Friday, May 16, 2008

Somalia: The World's Forgotten Catastrophe Part 3

Finally the long awaited part 3 of my long Somalia series. Before I get started I should mention that Adan Hashi Ayro was killed in an airstrike. Predictably, civilians also died in the attack, including women and children. The al Shabaab spokesman, Mukhtar Robow Adumansur, stressed that there would be revenge attacks and Ayro's replacement has not been announced. Perhaps the al Shabaab strategic commander, Sheikh Hassan Turki, will take over or Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys will regain more authority. (I'm also going to just include the links within the posts from now on)

The only new bit I found out regarding al-Itihaad al-Islamiya was the Ethiopian incursion to get rid of it. Apparently there were reports of massive looting during that 10 March 1999 raid. It sounds like the group just faded away and didn't have any "official" end.

I found out a bit more about the other suspects (I'm still not sure what makes invasion by proxy an acceptable method for arresting suspects). Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, who is wanted for connection to the 1998 U.S. East Africa embassy bombings, apparently had an ally in Charles Taylor's regime in Liberia. Although the U.S. government had multiple opportunities available to catch him, and others in al-Qa'ida, that had refuge in Taylor's regime, it never followed through any of them. Al-Qa'ida was running a money laundering operation by way of the diamond trade and paid Taylor well for taking providing them a safe haven. Also, the linked article also mentions Mohammed was involved in the 2002 Mombasa bombing and the failed attack on the Israeli plane, though it mentions another Mohammed so I'm not sure if they meant Fazul or Atef.

As for Abu Talha Al-Sudani, he is believed to be an explosives expert, to have worked closely with Gouled Hassan Dourad and financed the 1998 embassy bombings. The article also implicates Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan in the 1998 embassy bombings as well. Gouled Hassan Dourad is currently one of the "detainees" at Guantanamo and given some of what has been revealed about the treatment there, I'll need to look into there veracity of the claims laid against him as well.

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