Recognizing the risks of Somali remittances

Somali HawalaBy  A.D. Kendall:

Last week, Bell State Bank in North Dakota announced that it would stop doing business with companies that remit money to Somalia.  The move follows decisions by Minnesota banks in 2011 to stop providing Somali remittance services, and an attempt by Barclays last year to cut off its partnership with Dahabshiil, a money transfer company with primary operations in Somalia.  The banks have been challenged in courts on both sides of the Atlantic, and advocacy groups have heavily criticized the banks’ decisions on humanitarian grounds.

Indeed, humanitarian considerations are of the utmost importance.  Unfortunately, money transferred to Somalia, particularly through Dahabshiil, all too often falls into the wrong hands and perpetuates the cycle of violence in Somalia.  Banks should stand fast in their original decisions, and here are five reasons why:

1.  The risks are real.  The frequency of cases involving Somalis in the West transferring funds to al-Shabaab over the last few years presents genuine concerns to financial institutions.  For instance, four men in California were found guilty last year of transferring money to al-Shabaab through Shidaal Express, a Somali hawala business.  Two Somali women in Minnesota were sentenced in 2013 for sending money to al-Shabaab through several remittance channels including local hawala dealers and Dahabshiil.  A Saudi-American was also indicted last year for wiring money to al-Shabaab.  In 2012, a man in London admitting transferring £8,900 to fighters in Somalia.  Danish intelligence revealed in 2012 that the equivalent of thousands of dollars a day is sent to terrorist organizations outside of Denmark—mostly to Somalia, and often unwittingly.

Apart from the risks on the ground in Somalia, Western banks have real reasons for concern that if they continue relationships with Dahabshiil, they could subsequently be fined by regulators at a future date if political winds change.  U.S. banks are surely aware, for example, that decisions on whether to fine, settle with, or prosecute banks with lax compliance programs have a great deal to do with the shifting political and prosecutorial priorities of whoever happens to be in charge at the Department of Justice and the financial regulatory agencies.  One official may take a very friendly view toward facilitating Somali remittances this year, but a different person will be calling the shots two years from now.

2. The risks are not decreasing.  Gone are the days of 2012 when al-Shabaab appeared to be on the ropes in 2012 both financially and militarily.  Al-Shabaab was able to turn around its financial situation after the fall of Kismayo by cutting deals with occupying forces.  Al-Shabaab continues to profit from imposing taxes on commodities such as charcoal and sugar, and their role as ivory trade middlemen between poachers and buyers appears to be growing.  Al-Shabaab is still capable of carrying out devastating strikes such as the Westgate Mall attack and the recent assault against Somalia’s presidential palace that left 11 dead.

Read more at The Terror Finance Blog

A.D. Kendall has been blogging about terrorist financing since 2009 at moneyjihad.wordpress.com Follow him on twitter @MoneyJihad

U.S. State Department Policy Facilitates Al Qaeda in Somalia, Syria

female syrian rebelBY TAREK FATAH:

Just when you thought amateur hour had run its full course at the U.S. State Department, events in Somalia and Syria — two war zones where al-Qaida is a major player — show American ineptness has a lot more to offer.

First, came news the man hand-picked by Secretary of State John Kerry to act as the sole conduit for aid to Syria’s rebels, Gen. Salim Idriss, has been dismissed by the very Supreme Military Council of the Syrian “moderate” opposition he was supposedly heading.

Now, with no leverage on the ground, it appears the U.S. has given a walkover to whoever wins the Iran vs. Saudi Arabia proxy war in Syria.

With an insurgency that’s dominated by Islamist factions, including groups with connections to al-Qaida, even the best outcome will leave Syria in the hands of hostiles.

Further south in Somalia, the government that is supposedly an ally of the West has been accused of smuggling Western-supplied arms meant for the Somali army straight into the hands of the pro al-Qaida army of al-Shabab .

The “UN Somalia and Eritrea Monitoring Group” last week issued a confidential report accusing the Somalia government of allowing the diversion of weapons meant for its own army into the hands of a leader of the al-Qaida linked Islamist militant group, al-Shabab.

Read more at Clarion Project

Londoners Sign Muslim Petition to Mutilate Girls Because “It’s Their Culture”

h-450x225By Daniel Greenfield:

Political correctness has wonCivilization has lost.

A Londoner who suffered female genital mutilation has warned that political correctness is hampering the fight to stamp it out after asking people to sign a fake petition in its favour.

Leyla Hussein, 32, said many were scared to speak out against FGM because they were worried about criticising another culture.

She decided to conduct an experiment to see “how crazy political correctness has become” but was left in tears by the end.

Approaching shoppers with the petition supporting FGM, she told them she wanted to protect her  “culture, traditions and rights”.

In only 30 minutes 19 people signed it with some saying they believed FGM was wrong but because it was part of Ms Hussein’s culture they would add their names. Only one person refused to sign.

Ms Hussein, who was cut when she was seven in Somalia, said: “Four women held me down and cut my clitoris. I felt every single cut. I was screaming so much I just blacked out.”

“I kept using the word ‘it’s just mutilation’. They were like ‘yes, you are right’. How can anyone think that’s okay?”

She added: “FGM is not culture, it is violence. Stop using the culture word. This is happening to children. We are human beings, we can’t watch children being cut, I don’t care what culture you belong to.”

People have been so trained to ignore their common sense and moral instincts when the right liberal buzzwords are uttered that they are capable of participating in the worst crimes.

 

Somali Norwegian Al Shabaab Suspects Revealed in Nairobi Westgate Mall Attack

Al Shabaab attackers inside Nairobi Westgate Mall Source:  Reuters

Al Shabaab attackers inside Nairobi Westgate Mall
Source: Reuters

By Jerry Gordon:

Both the New York Times and CNN have new reports discussing Norwegian Somali émigrés, including the planner involved in the  Al Shabaab attack on the Nairobi Westgate mall, September 21, 2013. See our NER report in the current October 2013 edition, “Al Shabaab is a Threat to the World at Large.” These latest reports resulted from Norwegian  Intelligence  (PST) investigations in both Norway and Kenya.   As noted in our October 10 Iconoclast post of a Long War Journal report , one of the Norwegian suspects was the subject of a failed US Navy Seals Raid at Baraawe in Somalia. We noted:

The Norwegian intelligence agency PST today announced the launch of an investigation into reports that a Norwegian was involved in the Shabaab massacre at the Westgate Mall in Kenya. The suspect is a Norwegian of Somali origin, and may be an acquaintance of the al Qaeda affiliate’s external operations chief, Abdulkadir Mohamed Abdulkadir, also known as Ikrima.

According to the BBC, the PST has dispatched investigators to Kenya to determine the extent of the Norwegian suspect’s involvement and to help prevent new terror threats. The inquiry also aims to see if the suspect is linked to Shabaab. PST section leader Jan Glent also said he could not rule out “more Norway-linked suspects,” Reuters reported.

These latest reports also reflect the forensic remains  that were found of only four Al Shabaab fighters secured from the rubble of the Westgate Mall in the rampage that killed 67 and wounded hundreds.  More than 1,000 escaped the upscale Nairobi mall that sustained significant and extensive damage from the counter attack by Kenyan security forces.

Watch this latest Reuters footage of the Westgate Mall CCTV video from the attack that was released on Thursday, October 17, 2013.

Counterterrorism officials who follow Al Shabaab movements in the West warn about the al Qaeda affiliate group’s ability to range beyond war torn Somalia to hit targets in major émigré centers.  The  US and Scandinavia being illustrative of what we have discussed in several Iconoclast posts and a major NER article, Foot Soldiers of IslamOne expert quoted in the CNN report on these latest developments in Norway commented:

“What you have to look out for, also in the United States and the United Kingdom and all these other Scandinavian countries, are these small  networks that are in one sense detached also from the Somali community leaders — radicalized groups of youths and radical preachers, sheikhs, that go traveling around the various countries to try to incite,” he said. “That’s what we have to watch these days.”

CNN profiled  Shabaab commander, Ikrima, a Kenyan Somali Muslim who spent time in Norway:

Kenyan intelligence sources say that Ikrima, who speaks six languages and grew up in Kenya, is the main “point person” between al Qaeda in Somalia and al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, and that he has helped pinpoint Kenyan targets.

Morten Storm, a former informant who has worked for several Western intelligence agencies, has told CNN that he developed a close relationship with an Al-Shabaab figure called Ikrima between 2008 and 2012. He said he is confident that it’s the same person who was targeted by U.S. forces.

Read more at New English Review

Kenya mall attackers prayed, talked on cell phone between shootings:

Possible Suspect in Westgate Mall Al Shabaab Massacre sought by Norwegian Intelligence

Ikrima-Norway-thumb-560x314-2519(1)

Unidentified Norwegian woman and alleged Westgate Mall Al Shabaab commander Abdulkadir Mohamed Abdulkadir, aka Ikrima  Source:  TV2

By Jerry Gordon:

A hat tip to Fjordman blogger.

A suspect in the Nairobi Westgate Mall massacre may be a Norwegian Citizen of Somali origin and a possible acquaintance of   al Shabaab commander “Ikrima” sought in an unsuccessful US Navy Seal Team Six raid in Baarwe, Somalia last weekend.  BBC reported that Norwegian Intelligence (PST) is investigating that possibility.  Kenyan security authorities have also identified the remains of four of the Jihad perpetrators   Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta apologized in a  Star article in for the bungled operation that witnessed more than 62 civilians and six Kenyan security personnel killed, extensive damage and looting  to the upscale mall in Nairobi.  The Star report cited police allegations that the Westgate Mall attack may have been planned in both Norway and Somalia. These reports indicate the broad reach of Al Shabaab recruitment among disaffected Somali refugees and asylees in the West.  One of the major UNHCR Somali refugee camps in Kenya at Dadaab might have been a staging area for the Westgate Mall attack.

The Long War Journal has this updated report on these latest developments,“Norwegian authorities looking for Westgate massacre suspect”.

The Norwegian intelligence agency PST today announced the launch of an investigation into reports that a Norwegian was involved in the Shabaab massacre at the Westgate Mall in Kenya. The suspect is a Norwegian of Somali origin, and may be an acquaintance of the al Qaeda affiliate’s external operations chief, Abdulkadir Mohamed Abdulkadir, also known as Ikrima.

According to the BBC, the PST has dispatched investigators to Kenya to determine the extent of the Norwegian suspect’s involvement and to help prevent new terror threats. The inquiry also aims to see if the suspect is linked to Shabaab. PST section leader Jan Glent also said he could not rule out “more Norway-linked suspects,” Reuters reported.

The PST statement did not identify the suspect by name, but said he was a Norwegian citizen who had allegedly been involved in the planning and execution of the attack on Nairobi’s Westgate Mall last month. Over 62 people were killed in the four-day siege, which has been claimed by Shabaab, al Qaeda’s affiliate in Somalia.

Norwegian press reports indicate that Shabaab external operations chief Ikrima spent time in Norway several years ago. He arrived in 2004 and applied for asylum there. Norway’s TV2 said he had stayed “at a reception center in Moelv in Hedmark from 2004″ and for several years after that.

Hamisi Zahidi, a fellow asylum seeker who knew Ikrima at the time, told the Norwegian news outlet that Ikrima disliked Norwegians and Norwegian culture, and was known to be involved in terrorist recruitment in Norway and elsewhere. While in Norway, Ikrima lived in the Oslo area but also visited Somalia, TV2 said. Ikrima departed Norway in 2008 without having received a decision on his asylum application.

The US failed to capture Ikrima in a raid in Somalia on Oct. 5, but reportedly two Shabaab operatives during the raid, including a “Swedish Somali” said to be Abdi Qadar. The Department of Defense said that Ikrima is “a top commander in the terrorist group al-Shabaab, an al Qaeda affiliate,” who had been “closely associated” with two deceased senior al Qaeda and Shabaab leaders, Fazul Abdullah Mohammed and Saleh al Saleh Nabhan.

Also on Oct. 5, Kenya named four of the Westgate Mall attackers: Abu Baara al-Sudani, a Sudanese; Omar Nabhan, a Kenyan; Khattab al-Kene, thought to be a Somali; and Umayr, whose surname and nationality were not disclosed. Shabaab has been known to use non-Somalis for attacks in the past, including American suicide bombers.

The subject of the investigation is a Somali Norwegian who holds a Norwegian passport, according to an NRK report, and is not Ikrima.

Read more at New English Review

Kenyan Parliament Rethinking Somali Immigration after Bloody Mall Carnage

410958-nairobi-westgate-shopping-mall-siege-450x300By :

It’s something that we should be thinking seriously about as well. We’ve already had a major Somali attempted terror attack here. That one was intercepted and prevented, but we can only get lucky so many times before we have our own Westgate.

A Kenyan parliamentary committee is to call for camps for Somali refugees in the country to close in the wake of the Westgate mall attack, a senior MP says.

Ndung’u Gethenji, head of the defence committee, told the BBC he had reports that “some of these facilities are being used as a training ground”.

More than 500,000 Somalis have sought refuge from war and poverty in Kenya.

Mr Gethenji said that Kenya had to rethink “its hospitality in supporting refugee camps within our borders”.

Kenya is host to the largest refugee camp in the world, Dadaab – home to about half a million people – while it is believed that more than 30,000 Somali refugees live in Nairobi alone.

Somalia is violent and Islamist run. Importing large numbers of Somalis into your country is simply asking for trouble.

In the past decade, Burmese have been the largest group of refugees resettled to the United States with 88,348 (or 17 percent of the total 515,350 refugees) being resettled since 2002. The next two groups are Iraqis (12 percent, or 62,902) and Somalis (11 percent, or 58,050).

Or to put it another way, there are three times as many Somalis in America as there are in Nairobi. That’s far too many. And the consequences are already ugly.

Read more at Front Page

See also:

Al Shabaab Recruitment of Somali-Americans Threatens National Security

SOMALIABY: :

Somali-American youth will remain vulnerable to recruitment by al Shabaab, the al Qaeda-affiliated group that perpetrated the attacks on the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya, last month, and pose a threat to national security absent a more effective U.S. strategy to prevent their radicalization, experts said Thursday.

The attacks on the mall in Nairobi by more than a dozen heavily armed members of the Somalia-based al Shabaab, reportedly including several Americans, killed more than 70 people and wounded more than 200.

More than 40 Americans from cities with large Somali immigrant populations such as Phoenix, Ariz. and Minneapolis, Minn. left to join al Shabaab between 2007 and 2010, either through the U.S.-Mexican border or by legally flying out of the United States, according to testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee by Seth Jones, associate director of the RAND Corp.’s International Security and Defense Policy Center.

Many become suicide bombers in Somalia because of their lack of direct clan ties to family members there, while others, like Kamal Said Hassan and Abdifatah Yusuf Isse from Minneapolis, have returned to the United States and have been convicted of providing material support to a terrorist group. Al Shabaab released a 40-minute video in August glorifying what it called its “Minnesota Martyrs,” three men who the group said sacrificed their lives in the name of global jihad.

Don Borelli, chief operating officer of the Soufan group and a former counterterrorism agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), said many of the Americans are lured overseas by al Shabaab’s “nationalist agenda” of expelling “foreign invaders” from the Somali homeland.

However, new American recruits to al Shabaab can easily be co-opted into the global jihadist movement, Borelli said. He pointed to a similar scenario in 2009 when authorities foiled the New York subway attack plot by Najibullah Zazi, an Afghan-American who originally traveled back to his homeland to fight but was convinced by al Qaeda that he could be more effective back in the United States.

“Just because a young person might be enticed to join al Shabaab to defend his Somali homeland, this doesn’t mean he isn’t a threat to the U.S.,” he said. “Our fear is that while Somalis here in the U.S. may travel to Somalia with a nationalist agenda and intend to stay and fight there, they could be converted into following the global agenda—the al Qaeda agenda—and return to the U.S. to launch attacks here.”

The Westgate mall attack outside of Somalia’s borders suggests al Shabaab is increasingly advancing the cause of international jihad, testified Richard Downie, deputy director of the Africa Program for the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Read more at Free Beacon

 

U.S. Taxpayers to Pay for Spread of Turkish, Qatar Islamism

Erdogan and ObamaBY RYAN MAURO:

Millions of American taxpayer dollars will be spent promoting the Muslim Brotherhood brand of Islamism to counter the Al-Qaeda brand of Islamism. The U.S. is teaming up with the Islamism-promoting governments of Turkey and Qatar to try to influence Muslim youth in a more positive direction.

The U.S. and the Islamist government of Turkey have announced a $200 million fund for programs that will supposedly promote non-violence among Muslims in terrorist hotspots like Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen.

The total is to be raised over 10 years, with the U.S. provided $2-3 million (at first), along with Turkey, Canada, various European countries and “private sources.” The only other Muslim country mentioned as a partner besides Turkey is Qatar.

As the sole Muslim participants in the fund, Turkey and Qatar will be the ones crafting the Islamic message against Al-Qaeda.

The fund, called the Global Fund for Community Engagement and Resilience, will bolster local programs like vocational training, social networks and new school curriculums.

The thinking behind this fund is the same flawed thinking that upholds the Muslim Brotherhood as the moderate, democratic, non-violent alternative to Al-Qaeda. This logic was articulated by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper in testimony on January 31, 2012—testimony that came after his previous embarrassingly inaccurate explanation of the Brotherhood:

“Al-Qaeda probably will find it difficult to compete for local support with groups like the Muslim Brotherhood that participate in the political process, provide social services and advocate religious values. Non-violent, pro-democracy demonstrations challenge Al-Qaeda’s violent jihadist ideology and might yield increased political power for secular or moderate Islamist parties.”

Read more at The Clarion Project

 

White Widow Samantha Lewthwaite ‘plotted Nairobi mall massacre from secret lair just 100 yards away’

samantha-lewthwaite-TOPIC-2294554By Russell Myers:

The fugitive White Widow plotted the bloody Kenyan mall massacre from a secret lair just 100 yards away, security forces believe.

British mum-of-three Samantha Lewthwaite – now the world’s most wanted woman – rented a house opposite the shopping centre where crazed Muslim fanatics later slaughtered up to 150 people, they say.

Police sources said a “delicate operation” was now under way to search properties around the Westgate mall since the horrific four-day gun siege erupted in Nairobi a week ago.

Interpol has issued a worldwide alert to find 29-year-old Muslim convert Lewthwaite and sources revealed that a huge part of the probe centred on her being “ghosted” into Somalia – base of terror group al-Shabaab, which has claimed r­esponsibility for the attack.

A source said: “Nothing is being ruled out, but a major strand of the investigation is looking at Lewthwaite having been in Nairobi more than once in the last few months but then travelling back across the border to Somalia.

“She has known links in the country and surrounding areas. Everything is being done to find her.”

A Turkish man arrested attempting to board an international flight at capital Nairobi’s JKI airport on Tuesday is said to own the property Lewthwaite allegedly used to plot the bloodshed.

The man, in his 40s or 50s, is also understood to be linked to a shop hired by the ­militants to store a deadly arsenal of weapons in preparation for the siege.

He has lived in the African country for three years and detectives were last night quizzing him over his potential connection to members of al-Shabaab.

It is also possible that he may have rented the shop to them unwittingly.

Sources said Lewthwaite, the daughter of a former British soldier, may have been seen in Kenya just 12 weeks ago.

She is the ex-wife of 7/7 suicide bomber Germaine Lindsay, who killed himself and 26 innocent people on a packed London Tube train in 2005.

The White Widow has previously travelled around the world under a number of false aliases and was forced to flee South Africa with her children after running up massive debts using a fake ID in the name of Natalie Webb.

She had been renting a home in a suburb of Johannesburg.

Read more at The Mirror

 

Separating the Kafirs from the Muslims

hsm tweetBy Bill Warner:

When the al Shabaab jihadi group from Somalia attacked the mall in Kenya, they gathered the crowd together and asked who were Muslims and let them go.  According to the media, they then started killing the non-Muslims who were left.  But “non-Muslims” is not the word what the terrorists would have used.  No, they would have called them Kafirs.  (Actually, they would have called them the Arabic plural of kafirkuffar.  “Kafirs” is the standard English plural form.)

Why did members of al Shabaab do this?  Why did they ask the Muslims to leave and keep the Kafirs and start killing them?  Let’s start with the word “terrorists.”  Members of al Shabaab are not terrorists; they are jihadists, or mujahedeen.  That is what they call themselves.

So what difference does it make which words we use?  It makes all the difference in the world.  You cannot think precisely with imprecise words, and a Kafir is much more than non-Muslim.

The word “non-Muslim” does not imply anything, except not being a believer in Islam.

Kafir, on the other hand, has enormous implications.  Kafir is the actual word that the Koran uses for a non-Muslim.  Indeed, one of the many remarkable things about the Koran is that over half of its text is devoted to the Kafir.  Think about that: most of the Koran is not about how to be a Muslim, but about the Kafir.  Every single verse about the Kafir is not just bad, but terrible.  Allah hates Kafirs and plots and schemes against them.  The cruelest punishments await the Kafir in hell, but who cares about that?  The real problem is what is promised to the Kafir in this life — torture, hatred, death, ridicule, rape, enslavement, political domination, and deception.

It is the same with “mujahedeen” or “jihadist” as opposed to “militant” or “terrorist.”  The words “militant” and “terrorist” do not tell anything about the motivation of the militant or terrorist — only that he uses violence.

Read more at American Thinker

 

Nairobi Attack Prompts Debate Over Shabaab’s Reach

images (96)

by IPT News:

Attack on Nairobi Mall Shows Al-Shabaab’s Ominous Reach

Nairobi attack

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

 

Al Shabaab Nairobi Mall Attack: THE POTENTIAL IMPACT ON US CITIES

KenyaMallAttack_20130921_153947By Jerry Gordon:

At Noon Saturday, September 21, 2013  (East African Time) a swarm of 10 to 15  al Shabaab terrorists  (including one white woman) heavily armed with AK-47s and grenades attacked the high end Westgate Mall in Nairobi resulting in more than 59 dead and 175  wounded with an estimated 30 hostages held in a continuing standoff.  Among the wounded are several Americans. According to a report from Nairobi newspaper, The Nation, al Shabaab, an al Qaida (AQ) affiliate in Somalia, Tweeted responsibility for the attack.

*******

There  are upwards of an estimated 150,000 Somalis in the US in major cities like Minneapolis St Paul, Boston, Columbus, Nashville, San Diego, Phoenix, Seattle and Salt Lake City, Washington, DC  among others. A recent report estimated that the Somali emigre community  has sent an estimated $215 million in remittances to Somalia nearly equal to the $242 million that the US provides in humanitarian assistance to Somalia. Somali refugee entry to the US via the State Department administered Refugee Resettlement program has been fraught with fraud that led to the shutdown for over three years of the P-3 Visa Family Reunification Program. Some US voluntary agencies that process Somali refugees have commented about innumerable instances of fraud.  Somali émigrés have been involved in drug (Khat- a DEA Class A drug), human trafficking,  Medicaid and US Health and Human Services minority health grants fraud. Imams in major Somali émigré centers have been implicated in facilitating al Shabaab recruitment and transportation to Somalia for Jihad training. Other Somalis have been convicted of funneling funds for Al Shabaab via the Halawal money transfer system.

The Nairobi swarming attack is a clear indication that Al Qaeda is not on the run. The US Refugee Resettlement and counter terrorism programs must address the possible threat from the Somali and other Shariah compliant Muslim refugee groups prone to Jihadism for this country to be safe from possible homegrown swarming attacks.

Read more at New English Review

 Tune in to the Lisa Benson radio show today at 5pm

“Terror Nairobi: Tragedy Predicted” THE POTENTIAL IMPACT ON US CITIES

Attention: Phoenix, Minneapolis, Memphis

with Jerry Gordon, Dr. Raymond Stock and Clare Lopez 

Somali-based militants claim responsibility for Kenyan shopping mall massacre in which at least 39 have died

  • Security guards wheel out bodies in shopping trolleys from Westlands Shopping Centre
  • Foreign Secretary William Hague confirms British citizens are caught up in the terrorist attack in Nairobi
  • The US State Department has also confirmed Americans were at the shopping centre
  • Somalian terrorist group al-Shabaab, which has links to Al-Qaeda, has now claimed responsibility for the attack
  • The terrorist organisation released a statement released saying it warned Kenya to remove troops from Somalia
  • Hostages are being held by at least five attackers still in building
  • The army and special forces are helping police flush out the gunmen
  • Upmarket mall is a favourite shopping spot for expats and wealthy Kenyans
  • Police opened fire after gunmen launched attack at midday today
  • Kenya Red Cross says at least 39 dead though police not given exact toll
  • Witness says attackers told shoppers non-Muslims were the targets
Women carrying children run for safety as armed police hunt gunmen who went on a shooting spree in Westgate shopping centre in Nairobi September 21, 2013.  Credit: REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic

Women carrying children run for safety as armed police hunt gunmen who went on a shooting spree in Westgate shopping centre in Nairobi September 21, 2013.
Credit: REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic

By ELLIE BUCHDAHL and STUART WOLEDGE

British and American nationals have undoubtedly been caught up in the ‘callous and cowardly and brutal’ terror attack at a shopping centre in Kenya that has left 39 people dead and 150 injured, according to Foreign Secretary William Hague.

Mr Hague said ‘we should be ready for that and aware of that’ as he revealed a rapid deployment team is being sent to Kenya to help in the aftermath of the atrocity at an upmarket shopping centre in the capital.

According to the Sunday Telegraph, a pregnant woman was among several Britons caught up in the attack.

Somali-based militant group al-Shabaab has now claimed responsibility for the atrocity in which men armed with guns and grenades stormed the mall and targeted non-Muslims.

Terrorist gunmen remain at the scene and police officers supported by the army are still fighting to bring the situation to an end.

Mr Hague added the Government’s security committee COBRA had met and was sending a deployment team to ‘re-enforce’ the British Consulate team in Nairobi.

‘Our High Commission staff in Nairobi are working very hard, visiting hospitals, trying to make sure that they are aware of British nationals who might have been in the area or caught up in this,’ he said.

‘We are sending a rapid deployment team to reinforce that work, which will be particularly important if the situation carries on. We have offered the Kenyan authorities any other assistance and of course we will keep in touch with them about that.’

Hannah Chisholm, a Briton visiting Nairobi, said she and 60 others barricaded themselves into a large storeroom.

She told the BBC: ‘We kept running to different places but the shots were getting louder so we barricaded ourselves along with about 60 others into a large storeroom. There were children hiding with us as well as someone who had been shot.’

She added: ‘The gunfire was loud and we were scared but at that point we thought the gunmen were thieves so we assumed they wouldn’t try to reach the storeroom.’

Read more at The Daily Mail

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UK: The Crisis of Female Genital Mutilation

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Despite these laws, no one has ever been prosecuted for performing FGM. Victims are often afraid to speak out for fear of physical abuse or death threats, some involving paid hitmen.

British authorities are redoubling their fight against the spiraling problem of female genital mutilation (FGM) after a weekly primetime television show broadcast by the BBC forced the previously “taboo” subject into mainstream debate.

FGM is endemic in Muslim-majority countries across Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Three million girls between infancy and age 15 are subject to FGM every year, and it is believed that 140 million women worldwide are suffering from the lifelong consequences of the practice.

FGM has emerged as a major problem in Europe due to mass immigration. The European Parliament estimates that 500,000 girls and women in the European Union are living with FGM, and every year another 180,000 girls in Europe are at risk of being “cut.”

Britain has the highest levels of FGM in Europe. According to a government-funded study published in 2007, at least 66,000 women and girls in Britain have had the procedure performed on them, and more than 20,000 girls under the age of 15 are currently at risk.

These figures, however, may be only the tip of the iceberg. A 2011 Department of Health policy paper warns that “it is possible that, due to population growth and immigration from practicing countries…FGM is significantly more prevalent than these figures suggest.”

FGM is thought to be common in Britain among immigrant groups from Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Indonesia, Iraq, Kenya, Kurdistan, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Northern Sudan, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, Somalia and Yemen.

The Times of London has reported that circumcisers — also known as “house doctors” because they conduct the procedure in private homes — are often flown to Britain from Africa and the Middle East to carry out the mutilations.

Alternatively, families who have immigrated to Britain from countries where FGM is practiced may send their daughters back to those countries to undergo FGM there, ostensibly under the guise of visiting relatives.

According to The Guardian, the six-week-long school summer holiday in Britain is the most dangerous time of the year for these girls. It is a convenient time to carry out the procedure because the girls need several weeks to heal before returning to school.

Sometimes immigrants living in other European countries even send their daughters to Britain to have them mutilated there. In an interview with the BBC, Isabelle Gillette-Faye, an anti-FGM activist in France, recounts the story of two little girls about to board a train for London.

Gillette-Faye says: “It was a Friday. We heard just in time. They had tickets for Saturday. A family member tipped us off. We told the police and they were stopped from making the journey.” The parents were warned that if they would go ahead with the mutilations and be found out, they would be imprisoned for up to 13 years.

“In England,” she added, “you are very respectful of your immigrants. It is very different in France. They have to integrate and they have to obey our laws. We simply will not tolerate this practice.”

In Bristol, a city in southwest England with a sizeable immigrant community, it is believed that some 2,000 girls are at risk of “FGM parties.” According to the BBC, “They cut them all together, as a group, because it is cheaper and quicker that way. At first the girls are all excited because it’s a party, until they realize what is going to happen, and then they get frightened. It’s done by the elder women, or the Imam, whoever is expert at cutting.”

FGM has been a crime in Britain for more than 25 years. It was made a criminal offense by the Prohibition of Female Circumcision Act 1985. That Act was superseded by the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 and (in Scotland) by the Prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation (Scotland) Act 2005, both of which also introduce extraterritoriality. Taking a British citizen or permanent resident abroad for the purpose of FGM is a criminal offense whether or not it is lawful in the country to which the girl is taken.

Despite these laws — which carry a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison for anyone convicted of carrying out FGM or helping it to take place — no one in Britain has ever been prosecuted for performing it.

Read more at Gatestone Institute