Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Somali Jihadists Threaten U.S.

Written by 

Al-ShababWhile Nigeria reels from the latest round of Jihadist attacks, an Islamic terrorist organization in Somalia is serving notice to the United States: Convert, or else.

Americans are used to thinking of Islamic Jihadism as a movement centered in the Middle East, but the brutality of their ideology extends far beyond that region. The Christmas bombings in Nigeria have demonstrated once again that terrorist organizations such as Boko Haram understand their role in a much larger campaign of terror against the West — and those ideas and beliefs which they believe to be Western in origin.

Now, a Somali group called Harakat Al-Shabaab al-Mujahideen (also known as Al-Shabaab or Al-Shabab) is threatening to spread its own terrorism beyond the confines of the Somalian conflict. According to the Associated Press:

A leader of Somalia's Islamist insurgency threatened to attack America during a broadcast speech.

"We tell the American President Barack Obama to embrace Islam before we come to his country," Fuad Mohamed "Shongole" Qalaf said Monday.

Al-Shabab has not yet launched an attack outside Africa but Western intelligence has long been worried because the group targeted young Somali-Americans for recruitment. About 20 have traveled to Somalia for training and at least three were used as suicide bombers inside Somalia.

A leader of Somalia's Islamist insurgency threatened [during a broadcast speech] to attack America.

"We tell the American President Barack Obama to embrace Islam before we come to his country," Fuad Mohamed "Shongole" Qalaf said Monday.

Al-Shabab has not yet launched an attack outside Africa but Western intelligence has long been worried because the group targeted young Somali-Americans for recruitment. About 20 have traveled to Somalia for training and at least three were used as suicide bombers inside Somalia.

The bluster of a Somali terrorist might be easy to dismiss, seeming to be a distant and minimal force on a par with the ‘threat’ which Somalian pirates might pose to the U.S. Navy. Still, Al-Shabab is aligned with Al Qaeda — a fact which the organization concealed until earlier this year — and thus al-Qaeda could make use of Somali emigres to carry out terrorist attacks in the United States. The case of Somali-born Mohamed Osman Mohamud, who attempted to detonate a bomb at the Christmas tree-lighting ceremony in Portland, Oregon, would seem to be the type of individual likely to be targeted for future terrorist acts, but he was "recruited" by the FBI, not Al-Shabab; as Michael Tennant wrote for The New American:

Certainly he [Mohamud] showed no compunction about attempting to detonate a bomb in a crowded square. Still, his inability to connect with actual terrorists and his lack of explosives expertise (he did, after all, think he had a real bomb in his car), combined with the high level of FBI involvement in the plot, raise suspicions that the plot was something cooked up by the agency so that it could then “foil” the plot amid great fanfare — not exactly a new tack for the FBI, which has done the same thing in other high-profile cases of alleged domestic terrorism.

The recent threat by the Al-Shabab leader would certainly signal an intention to expand their violence to the United States. And Al-Shabab has recently gained further influence in Somalia through a merger with a former rival organization, Hezb al-Islam. If Al-Shabab has its way, the next "Mohamud" may not be triggering an FBI "dud." The African elements of the Jihad may soon try to come to America.

Photo of Al-Shabab fighters in Somalia: AP Images

...