SMALL WARS COUNCIL
Go Back   Small Wars Council > Conflicts -- Current & Future > Other U.S. GWOT > OEF - Horn of Africa

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-25-2012   #121
Chowing
Council Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Denison, Texas
Posts: 114
Default U.S. and Danish Hostages free by Seals

Navy Seals successfully rescued two hostages (an American and a Danish national) in Somalia in an overnight raid.

http://terrorisminafrica.com/2012/01...om-al-shabaab/

Last edited by davidbfpo; 02-01-2012 at 10:07 PM. Reason: Was in a separate thread and merged today
Chowing is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2012   #122
davidbfpo
Council Member
 
davidbfpo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 8,190
Default Somalia's al-Shabab join al-Qaeda

A BBC report and not unexpected:
Quote:
Islamist militant group al-Shabab, which controls much of Somalia, has released a joint video with al-Qaeda, announcing the two groups have merged...

BBC Somali editor Yusuf Garaad Omar says the merger of al-Shabab and al-Qaeda has the potential to change the dynamics of the conflict in Somalia.

Al-Qaeda needs to project power and influence, particularly given its own operational impotence, Al-Shabab's acceptance under the al-Qaeda umbrella probably came with permission from Zawahiri for the group to launch external operations against the West (said Leah Farrell)
Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-16979440
__________________
davidbfpo
davidbfpo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2012   #123
davidbfpo
Council Member
 
davidbfpo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 8,190
Default AQ & Al-Shabaab - assessing the threat

This commentary on AQ's merger has been placed on the AQ in Africa thread. Hat tip to FP Blog:http://www.foreignpolicy.com/article...erger?page=0,0

A good summary and ends with well made points:
Quote:
It's one thing to have a loaded gun; it's another to pull the trigger and safely walk away. Al-Shabab might elevate its status in the jihadi world by hitting an American target on U.S. soil, but in doing so it would risk an even harsher crackdown on its bases in Somalia.

But then, al-Shabab has earned one more dangerous distinction: It is the only jihadi organization ever to convince Americans -- at least four, so far -- to serve as suicide bombers. It would not be wise to count on al Qaeda's newest affiliate to act in its own self-interest.
__________________
davidbfpo

Last edited by davidbfpo; 02-15-2012 at 06:11 PM.
davidbfpo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2012   #124
davidbfpo
Council Member
 
davidbfpo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 8,190
Default Watching Somalia: two websites

i am sure this website has popped up before, but was re-discovered today and explains itself as:
Quote:
Somalia Report is a privately funded, non-partisan website that hires Western editors to work with Somali journalists inside the country to cover all aspects of the region: piracy, conflict, terrorism, government, local news, culture and key issues. The hour-by-hour coverage is targeted to professionals who need expertise, situational awareness and in-depth background to breaking news.
Link:http://www.somaliareport.com/index.php

Secondly and the link that took there, The Bureau of Investigative Journalism has assembled a dateline of events from 2001 onwards 'Get the data: Somalia’s hidden war':http://www.thebureauinvestigates.com...as-hidden-war/
__________________
davidbfpo
davidbfpo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-2012   #125
KingJaja
Council Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 783
Default Somalia and the London Conference: the wrong route to peace – By Richard Dowden

Some interesting views on the recently concluded conference on Somalia.

Quote:
At first I withheld judgment on the British government’s decision to hold a major international conference on Somalia. It was so good to hear the government at last taking an interest in this battered country, so I thought it would have been perverse to pour cold water on it.

From the start it was clear that piracy and the subsequent cost to the City of London’s marine insurance business, as well as the fear of terrorism, were the main drivers for David Cameron’s concern. The interests of the Somali people were always going to be secondary. Since Britain had done nothing during the past 20 years of war and suffering, it seemed unlikely that concern for Somalis would be the top priority.

But I am shocked at the government’s lack of understanding. Reading the reports of the conference, one would think that the cause of the war was Al Shabaab, the Islamic fundamentalist movement. Hilary Clinton spoke as if this was simply an extension of the American war or terror.

But the roots of Somalia’s state failure lie in its social structure not in Islamic extremism. When the civil war, or rather wars, started back in the late 1980s Shabaab did not exist. The wars were clan-based uprisings against a domineering dictatorship in a centralised state and against the dictator’s clan. That fragmentation of Somali society still exists beneath the surface. But this was hardly mentioned.

As order, security and hope were obliterated by clan warfare, leading to impoverishment, hunger and death, people turned to religion. Saudi funded fundamentalism spread rapidly throughout Somalia. It is hardly surprising that many young people who had never know anything but war and misery felt the appeal of the simplistic answers of fundamentalism.

Furthermore, Cameron does not appear to have learned from Britain’s own experience in Northern Ireland and the decolonisation process of the 1960s. In both cases Westminster tried to build coalitions of moderates and exclude the extremists and “men of violence”. But in the end in Northern Ireland peace came when the extremists were brought into the process, just as Britain 40 years earlier had been forced to release the jailed ‘terrorists’ throughout its empire and hand power to them.

Not inviting elements of Shabaab to London (and threatening to continue bombing them) has ensured that the war will continue. Excluding the Eritreans, major players in Somalia was also a mistake.

This conference was predicated on persuading the present but ineffective Somali politicians who form the Transitional Federal Government to step down. This is a nice dream, but Somali politicians are not known to commit hari kiri. They are better known for living in luxurious Nairobi hotels, talking at internationally funded conferences and chewing khat. A recent audit of aid money given to them said that 96% was unaccounted for.

The agenda of the Somali politicians at Lancaster House on Thursday was clear: to get the British and Americans to fight their war for them or pay others to do it and bomb their enemies. That will enable them to hold office – even though they have little power – and keep stealing the aid.

The parts of Somalia that work and are safe have evolved their own structures and agreements with their neighbours and rivals. Somalia’s social structure is unique and still very powerful and the systems in Puntland and Somaliland are built on them. No such system has emerged in the south of the country which includes the capital – the only part of Somalia still at war.

This conference should never have attempted to deal with anything more than helping to establish effective local government in the ports along the eastern seaboard and thereby providing a base for controlling piracy.

The attempt to reestablish a strong Somali state was a mistake. It will fail.

Richard Dowden is Director of the Royal African Society.
http://africanarguments.org/2012/02/...ichard-dowden/
KingJaja is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-2012   #126
davidbfpo
Council Member
 
davidbfpo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 8,190
Default A Fine Talking Shop: The London Conference on Somalia

I expect not a few SWC readers have little time for grand diplomatic conferences, let alone on Somalia, especially as there have been eighteen to date since 1981.

Here is another viewpoint by a Somali analyst, ex-RUSI and now at SOAS:http://www.rusi.org/analysis/comment...4F46C3CD21920/

Leaving aside piracy which is symptom of the Somali problem, the author Anna Rader, says:
Quote:
...the focus on AMISOM has obscured the need to restore and rebuild Somalia’s national forces. These are the only ones ultimately able to secure Somalia in the long term, but the communiqué is weakened by insufficient mention of this issue, and particularly of police and coastguard capacity-building, which are obvious counterparts to the national army.
Given the various missions training Somali soldiers outside the country, who according to reports rarely stayed loyal upon returning home, what is the point of 'capacity building' every actor except the (TFG) government?

Sadly nothing has yet happened to persuade me that Somalis via their "leaders" have found a route map to leave their current position.

Incidentally I was intrigued to note the call for ending the supply of charcoal from southern Somalia, via Kismayo, to the Persian Gulf; alongside the suspicion that Al-Shabaab gain some money via port taxes.
__________________
davidbfpo
davidbfpo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2012   #127
tequila
Council Member
 
tequila's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 1,654
Default

IRIN News - Soldiers' Stories

A short film (about 30 minutes) about Ugandan peacekeepers in AMISOM. The focus is on a female Ugandan vehicle gunner and a male Ugandan medic, with some interesting interviews with Ugandan officers. This was in early 2011, prior to AMISOM ejecting al-Shabaab from Mogadishu.
tequila is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2012   #128
davidbfpo
Council Member
 
davidbfpo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 8,190
Default Al Shabaab’s British Accent

A commentary on the links:
Quote:
The evidence indicates it is not a mono-ethnic community of Somalis that is being drawn back, but rather a diverse group that reflects every aspect of the British Muslim community.
This passage will not impress UK officialdom:
Quote:
The lesson appears to be clear: the West has still not figured out domestic counter-radicalization and the British-Somali connection is one that needs to be watched very carefully.
Link:http://security.blogs.cnn.com/2012/0...ritish-accent/
__________________
davidbfpo
davidbfpo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2012   #129
davidbfpo
Council Member
 
davidbfpo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 8,190
Default Being Somali doesn't mean you're a threat

There was a demo in London, which coincided with the conference on Somalia and this is a comment by a press photographer (it is within a longer story):
Quote:
I started to take a few shots and was surprised to find the protesters posing for the camera. There were none of the masked youths found at Congolese demos. The crowd were colourful, friendly and noisy. I asked them for details of the protest - why, what, where, etc. It was explained to me that these protesters came from the north of the country and referred to this area as Somali-land. They want recognition of their part of the country as an independent state. They hated the Somali people and the transitional govt. This was the biggest demo in Whitehall for ages and I did not see one arrest. They left at the designated dispersal time, some shaking hands with the cops as they left.
Link:http://mitchell-images-blog.blogspot...way-innit.html
__________________
davidbfpo
davidbfpo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2012   #130
CWOT
Council Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Cambridge, MA
Posts: 75
Default Omar Hammami's Plight Amongst al-Shabaab & al-Qaeda's Game of Thrones

For those interested in the recent video of Omar Hammami claiming he's been betrayed by al-Shabaab and al-Qaeda, Andrew Lebovich and I wrote a short commentary entitled, "Hammami's Plight Amongst al-Shabaab and al-Qaeda's Game of Thrones."

The concept of the article is that Hammami's troubles signal larger infighting in al-Shabaab and potentially al-Qaeda.

As always, I appreciate any feedback from the SWJ crowd.

Here's the summary:

Quote:
"AmericanHere's the summary: al-Shabaab commander Omar Hammami, known as Abu Mansur al-Amriki, on Friday sat alone in front of a flag commonly associated with al-Qaeda and said that the organization for which he’d fought for much of the last five years, al-Shabaab, might be trying to kill him. The video, the first public message from Hammami since last October, caught many counterterrorism analysts off guard.

The release is an unprecedented public admission of fear and weakness from a jihadist figure. But it has brought to the fore a game of thrones occurring in Somalia as rival al-Shabaab factions compete for power and eliminate their rivals, even as the organization has more tightly joined itself to al-Qaeda’s global jihad. Hammami’s video confirms not only a power struggle within al-Shabaab, but may also point to a larger battle for leadership supremacy in a post-Bin Laden al-Qaeda.

Counterterrorism analysts promoting Hammami as the clear successor to Anwar al-Awlaki were off the mark. Recent machinations should serve as reminders to analysts and commentators alike that jihadist groups--like other militant organizations--are rarely unified, and are often subject to a number of internal and external pressures."
Thanks,

Clint Watts
CWOT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-2012   #131
CWOT
Council Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Cambridge, MA
Posts: 75
Default Further Hammami Debate....

For those interested in the Hammami story,

I've compiled diverging opinions of those debating the story and have published them in three scenarios.

Here's a quick intro.

Quote:
Last week, I focused on Hammami’s disaster as it related to larger al-Qaeda. In my opinion, Zawahiri and those in AQ Central pushing for a merger have the blood of AQ members and foreign fighters in Somalia on their hands. Zawahiri either deliberately knocked off some internal AQ adversaries or through poor decision making inadvertently let al-Shabaab eliminate AQ members. One of the reasons I postulated Zawahiri agreed to an AQ-Shabaab merger was to gain access to Western foreign fighters. Hopefully, Zawahiri’s poor judgment will undermine the recruitment of some foreign fighters to AQ – especially al-Shabaab in Somalia – and sideline one of AQ’s main purposes for merging with al-Shabaab.

With this post, I’ll try to sum up the input of those debating Hammami’s plight and how it relates to al-Shabaab’s internal dimensions. I’ve included a a quick chart outlining key players mentioned and three theories as to what Hammami’s disaster may signal inside al-Shabaab.

Here's the link.
CWOT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2012   #132
davidbfpo
Council Member
 
davidbfpo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 8,190
Default Why is Uganda fighting in 'hellish' Somalia?

I missed this BBC item:
Quote:
Ugandan troops make up the bulk of the African Union force helping Somalia's UN-backed government. With much of the country under the control of al-Shabab Islamist militants, it is probably one of the most dangerous missions that a soldier could embark on. So why are Ugandans choosing to take part?
Leaving aside politics for their government:
Quote:
For an individual soldier, the financial incentive to fight in Somalia is clear. The lowest paid Ugandan soldiers earn around $120 (£76) per month; if they opt to fight in Somalia they earn more than $1,000.
Citing a Ugandan journalist another answer:
Quote:
Uganda has never had a peaceful transition of power. Guns and soldiers have always been involved in a change of regime.

"The ruling NRM party does not want thousands of soldiers hanging around in barracks with time on their hands. And there is no work for them outside the army - unemployment is 50% here," he says.

"President Museveni has been in power for almost 26 years and his popularity is waning. Military officers are already getting restless. From the government's point of view, better for them to be fighting in Somalia.
Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-16853499
__________________
davidbfpo
davidbfpo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2012   #133
AdamG
Council Member
 
AdamG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Hiding from the Dreaded Burrito Gang
Posts: 1,477
Default

Two steps forward, one step back.

Quote:
Outside, on Mogadishu’s streets, the thwat-thwat-thwat hammering sound that rings out in the mornings is not the clatter of machine guns but the sound of actual hammers. Construction is going on everywhere — new hospitals, new homes, new shops, a six-story hotel and even sports bars (albeit serving cappuccino and fruit juice instead of beer). Painters are painting again, and Somali singers just held their first concert in more than two decades at the National Theater, which used to be a weapons depot and then a national toilet. Up next: a televised, countrywide talent show, essentially “Somali Idol.”
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/04/wo...mogadishu.html

Quote:
At least 10 people were killed in a suicide bombing at Somalia's national theater in Mogadishu. The capital of the wartorn country had been experiencing a revival of sorts.
http://www.csmonitor.com/World/terro...-budding-peace
__________________
A scrimmage in a Border Station
A canter down some dark defile
Two thousand pounds of education
Drops to a ten-rupee jezail
AdamG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2012   #134
davidbfpo
Council Member
 
davidbfpo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 8,190
Default Displaced and heading north?

A BBC News report:
Quote:
Al-Shabab militants have moved north to semi-autonomous Puntland after being pushed out of central Somalia, Puntland President Abdirahman Farole says....The president says they are gathering in Puntland's Galgala mountains and the Golis range that borders the self-declared republic of Somaliland.
Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-17674996

I am aware of one dissenting tribe in Somaliland, but the BBC's own map indicates a not inconsiderable 'pro-government administrations' space between where Al-Shabaab was and where they allegedly are moving to. Now 'pro-government' can mean all sorts of things and perhaps there is no capability or will to oppose such a move north.
__________________
davidbfpo
davidbfpo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-2012   #135
davidbfpo
Council Member
 
davidbfpo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 8,190
Default Saving Somalia: Turkey learns how to act

An intriguing FP Blog article:
Quote:
Turkey may just be able to fix this war-torn east African nation -- if it doesn't fall into the same traps of would-be saviors who came before it.
At the end:
Quote:
....even skeptics hope Turkey can find that delicate balance between partnership and tough love. Turkey's new humanitarians could be game changers -- if they can avoid wearing out their welcome.
Link:http://www.foreignpolicy.com/article...alia?page=full
__________________
davidbfpo
davidbfpo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-09-2012   #136
davidbfpo
Council Member
 
davidbfpo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 8,190
Default Ebbing away: Al-Shabaab?

A curious BBC News report 'Defections put militant al-Shabab on the run in Somalia':http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-18364762

Citing a defector:
Quote:
Abu Khalit said he had little time for the foreign fighters who provide the Islamist group with its ideological backbone. "They hide their faces from us. They live in safe houses, and we are not allowed inside...I realised they were not about religion..They were about killing people".
Near the end:
Quote:
now the group is in retreat - many here sense its weakness and that may turn out to be the most fatal blow of all.
For a slightly bizarre sign of change:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-18357660
__________________
davidbfpo
davidbfpo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2012   #137
BronwenM
Council Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: DC Metro area
Posts: 16
Default AMISOM News sources

Dear colleagues,

I just started working with UN/AU Information Operations in Mog (with intermittent time in Nairobi) and am discovering sources that are not widely distributed or known (at least by me and I tended to follow Somalia pretty extensively prior to this job).

Thought there may be some interest in the following sources

1. AMISOM funds/runs this radio/website stories - called BAR-KULAN

http://www.bar-kulan.com/category/news-in-english

2. AMISOM daily and weekly media monitoring -

http://somaliamediamonitoring.org/
BronwenM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2012   #138
davidbfpo
Council Member
 
davidbfpo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 8,190
Thumbs up

BronwenM,

Welcome back to posting on SWC after a lull.

An interesting place to be, although I expect most American readers have written off Somalia after their searing experience.

Now I must check those two websites.
__________________
davidbfpo
davidbfpo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2012   #139
BronwenM
Council Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: DC Metro area
Posts: 16
Default Thanks

Thanks for the welcome Dave. Quite a lull indeed but please know I was always lurking. Just did not feel I had much to share...

Look forward to sharing what may be of interest as the info comes along. Open to helping any folks with info too via PM.

I found this website from Kismayo area (big city of great interest as it has the only dry dock in all of Somalia) that posts some news articles in English (most of posts are in Somali)

http://kismaayonews.com

Best, Bronwen
BronwenM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2012   #140
davidbfpo
Council Member
 
davidbfpo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 8,190
Default CWOT's thoughts on the reported defections

Catching up I found CWOT's comment on the BBC report, which reminds us of AQ's failure in Somalia twenty years ago and ends considering what might emerge:http://selectedwisdom.com/?p=681
__________________
davidbfpo

Last edited by davidbfpo; 06-21-2012 at 01:47 PM.
davidbfpo is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
al qaeda, al-shabaab, cia, hammami, kenya, network, shabaab, somalia, terrorism, uganda

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
More Piracy Near Somalia Beelzebubalicious OEF - Horn of Africa 704 09-26-2014 10:47 PM
Sudan Watch (to July 2012) SWJED Africa 124 07-06-2012 04:18 PM


All times are GMT. The time now is 05:36 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8. ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Registered Users are solely responsible for their messages.
Operated by, and site design © 2005-2009, Small Wars Foundation