Tags: terror | Qaida | somalia | spreading

Qaida Terror Spreading Rapidly in Somalia

Tuesday, 22 December 2009 11:00 AM

On the first Thursday in December a young Danish-Somali man in women’s clothes blew himself up in a suicide attack in Mogadishu. Four days earlier, Somali pirates had hijacked a 300,000-tonne supertanker 800 miles out to sea. Somalia’s abject failure does not end at its own borders: the chaos is spreading far across its frontiers and beyond its coastline.

Al-Shabaab Islamist insurgents denied responsibility for that suicide bombing. No one believed them. Civilians braved the streets of Mogadishu to protest against the attack that killed dozens of medical students and marked a new low in the country’s violent history.

“It was unprecedented even by Somalia’s bloody standards,” said Rashid Abdi, a Somalia analyst at the International Crisis Group. “They knew the civilian casualties would be massive and they didn’t care.”

Mr Abdi said that the attack, which killed three Cabinet ministers, underlined al-Shabaab’s increasing thrall to al-Qaeda and its ability to attract recruits from Somali communities abroad. The bombing was “a classic al-Qaeda tactic. They don’t give a damn what Somalis think. They don’t care how many bones they break in achieving their aims,” he said.

At al-Shabaab training camps in Somalia, new recruits are taught guerrilla techniques and bomb-making, and are indoctrinated into the ideology of martyrdom and suicide bombing by experienced foreign and local jihadis.

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Tuesday, 22 December 2009 11:00 AM
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