The recent U.S. airstrike targeting al Shabaab is the latest in a series of fights that seem to be growing in intensity. Below is a brief timeline of al Shabaab:
Al-Shabaab is an al-Qaida associated militant group that seeks to establish an Islamic state in Somalia. Al-Shabaab also seeks to promote Shari’a law internationally and has encouraged “lone-wolf” style attacks against the U.S. Initially, Al-Shabaab was the military force behind the Somali Islamic Courts. Al-Shabaab became an independent entity by late 2007. Al-Shabaab once controlled significant portions of Somalia, including strong influence in Mogadishu, but invasion by the Ethiopian army in 2006 and military action thereafter by the African Union has weakened it. Al-Shabaab characterized the Ethiopian invasion as an attack by a “crusader” army since Ethiopia is a mostly Christian nation.
In 2008, Sheikh Mukhtar Robow reportedly told a BBC journalist that Al-Shabaab was pleased to be on the list of foreign terrorist organizations.
In 2011, Kenyan forces attacked Al-Shabaab in Kismayo, Somalia after Shabaab members blocked humanitarian aid.
In February 2012, Al-Shabaab leader Mukhtar Abu Al-Zubair publically announced Shabaab allegiance with Al-Qaeda and vowed to follow Al-Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri.
In September 2013, Al-Shabaab members attacked the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, killing 67 people and wounding another 175.
In October 2013, U.S. Navy SEALs responded to this attack by targeting a senior Al-Shabaab leader in a failed pre-dawn raid.
In September 2014, a U.S. drone strike killed al Shabaab founder and leader Ahmed Abdi Godane.
Americans in al Shabaab:
In 2008, an Al- Shabaab leader stated that the global jihad and the jihad in Somalia were consistent and complementary goals, but they lacked sufficient foreign fighters. Al-Shabaab broadened its message of appeal beginning around 2010 when videos surfaced encouraging foreigners to travel to Somalia to fight a greater jihad against the West and establish an Islamic state. In a video released circa 2010, Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan urged would-be jihadists to come help “free your brothers from darkness of oppression” and “gain honor in this life and the next.” Nabhan was killed by U.S. special operations forces in September 2009, prior to the release of the video.
Sources estimate that between two dozen and up to fifty Americans or permanent residents have traveled or attempted to travel to join Al-Shabaab since 2007. The first known American suicide bomber, Shirwa Ahmed, joined Al-Shabaab and attacked the Ethiopian Consulate in 2009. At least two other Americans, Farah Beledi and Abdisalan Ali, followed in Ahmed’s footsteps.
A former American soldier, Craig Baxam, was arrested in Kenya as he attempted to join Al-Shabaab. When questioned, Baxam stated that it was a religious obligation to join Shabaab and fight.
Ruben Shumpert, a American convert to Islam, is believed to have been killed in Somalia in 2008 while fighting for Al-Shabaab.
Omar Hammami, a native of Alabama of Syrian descent, also traveled to Somalia to join Al-Shabaab and became a leader in the group. Omar Hamammi stated in his autobiography “I was mixed between the ‘hatred of terrorism’ instilled by the ‘Salafis’ and between my real hatred for America, the disbelievers, and their oppression of the Muslims.” Hammami was reportedly killed by al Shabaab in late 2013 after falling out of favor with its leadership.
Al-Shabaab’s target constituency for recruitment is the 150,000 to 200,000 ethnic Somalis who live in the United States. Al-Shabaab was able to appeal to these Somali Americans after the 2006 invasion of Somalia by Ethiopia. Because Ethiopia is a predominantly Christian nation, many Somalis were humiliated and angered by the invasion.
For its part, the United States continues to arrest and prosecute members of Al-Shabaab domestically and target them overseas militarily. In August 2010, the U.S. indicted fourteen individuals with providing material support to Al-Shabaab.
Most recently, in March 2016, the United States reportedly killed approximately 120 al Shabaab fighters at a training camp some 120 miles north of Mogadishu during a strike involving both drones and manned aircraft. News sources reported the use of Reaper and Predator drones to target al Shabaab members in military formation at the Raso training camp in central Somalia.
I see a “Two Birds with One Stone” Type Scenario here. By Hitting these camps with coordinated air and ground attacks we have the opportunity to both kill a large number of combatants from both terror groups and possibly wipe out a large portion of Al-Shabaabs infrastructure. Anybody up for a other trip into Bakarra Market? -SF
Boko Haram militants are allegedly traveling across the continent to Somalia for training before they head back home to West Africa to fight, according to Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.
After decades of conflict and instability in the East African country, the leader argued that a stable Somalia would not only have implications regionally, but across Africa.
Mohamud made the Boko Haram comments at a security conference in Germany on Sunday while discussing minor progress the country has made recently towards creating a functioning political system.
“Without a stable Somalia, the whole region of the Horn of Africa will remain unstable and by and large, the African continent. There are proofs and evidence that (for) some time Boko Haram has been trained in Somalia and they went back to Nigeria,” he said.
“The terrorists are so linked together, they are associated and so organized, (that) we the world we need to be so organized,” he said, speaking in English.
t was not clear whether or not he believes the Nigerian Islamist group was still receiving training from the Somali al Qaeda affiliate al Shabaab. Last year, Boko Haram switched its allegiance to Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq. While some factions of al Shabaab have claimed ties to IS, the group’s leadership has rejected these efforts.
Somalia’s al Shabaab, which sprouted up in the country a decade ago with the aim of overthrowing the Somali government and imposing a harsh version of Islamic law, claimed responsibility for a blast this month that punched a hole in the fuselage of a plane. Earlier this year, the militants waged a violent attack at a beach in the capital city Mogadishu that left nearly 20 people dead.
In an attack on Monday, al Shabaab killed Somalia’s former defense minister with a car bomb in the capital Mogadishu on Monday, officials said.
Al Shabaab told Reuters it planted the car bomb that killed Muhayadin Mohamed, who was also an adviser to the speaker of Somalia’s parliament. Images from the scene show the passenger seat took the brunt of the damage, with the passenger-side doors blown out.
“We are behind his killing,” said Sheikh Anbdiasis Abu Musab, al Shabaab’s military operations spokesman.
A police official confirmed Mohamed was killed. The official said a second person in the car survived the blast without any serious injuries.
Mohamed served briefly as the defense minister in 2008 during Somalia’s transitional federal government, which was backed by United Nations. Government troops fought alongside African Union peacekeepers to push al Shabaab out of Mogadishu and other major cities.
Al Shabaab fighters left the capital in 2011 and a permanent Somali government was established in 2012, but the government has struggled to end chronic insecurity. The militants have frequently targeted government officials and lawmakers and vowed to attack Western targets at home and abroad.
• The February 2, 2016 suicide bombing onboard a Daallo Airlines flight from Mogadishu to Djibouti appears to have been an inside job
• An employee is also suspected to be responsible for the October 31, 2015 bombing of a Russian MetroJet flight from Sharm al-Sheikh, Egypt to St. Petersburg
• The threat of extremist insider plots is not just confined to the aviation industry or to unstable countries; the global spread of support for groups like the Islamic State means the threat of insider attacks spans across the world
• Better background checks and more comprehensive security procedures are important, but preventing a cleared employee from carrying out a terrorist attack is a considerable challenge.
There are two types of insider terror threats: those that exploit poor or insufficient security systems, and those that exploit the assignment of trust and access within an otherwise well-run system. There have been two recent examples of terrorists exploiting the combination of poor security and employee access, both involving aviation. Aviation remains an obsession for terrorists; few attacks demand the same level of international attention as the downing of commercial airliners.
The February 2 suicide bombing aboard a Daallo Airlines flight from Mogadishu to Djibouti was reportedly an insider attack. CCTV footage from the airport waiting area shows an individual beyond the security checkpoint handing what is believed to be an explosive device to the bomber. The negligible death toll—the bomber alone was killed—would have been far greater had the plane reached cruising altitude before detonation. The difference between one death and 74 was evidently the result of bad timing by the bomber—something no security system should rely upon.
On October 31, 2015, a bomb brought down a MetroJet flight heading from Sharm al-Sheikh, Egypt, to St. Petersburg, Russia, killing all 224 people on board. The bomb, which went off at 31,000 feet to ensure catastrophic decompression, was reportedly placed in the cargo hold by someone with access to the plane at the Sharm al-Sheikh airport. In both this and the Daallo Airlines bombing, passengers and transiting flight crews reported paltry security standards at the respective airports. At Sharm al-Sheikh, passengers reported lax security procedures and claimed that bribes were paid to avoid security lines. The pilot who safely landed the Daallo flight described the situation around the Mogadishu airport as chaotic, with too many people appearing to have access to the tarmac and aircraft. It is likely these airports are not the only ones operating under the assumption of security.
Even well-run systems are vulnerable to a trusted employee determined to commit an act of violence or sabotage. On September 26, 2014, an employee accessed a radar facility that provided coverage for Chicago-O’Hare, one of the world’s busiest airports. He set a small fire that damaged cables and computers, resulting in massive flight cancelations that spread across the United States. Though the culprit may have had no links to terrorism, his ability to cause such extensive damage in the course of a normal routine was significant.
Aviation is far from the only hardened target on terrorists’ radars. Power grids, water supplies, and other critical infrastructure are always under threat. The threat is easy to both exaggerate and underestimate, given the level of trust placed in the background clearance process and the monitoring of trusted employees. In a report sent to the U.S. Congress on February 9, 2016, the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper stated, ‘the perceived success of attacks by HVEs (Homegrown Violent Extremists) in Europe and North America, such as those in Chattanooga and San Bernardino, might motivate others to replicate opportunistic attacks with little or no warning, diminishing our ability to detect terrorist operational planning and readiness.’ That some of these potential attacks could emanate from inside of the systems they target is a possibility that warrants reviews of applicable security protocols.
These damn goat humping, pederast, raping jihadist..I am getting sick and tired of them ruining everything associated with air travel. First because of the underwear bomber it was all these restrictions on liquids. And now because of this screw-up who can’t even detonate a bomb right it will be no laptops!? WTF!! Enough is Enough. I say in addition to NO MUSLIMS ALLOWED IN AMERICA WE ADD NO MUSLIMS ALLOWED TO FLY ANYWHERE AROUND THE WORLD TOO.-SF
Muslim bomber sucked out of plane may have hid explosives in laptop
If this is confirmed, that will be the end of laptops on airplanes, as the TSA continues to play catch-up with jihad terrorists, protecting us from the last jihad mass murder attempt while the jihadis are already preparing for the next one.
“Bomber sucked out of plane may have hid explosive in laptop,” by Yaron Steinbuch, New York Post, February 5, 2016:
The suicide bomber who was sucked to his death from an airliner over Somalia may have hidden a bomb inside a laptop computer, according to a report.
The explosive contained military-grade TNT, CNN reported, citing a source familiar with the investigation.
Meanwhile, Somali and international investigators have confirmed that the man ejected from the Daallo Airlines Airbus A321 was the suicide bomber, an official briefed on the probe told The Wall Street Journal.
Authorities have identified the man as Abdullahi Abdisalam Borle, 55, from the breakaway region of Somaliland in northern Somalia.
He used a wheelchair to circumvent security measures at the Mogadishu airport, the Journal reported.
A security officer at the airport said the wheelchair-bound man did not appear suspicious, just sick.
“He seemed like someone ill, and as officers we usually help elderly people with those wheelchairs when they come to get to flights,” Saida Bare said. “He was a quiet man and nothing seemed wrong there until the flight took off.”
The explosion blew a hole in the fuselage of the Djibouti-bound plane and forced the pilot to return to the Somali capital for an emergency landing. Two people were injured.
On Friday, an official told the Journal that TNT residue had been found on the man’s remains, which landed near the town of Balad, 20 miles from Mogadishu….