

  7. #187
    Council Member M-A Lagrange's Avatar
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    Two interesting articles on the Westgate and the SEAL raids.

    First one is on the “white widow”. It is now almost certain she did not participate and the media frenzy around her involvement has been prompted by a lack of info and, as usual, the need for a scoop!
    White Widow merely person of interest in Nairobi mall probe
    AS FAR as the security officials in Kenya are concerned, Samantha Lewthwaite, the Northern Irish woman popularly tied to the Somali extremist group al-Shabaab, is merely a person of interest and not wanted for September’s mall siege in Nairobi that left dozens dead and many more injured. Having been first linked to the attacks by the British media, the link became so compelling that it was carried around the world as fact.
    The Sunday Independent got the correct Lewthwaite angle: we should be worried about what the news of her fake South African passport will do to this country’s bid to reassure the world at large that its passport-issuing system is reliable.

    Home Affairs Minister Naledi Pandor has assured the nation that the department had a handle on the situation as far back as 2011, when it cancelled the fraudulent passport.

    "It was reported that Lewthwaite bought passports for her and her two children in Durban from convicted fraudster Ehmed Chisty for R60,000. The Sunday Independent was reliably informed that home affairs has been searching for three men who have been running ID schemes across the city similar to Chisty’s, raking in between R50,000 and R120,000 for each ID," the paper reported.
    http://www.bdlive.co.za/opinion/colu...obi-mall-probe

    And a very detailed inside of the SEAL raid:
    Somalia SEAL Raid Ended by Children Used as Shields
    In a corroborating report, NBC News described how SEALs were able to enter the al-Shabaab compound, take the positions required by their planning, and even watch one of the terrorists take a cigarette break. But that same al-Shabaab fighter may have spotted the SEALs, because he came back out with an AK-47 and fired on the SEALs. The mission quickly escalated into a firefight, with the SEALs encountering intense fire with both guns and grenades. An unidentified official told CNN that, “Once it became clear we were not going to able to take him, the Navy commander made the decision to withdraw.”

    CNN and NBC had both received word from U.S. officials that the decision to end the Somalia raid was prompted by seeing children, used as human shields, being moved out of the fortified seaside stronghold the SEALs were attacking.

    SEALs were actually able to see Ikrima through the compound’s windows, but when children came into their scopes, the threat of hurting them prompted the team’s withdrawal. The tactical situation for these members of SEAL Team Six, the same unit that killed Osama bin-Laden, was also disintegrating, and they evacuated via the beach.
    http://guardianlv.com/2013/10/somali...ed-as-shields/
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 10-09-2013 at 01:47 PM. Reason: Copied from the nairobi attack thread at request

  8. #188
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    After reading the Selected Wisdom post it seemed to be a lot of uninformed rambling about nothing. Al Shabaab has been a multinational terrorist network for years, and they also have been an insurgency force (even longer). Contrary to all the reports of Al-Shabaab being on their last leg, they remain one of the more dangerous Al-Qaeda affiliated terrorist networks (even if their insurgency efforts were rolled back). We struggle too much to try to fit loose networked organizations into our desired view of organizations with a formal structure, and this results in a continued misdiagnosis or classification. We think we know how to defeat formal organizations, but loose networks are much harder to understand since they constantly adapt and are also very resilient. We seem to want to claim victory prematurely simply because African Union forces pushed Al-Shabaab out of the major urban areas in Somalia, yet they still exist and they still have the will and capability to fight, so making claims like they're on their last leg only sets us for disappointment when we find they're far from it. Instead of making such wishful comments, we should pursue the momentum the AU created and continue to aggressively target them until they're sufficiently suppressed. Furthermore, there is no reason to think they conducted this attack on the mall on their own, since the various terrorist networks around the globe mutually support each other to varying degrees, but on the other hand it may been conducted by homeboys from Kenya. It wouldn't surprise me if actors as far away as Pakistan and Yemen were involved (neither are that far away). Much too early to tell at this point, but whatever the truth is, it shouldn't be surprising, since all are credible probabilities.

    http://www.nctc.gov/site/groups/al_shabaab.html

    Al-Shabaab is not centralized or monolithic in its agenda or goals. Its rank-and-file members come from disparate clans, and the group is susceptible to clan politics, internal divisions, and shifting alliances. Most of its fighters are predominantly interested in the nationalistic battle against the TFG and not supportive of global jihad. Al-Shabaab’s senior leadership is affiliated with al-Qa‘ida and is believed to have trained and fought in Afghanistan. The merger of the two groups was publicly announced in February 2012 by the al-Shabaab amir and Ayman al-Zawahiri, leader of al-Qa‘ida.
    http://www.cnn.com/2013/10/05/world/...rticle_sidebar

    Washington (CNN) -- A pre-dawn raid by elite U.S. forces in southern Somalia, in the heart of territory controlled by the al Qaeda subsidiary Al-Shabaab, targeted an Al-Shabaab commander connected to one of the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings, a senior Obama administration official said Sunday.

    The suspected foreign fighter commander is named Ikrima, a Kenyan of Somali origin about whom little is known. The official said Ikrima is associated with two now-deceased al Qaeda operatives who played roles in the 1998 bombing of the U.S. embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, and the 2002 attacks on a hotel and airline in Mombasa, also in Kenya.
    Not only do they have American, British, and Kenya recruits:

    http://www.latimes.com/world/la-fg-s...,4926499.story

    According to Norway's Channel 2, Ikrima had traveled to Norway in 2004 and sought political asylum while living in Oslo. He received travel documents but left in 2008 before authorities had ruled on his asylum request. Two Swedes whom he met in Norway later joined him at Shabab training camps in Somalia, the TV station said, adding that a Swedish member of the Shabab was killed in the SEAL raid Saturday.

    Morten Storm, a Dane who said he has worked for several Western intelligence agencies, told CNN that he helped pass messages between Ikrima and Al Qaeda leaders in Yemen between 2008 and 2012.

    Ikrima communicated directly with Anwar Awlaki, the American-born Al Qaeda leader in Yemen who was killed in a U.S. drone strike in 2011, about going to Yemen but never made the trip, Storm said. Instead Ikrima, who speaks Norwegian, became a key handler of Shabab recruits from the West.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 10-09-2013 at 01:49 PM. Reason: Copied from the nairobi attack thread at request and slightly edited to remove Nairobi reference

  9. #189
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Hey Carl,

    How about a disinformation campaign... loled into a false sense of security.

    CA and Pysops
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  10. #190
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    Default Hey Carl

    I had an Ivy League education and I resent that. Some of us really aren't stupid and can admit our mistakes. Others, on both sides of the aisle, have a real problem admitting they are wrong.

    I've been wrong a whole lot of times (although I just can't seem to remember any off the top of my head ) but I still keep trying and hopefully learning.

    Cheers

    JohnT

  11. #191
    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    JohnT:

    There is a rehabilitation program available, but it is rigorous and available only to those who will take full responsibility for their actions and are sincerely sorry for their transgressions. You mainly have to say you take responsibility and say you're sorry with a slight choke in your voice...once. After that, you're in. We didn't want to make it too hard so as not to discourage deserters from the other side.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

  12. #192
    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stan View Post
    Hey Carl,

    How about a disinformation campaign... loled into a false sense of security.

    CA and Pysops
    Hey Stan! How you been? Glad to see you back here.

    We got 'em man. They all think our leaders are feckless girly men right now. Just wait till the ballon goes up and the sterling characters and courageous dispositions come out. Boy will they be surprised.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

  13. #193
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    Carl, Maybe that really isnt the world we live in. Isnt there a dialog somewhere in Wag the Dog where the Dustin Hoffman character gets a little pensive and wonders what will become of our civilization if we just manufacture a Potemkin war and sell it like we sell washing powder (actual words were probably different)..and De Niro says "that IS our civilization"...
    Or some such.

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    Exhibit A in "the emperor really is naked"" http://linkis.com/yaleglobal.yale.edu/PfQD

    Marc Grossman was Afpak special rep. And apparently he is totally serious here. Read and weep.

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    and this is exhibit 2. One of the best (if not THE best) book review in the nation is suckered by Akbar S Ahmed. http://www.nybooks.com/articles/arch...gination=false
    I have lost all hope.

  16. #196
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    Hey Stan! How you been? Glad to see you back here.

    We got 'em man. They all think our leaders are feckless girly men right now. Just wait till the ballon goes up and the sterling characters and courageous dispositions come out. Boy will they be surprised.
    Hey Carl,
    Doing fine and had enough of the Dark Continent this year

    I was just across the fence during our last fiasco in Somalia and I assure you the boys in green will not suffer fool to another administration

    PM and email sent.

    Regards, Stan
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  17. #197
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Good catch

    Quote Originally Posted by omarali50 View Post
    and this is exhibit 2. One of the best (if not THE best) book review in the nation is suckered by Akbar S Ahmed. http://www.nybooks.com/articles/arch...gination=false
    I have lost all hope.
    Very good catch. Lots of gems and wisdom in the review.
    davidbfpo

  18. #198
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default How to reduce al-Shabab -- in six easy steps

    A FP Blof article by:
    Roger D. Carstens is a former U.S. Army Special Forces Officer who recently spent 15 months in Somalia as an observer and military advisor. He is a non-resident senior fellow at the New America Foundation.
    and entitled 'How to rid Somalia of al-Shabab once and for all -- in six (not-so) easy steps':http://www.foreignpolicy.com/article...isom?page=full

    Others are better placed to comment, but from disadvantage point I did find this passage lacked credibility - with my bold:
    The Somali National Army currently sits at about 12,000 troops divided among six divisions. The soldiers are generally great fighters -- and for the most part, they are led by good officers who are eager to improve and professionalize.
    I simply do not believe there are 12k Somali troops. In none of the newsreel I have watched, reliant on ANISOM protection, has there been any Somali soldiers in view.
    davidbfpo

  19. #199
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    Default The ROE for Strategic Raids - and Other Actions

    From the WP, Heeding new counterterror guidelines, U.S. forces backed off in Somalia raid (by Karen DeYoung, October 7, 2013).

    First, as to the ROEs:

    When Navy SEALs were met with gunfire as they attempted a raid on a seaside militant compound in southern Somalia early Saturday, the commander of the operation had the authority to call in a U.S. airstrike. Instead, he opted to retreat.

    The site had been under surveillance, and the operation against an al-Qaeda-affiliated group had been in the planning stages, for months, current and former Obama administration officials said Monday. A drone strike against the al-Shabab compound had been rejected, officials said, because there were too many women and children inside, the same reason that the commander opted against an airstrike once the operation was underway.

    Destroying the compound probably would also have defeated a primary purpose of the mission: to capture, not kill, a Kenyan-born al-Shabab commander named Abdulkadir Mohamed Abdulkadir, also known as Ikrima. He has long been on a U.S. “capture or kill” list, along with al-Shabab leader Mukhtar Abu Zubeyr, known as Godane, and was considered the group’s primary planner of attacks outside Somalia.

    As they provided more details of the aborted operation in the town of Barawe, current and former administration officials said it was designed within restrictive counterterrorism guidelines that President Obama signed in the spring. Under the 2001 congressional Authorization for the Use of Military Force, the guidelines say that lethal force can be used only when there is a “near certainty that non-combatants will not be injured or killed.”

    If civilians had not been present at the compound, a senior administration official said, “we might just as well have done a standoff strike,” hitting the site with missiles launched from piloted or unmanned aircraft. The desire to avoid hitting non-combatants, the official said, “accounts for the fact that ultimately [U.S. forces] disengaged” when they “met resistance.”
    If accurate (the actual ROEs haven't been published), the Centcom ROE ("reasonable certainty", given variant meanings) has morphed to "near certainty" - at least in this incarnation. "Near certainty" begins to sound very much like "beyond a reasonable doubt".

    That ties in with the second point (both the Somalian and Libyan ops were capture ops):

    The guidelines also codify a long-stated but rarely implemented administration preference for capturing rather than killing terrorism targets.

    Officials cited the Somalia operation, as well as the capture of an al-Qaeda figure in Tripoli, Libya, on the same day, as proof that the administration is not overly enamored with the relatively risk-free use of drones at the expense of detaining militants to glean intelligence.

    “To people who had said we don’t undertake capture operations, here are two,” the senior official said.
    No attempt has been made by the administration to justify either operation on other than Laws of War principles. I've no objection to that as such; but, it's interesting that the administration, in effect, recognizes that a state of war exists in the "new" Libya.

    Regards

    Mike

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    Default We’ll Always Have Mogadishu: Reflecting On Somalia

    We’ll Always Have Mogadishu: Reflecting On Somalia

    Entry Excerpt:



    --------
    Read the full post and make any comments at the SWJ Blog.
    This forum is a feed only and is closed to user comments.

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