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Old 09-22-2013   #41
davidbfpo
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Default An international attack

The list of the alleged kidnappers reported on Twitter, entitled PrayingForWestgate and by ‏@shambuguREAL via @HSM_PRESS2; missing are 5 & 7 and the HSM account has been suspended:

10. abdirizak mouled 24 y.o from ontario canada
9. sayid nuh 25 y.o from kismayu somalia.
8. abdifatah osman keenadiid. 24 y.o from minneapolis.
6. gen mustafe noorudiin. 27 y.o from kansas city. MO.
4. qasim said mussa 22 y.o garissa KE.
3. ahmed nasir shirdoon 24 y.o from london UK.
2. zaki jama caraale 20 y.o from hargeisa somalia.
1. ismael guled 23 y.o from helsinki finland.

Another journalist refers to:
Quote:
Among the attackers Jihadists from Arizona, Maine, Minnesota, Kansas, Illinois, London, Helsinki, Damascus
Elsewhere UK C4 News has an interview with Al-Shabaab:http://www.channel4.com/news/al-shab...ng-mall-attack
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Old 09-22-2013   #42
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Default High-risk gamble by Shabaab to reverse its prospects

An interesting commentary by Ken Menkhaus, the doyen of US Somali academics, one passage says it all:
Quote:
The Westgate attack is the latest sign of the group’s weakness. It was a desperate, high-risk gamble by Shabaab to reverse its prospects. If the deadly attack succeeds in prompting vigilante violence by Kenyan citizens or heavy-handed government reactions against Somali residents, Shabaab stands a chance of recasting itself as the vanguard militia protecting Somalis against external enemies. It desperately needs to reframe the conflict in Somalia as Somalis versus the foreigners, not as Somalis who seek peace and a return to normalcy versus a toxic jihadi movement.
Link:http://thinkprogress.org/security/20...n-desperation/

Note his view that the Somali desire to make money acted as a restraint on Al-Shabaab.
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Old 09-23-2013   #43
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Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
An interesting commentary by Ken Menkhaus, the doyen of US Somali academics, one passage says it all:

Link:http://thinkprogress.org/security/20...n-desperation/

Note his view that the Somali desire to make money acted as a restraint on Al-Shabaab.
Seems we have heard this spin many times before. How many times have Al-Qaeda and Al Shabaab been on their last leg and about to die off? I agree the recent trend for Al Shabaab hasn't been good, but they still control a large section of Somalia, they still have control of around 5,000 fighters, and they were able to orchestrate a very sophisticated attack in another country, potentially with a multinational group of terrorists. If true that could imply the capacity to do the same in some locations in the West.

http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/22/world/...baab-analysis/

Quote:
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
Al-Shabaab has threatened revenge on Kenya ever since Kenyan forces entered Somalia.

Mall attack shows Al-Shabaab has taken its ability to strike outside Somalia to a new level.

The operation meets criteria that al Qaeda leader al-Zawahiri listed in a recent message.

Al-Shabaab allies in region include Kenyan militant group al Hijra and Eritrean government.
Quote:
After years of infighting and feuds, the Nairobi attack may also confirm the ascendancy of Al-Shabaab's most militant faction and its leader Mukhtar Abu al Zubayr (aka Ahmed Abdi Godane). Zubayr attended a madrassa in Pakistan as a young man and merged the group with al Qaeda in February 2012. He sees Al-Shabaab as part of al Qaeda's global jihad.

Dissenters have defected or been killed. Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys of Al-Shabaab's old guard surrendered to Somali authorities.
http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/kenya-...ry?id=20336438

Quote:
During Congressional testimony in January 2012, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper listed al-Shabaab as one of the most significant terror threats to the homeland, in part due to a "foreign fighter cadre that includes U.S. passport holders... [who] may have aspirations to attack inside the United States."

However, a senior law enforcement official said the latest U.S. government analysis shows no heightened threat to the U.S. as a result of the Kenya attack. While al-Shabaab does have a desire to strike at Western targets in Africa, hitting the U.S. homeland is "not a priority" for them, the official said.
No predictions from me on this one, we'll see where this goes over the next few months.
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Old 09-23-2013   #44
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It seems to me that part of what will result from the attack depends upon how strong a sense national identity Kenyans have. Will they view this as an attack upon Kenya and Kenyans? I don't know and would be appreciative if some who know about this would comment.
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Old 09-23-2013   #45
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Here is a quote purportedly by a Kenyan general that I pulled off an Allafrica.com twitter feed.

""An army general was asked: 'Can you forgive a terrorist?' He replied: 'God forgives. Our task is to arrange their meeting'"

If the quote is accurate and the source real, I'd say that guy has his PR skills down pat.
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Old 09-24-2013   #46
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Tuesday, early morning, gunshots exchange broke out from Westgate Mall. Long after the Kenyan authorities announced they were in full control of the mall but lost tracks of the attackers...

Not being Kenyan I cannot really answer to Carl's question, but what is clear is that there is both a radicalization of Kenyans over Somalis and, at the same time, a real sense of national unity against madness raising that is crosscutting all ethnic and religious groups.

I recommend the following article that analyses what's behind the attack and what it means for Al Shebaab.

Quote:
Kenya attack is product of brutal power struggle within al-Shabaab

But Westgate also looks like a chilling statement of intent by Ahmed Abdi Godane, the al-Shabaab leader, who consolidated his power in June in an internal coup. Among four top commanders who were executed by Godane were two of the group's co-founders, known as al-Afghani and Burhan. Al-Shabaab's spiritual leader, Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys, fled for his life, and was subsequently detained by Somali government forces.

The infighting continues. Earlier this month, the Alabama-born al-Shabaab commander Omar Hammami, known as Abu Mansoor al-Amriki or "the American", and a British national known as Usama al-Britani, were shot dead in a dawn raid on their hideout by Godane's allies. Hammami, who was on Washington's most wanted list, had previously accused Godane of behaving like a dictator.

Godane, also known as Mukhtar Abu Zubayr, was behind al-Shabaab's decision in 2011 to affiliate to al-Qaida and adopt its global jihadist outlook. It is Godane who is said to have ordered the 2010 bombings in Kampala that killed 74 people – in protest at Uganda's participation in Amisom. In 2011 he published a jihadist video entitled "At your service, Osama". In it he vowed that "the wars will not end until sharia [law] is implemented in all continents in the world". Even before Westgate, he was one of the world's most wanted terrorists, with a $7m bounty on his head.

Sheikh Aweys, in contrast, is seen as a Somali Islamist nationalist opposed to foreign intervention of any kind, be it jihadist, western or African, a position he elaborated in a rare interview with the Guardian in 2008. His vanquishing was a victory for the hardliners, who are now in the ascendant. "[They] will want to show that it [al-Shabaab] remains a cohesive force, and my fear is that there will be an escalation of conflict, with more bombings," the Kenya-based Somali analyst Rashid Abdi presciently told the BBC after the June coup.

Al-Shabaab is under pressure on a number of other fronts. Having been ejected from the capital Mogadishu two years ago, it is facing a renewed campaign to retake key towns in central Somalia. Last week the central town of Mahadeey was overrun by Somali troops backed by Amisom. Although it still controls much of the south, loss of territory means loss of revenue and influence for the group. Meanwhile, 150 leading clerics have signed a government-supported fatwa asserting that al-Shabaab under Godane has strayed from the true path of Islam.

The apparent decision by Godane and fellow hardliners to again take the fight beyond Somalia's borders looks like a bid to regain the initiative in the face of these setbacks and disagreements. In addition, the group's occasional bomb attacks in Mogadishu keep the government on the back foot. The recent decision by the charity Médecins Sans Frontières to pull out of Somalia, due to worsening security, is a perverse vindication of such tactics. And Godane doubtless welcomes the negative impact of Barclays Bank's decision to close accounts used to send remittances to Somalia.
http://www.theguardian.com/world/201...le-al-shabaab#!
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Old 09-24-2013   #47
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Originally Posted by M-A Lagrange View Post
Not being Kenyan I cannot really answer to Carl's question, but what is clear is that there is both a radicalization of Kenyans over Somalis and, at the same time, a real sense of national unity against madness raising that is crosscutting all ethnic and religious groups.[/url]!
That answers the question to a certain extent.
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Old 09-24-2013   #48
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Is there a link to a good online account of the entire siege somewhere? I read today that 5 terrorists were killed. By all accounts, there were more to start with, so what happened to the rest? and how did these five die in the end?
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Old 09-25-2013   #49
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Sadly, a lot of this kind of thing will happen in future in Africa.

It's complicated - but where Islam meets Christianity in Africa, the borders are bloody. True, the assault by Al Shabaab is driven by Kenya's involvement in Somalia - but what about Mali, Northern Nigeria and Zanzibar (where acid is being thrown on non-Muslims).

A lot of Africa is poor and a lot of the poor Africans are Muslims and as long as poverty persists, Islamic fundamentalism is likely to persist.

Sorry if I seem to veer off on a tangent, but 180 people (or thereabouts) were killed in North East Nigeria around the same time. This thing is more than "a war on terror", this is an ideology, a belief system, a theology - many reasons might be given, but the thing that worries me is this:

There is no effective counter-narrative to jihadism within the Muslim community. None.

Jihadism isn't rational, what does it take for young men to willingly blow themselves up?

Africa is the worst continent to do your suicide bombing in the long run - eventually there will be a local solution to the suicide bombing problem, it will be extremely ugly - but mark my words, it will be effective.
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Old 09-25-2013   #50
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Some details on the preparation of the attack:
Quote:
Attack in Kenya was rehearsed, U.S. officials say

The plot to attack an upscale mall in Nairobi was hatched weeks or months ago on Somali soil by the militant Islamist group al-Shabab, and a team of English-speaking foreign fighters was carefully selected, the New York Times reported Tuesday, citing unnamed U.S. officials.

The blueprints of the Westgate mall were studied, down to the ventilation ducts. The attack was rehearsed and the team dispatched, slipping undetected through Kenya's porous borders, often patrolled by underpaid — and deeply corrupt — border guards, according to the officials.

A day or two before Saturday's attack, powerful belt-fed machine guns were secretly stashed in a shop in the mall with the help of a colluding employee, the officials said. At least one militant had packed a change of clothes so he could slip out with fleeing civilians after the killings were done.
http://www.tampabay.com/news/world/a...ls-say/2143787
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Old 09-25-2013   #51
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Originally Posted by KingJaja View Post
Sadly, a lot of this kind of thing will happen in future in Africa.

It's complicated - but where Islam meets Christianity in Africa, the borders are bloody. True, the assault by Al Shabaab is driven by Kenya's involvement in Somalia - but what about Mali, Northern Nigeria and Zanzibar (where acid is being thrown on non-Muslims).

A lot of Africa is poor and a lot of the poor Africans are Muslims and as long as poverty persists, Islamic fundamentalism is likely to persist.

Sorry if I seem to veer off on a tangent, but 180 people (or thereabouts) were killed in North East Nigeria around the same time. This thing is more than "a war on terror", this is an ideology, a belief system, a theology - many reasons might be given, but the thing that worries me is this:

There is no effective counter-narrative to jihadism within the Muslim community. None.

Jihadism isn't rational, what does it take for young men to willingly blow themselves up?

Africa is the worst continent to do your suicide bombing in the long run - eventually there will be a local solution to the suicide bombing problem, it will be extremely ugly - but mark my words, it will be effective.
What are they waiting on? This has been going on for years, yet the response in most cases has been fairly tame. People fighting for survival won't and probably shouldn't play by our rules. We wouldn't follow our rules if we were seriously threatened.
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Old 09-25-2013   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
What are they waiting on? This has been going on for years, yet the response in most cases has been fairly tame. People fighting for survival won't and probably shouldn't play by our rules. We wouldn't follow our rules if we were seriously threatened.
Please read this:

Quote:
Volunteer Vigilance Youths Group (VVYG) otherwise known as 'Civilian JTF' on Thursday arrested and set ablaze an alleged notorious Boko Haram sect member at Gwange ward in Maiduguri, Borno State capital, residents and witnesses said.

This is the second time the youths would burn a suspected member of the Boko Haram in less than a week.

Some of the vigilante members who took part in the burning said the suspect had once killed and burned a soldier in the area sometime last year.

The claim could not be verified from the spokesman of the Joint Task Force, JTF, Lt Col Sagir Musa but a security source confirmed that the youths had burnt the suspect.

"This (the action of the vigilantes) is a serious source of concern to us... jungle justice is a crime in itself and we want parents to caution their wards against it," the source said.

Weekly Trust gathered that the suspected Boko Haram member had led insurgents in the killing of many people and perpetrated "many atrocities" at Gwange Sabon Layi.

"The actions of the suspect who fled to the forest last December prompted soldiers to sack residents from the area," a resident of Gwange said.

One of the vigilantes also corroborated. "Only Allah knows how eager we were to catch that guy (burnt suspect) alive. As a result of his bad deeds, soldiers sacked and closed our area completely. But we were then told that the guy had escaped into the forest. Some even believed that he has been killed since. We were on operations when we saw him.

"On seeing him, all the youths shouted 'here he is'. Then everyone of us was jubilating, seeing our 'wanted guy'.

"So, we instantly reminded him of what he did last year, but to our surprise, he started begging us to pardon him. As he was crying, we tied him up, poured fuel on his body and set him on fire. No pity for Boko Haram sect members at all now. Thousands have been displaced and hundreds were killed because of his bad deeds," the vigilante said.
http://allafrica.com/stories/201307270089.html
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Old 09-25-2013   #53
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The Shebaab claim they killed 137 hostages. Still at least 50 persons MIA in Westgate. Will be difficult to find out as the roof collapsed.

Quote:
Al-Shabaab claim 137 hostages killed at Westgate

The Al-Shabaab insurgents claimed on Wednesday that they had killed 137 hostages during the Westgate Mall siege, figures impossible to verify and higher than the number of people officially registered as missing.

The fighters, in a message posted on Twitter, said "137 hostages who were being held by the mujahedeen" had died.

They also accused the Kenya Defence forces of using "chemical agents" to end the four-day stand-off.

"In an act of sheer cowardice, beleaguered Kenyan forces deliberately fired projectiles containing chemical agents," one tweet read.

"To cover their crime, the Kenyan government carried out a demolition to the building, burying evidence and all hostages under the rubble."
http://m.news24.com/kenya/National/N...tgate-20130925
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Old 09-25-2013   #54
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List Of Nairobi Attackers, Including Westerners, Published On Social Media
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File Type: jpg 16543.JPG (59.6 KB, 244 views)
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Old 09-26-2013   #55
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An interresting article on the Al Shebaab finance and the impact of Westgate attack on Shebaab incomes.
Quote:

Shabaab finances face squeeze after Kenya attack


Al Shabaab's economic strength is vital to its operations because it can pay its thousands of fighters a monthly salary normally varying between $100 to $300 a month.

That, more than its declared aim of imposing a strict version of Sharia or Islamic law, is the main incentive to join up, Somali researchers say.

Ironically, al Shabaab's income may have benefited from an upturn in the Somali economy that followed the partial restoration of order in Mogadishu over the past two years and a growth in investment amid hopes of an end to years of war.

In the wake of the four-day attack by al Shabaab militants on a Nairobi shopping mall in which at least 72 people were killed, Western counter-terrorism agencies are expected to subject the group's sources of financial support to renewed scrutiny, Somali experts say.

The success of such efforts will depend to a large extent on the choices made by Somalis, in particular the powerful Somali business community in east Africa.

According to Ken Menkhaus, a leading U.S. scholar of al Shabaab, the most formidable weapon against al Shabaab may be the Somalia expatriate business community in Kenya, which has emerged as a force in property and trade in the past 20 years.
http://www.courant.com/news/nation-w...,7423755.story
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Old 09-29-2013   #56
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Default Al-Shabab’s Kenyan recruitment 'pipeline'

Peter Taylor, one of the BBC's most respected reporters, was in Kenya before the Westgate Mall attack, preparing a Panorama programme and has an article 'On the trail of al-Shabab’s Kenyan recruitment 'pipeline', before the programme is broadcast:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-24263357

He cites a radical Kenyan cleric:
Quote:
There's no such thing as a moderate Muslim. The prophets did not teach us moderation in Islam - Islam is Islam.. Being a moderate Muslim is accepting what your enemies want you to be.
The dilemma facing Kenya is shared by others:
Quote:
The key question is how these radical clerics are able to operate openly without being prosecuted. In September 2012, Makaburi was charged with several counts of incitement for his part in the riots following Sheikh Rogo's assassination. He is currently on bail pending a trial.

The Kenyan authorities I spoke to said Makaburi and other radical clerics operate to the very limit of what the law allows and gathering the evidence to convict them is extremely difficult. The United Kingdom faces the same problem.
I must read the chapter in the QIASS on how those who oppose recruitment in Minneapolis-St. Paul Jihadists are working. The NYT has this short article, I note the local Somali community is thirty-two thousand strong and twenty young men left a few years ago to fight in Somalia:http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/29/us...it_ee_20130929

The Panorama programme is available on IPlayer:http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03d5byk
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Old 09-29-2013   #57
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http://www.foxnews.com/world/2013/09...0-students-in/

Quote:
Islamist terrorists kill dozens of students in attack on Nigerian college

Islamic terrorists dressed in Nigerian military uniforms assaulted a college inside the country Sunday, gunning down dozens of students as they slept in their dorms and shot those trying to flee, witnesses say.

"They started gathering students into groups outside, then they opened fire and killed one group and then moved onto the next group and killed them. It was so terrible," on surviving student, who would only give his first name of Idris, told Reuters.
KingJaja, this type of attack should be a redline for any nation. I have seen little evidence that moderate responses work against animals like this.
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Old 09-29-2013   #58
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Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post

KingJaja, this type of attack should be a redline for any nation. I have seen little evidence that moderate responses work against animals like this.
Bill, they apparently have 9 perps in custody. Given that Kenya does not have the same sensitivities over the use of ... shall we say ... coercion, they will soon all be singing like little birdies. All will be revealed.

That said, yes, you are correct it then depends on what is done with the intel.
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Old 09-29-2013   #59
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Default Bill, now there you go again,

insulting all the real animals I love.

The fact is that these in Nigeria and those in Kenya are human beings with the same faculties of intellect, conscience and free will that we possess; that they have made deliberate and premediatated choices to do exactly what they have done; and that, as cognizant human beings, they deserve everything that is coming their way.

In short, they deserve retribution, reprobation and specific deterrence.

Regards

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Old 09-30-2013   #60
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insulting all the real animals I love.

The fact is that these in Nigeria and those in Kenya are human beings with the same faculties of intellect, conscience and free will that we possess; that they have made deliberate and premediatated choices to do exactly what they have done; and that, as cognizant human beings, they deserve everything that is coming their way.

In short, they deserve retribution, reprobation and specific deterrence.

Regards

Mike
I used to think our strategists would wake up to simple truths and realize how deeply flawed our COIN doctrine really is. This is relevant because we have largely chosen to use a COIN approach to counter terrorism globalism globally by projecting the idea that if you just have good governance all of this will go away. I'm convinced now that our ill conceived views of how the world works hasn't and won't change just because those views are disproven when they bump up against reality. Nations that have a clearer view of reality, a reality not shaded by our idealism, will have to take the lead in the fight against terrorists. They shouldn't allow us to hold them back.

The only way to win over these ass clowns is to convert to their religion and embrace "their" version of sharia law. Of course that won't be enough, it never is. Where they achieve power status what follows will be the oppression of women, and then certain men won't be Muslim enough for the radicals so they'll have to be killed, and so on and so on.
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