Mosques in U.S. areas with a heavy Somali play leading roles in recruiting young men, to sign up for jihad.
BY CLARE LOPEZ:
In a horrific mid-day attack on Saturday, September 21, 2013 in downtown Nairobi, Kenya, jihadist assailants invaded an upscale shopping mall, slaughtering and injuring dozens of terrified shoppers with grenades and automatic weapons.
As of early Sunday morning, even as the stand-off between the attackers and Kenyan security forces continued inside the mall, the death count stood at 59, a number sure to rise in coming hours.
According to reports, at least an additional 150 have been injured. People fleeing from the modern Westgate mall reported that the attackers had singled out non-Muslims to kill after telling Muslims to get out.
The jihadist identity of the attackers as well as their disciplined, swarming tactics, including the use of assault weapons, hand grenades and hostage-taking while holding off responding Kenyan security forces for many hours, which were mounted against a soft civilian target with many non-Muslim, Western individuals inside is reminiscent of the November 2008 Mumbai attacks (although on a smaller scale).
The al-Qa’eda-linked Islamic jihad group al-Shabaab took credit for the Nairobi attack in a number of Twitter messages, claiming the attack was retribution for Muslims killed in Somalia by Kenyan forces which launched a defensive cross-border action against al-Shabaab in 2011.
Al-Shabaab, which means “The Youth” in Arabic, arose in 2006 out of the now-defunct Islamic Courts Union, itself a confederation of Somali courts established to enforce sharia (Islamic law) in the lawless country beginning in the 1990s.
The rise of the Islamic Courts Union in Somalia followed a pattern also seen in Afghanistan in roughly the same time frame, when the Taliban (“The Students”) formed armed militias to impose Islamic law and some semblance of order after the Soviet Red Army defeat led to a chaotic scramble for power among savage warlords in that already-devastated country.
In Somalia, similarly, local clan leaders centered in the capital of Mogadishu used the Islamic court system to impose their own rough justice in the wake of the 1991 overthrow of Siad Barre, the dictator who had ruled Somalia since 1969.
Al-Shabaab, which began as the militant youth wing of that Islamic Courts system, attracted numerous foreign fighters to its cause (including from the United States) and formally joined al-Qa’eda with a pledge of bayat (allegiance) to al-Qaeda (AQ) leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in 2012.
Today, al-Shabaab is estimated to include some 7,000-9,000 fighters. Although al-Shabaab appears to have established its own independent line of communication to AQ Central (located in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region), it also has a relationship with al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), currently assessed to pose “the most direct threat to the U.S. homeland” of all the interconnected, “latticed” AQ network of affiliates.
Read more at The Clarion Project
via The Al-Shabaab Terror Cell That Attacked Westgate (ojihad.wordpress.com) – updated
Al-Shabaab released the names and places of origin of the alleged terrorist involved in the Westgate assault. It is no surprise the terror raid was carried out by a international terrorist cell of at least eight Al-Shabaab fighters.
According to the terrorist group the attackers all between the age of 20 and 27 years old, are from four different countries and where all trained in Somalia.
Sayid N. from Kismayu, Somalia.
Zaki Jama C., from Hargeisa, Somalia
Said D., from Damascus, Syria
Mohamed B., from Aleppo, Syria
Qasim Said M., Garissa, Kenya
Ismail G., from Helsinki, Finland
Ahmed Nasir S., from London, UK
Mustafa N., from Kansas City, US
Abdishakur Sheikh H., from Maine, US
Abdifatah Osman K., from Minneapolis, US
Ahmad Mohamed I., from Saint Paul, US
Abdikarem Ali M., from Illinois, US
Shafie D., from Tucson, US
Eliko M., from Dagestan, Russia
Mohammed A., from Svalov, Sweden