Al-Shabaab Names New Leader, Vows Revenge for U.S. Strike That Killed Its Commander

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Armed al-Shabaab fighters are seen on pickup trucks.  Associated Press

 MOGADISHU—Abdalle Ahmed Mumin reports: Somalia‘s al-Shabaab said Saturday the militant group had named a new leader, after its commander was killed in a U.S. drone strike.

“This is definitely a game changer for al-Shabaab and probably a turning point for the organization.”

The group said it had named Ahmed Omar Abu Ubeyd to succeed Ahmed Abdi Godane, who died of wounds sustained in the drone strike Monday in Somalia’s remote Lower Shabelle region, said the group’s spokesman, Abdiasis abu Mus’ab.

“This leader, Ahmed Godane, built the organization around himself for the past three years.”

— Abdi Aynte, head of The Heritage Institute, a Mogadishu-based think tank

“We will not sit alone,” he said, vowing revenge for a strike that appears to have killed not only Mr. Godane but several of his top aides.

[Also see – BOOTS + GROUND: U.S. Forces Carry Out Operation Against Al-Shabaab in Somalia – punditfromanotherplanet.com]

[More – REPORT: Al-Shabaab Claims Three Americans Among Gunmen in Kenya Mall – punditfromanotherplanet.com]

Analysts said it was too soon to tell if al-Shabaab was indeed still unified or attempting to forestall its fragmentation after the death of a charismatic leader, who had sidelined or eliminated other powerful figures in the group since taking over in 2008. Read the rest of this entry »


BOOTS + GROUND: U.S. Forces Carry Out Operation Against Al-Shabaab in Somalia

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U.S. Navy SEAL Team (AFP Photo / Robert J. Fluegel)

Reuters reports: U.S. military forces carried out an operation on Monday against al Shabaab militants in Somalia, a U.S. Department of Defense spokesman said.soomaaliya

“We are assessing the results of the operation and will provide additional information as and when appropriate.”

— Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby

No further details about the operation in the African country were immediately available.

Al Shabaab is an Islamist group affiliated with al Qaeda that wants to impose its own strict version of Islam in Somalia. It ruled most of the southern region of Somalia from 2006 until 2011, when African peacekeeping troops marched into the capital, Mogadishu.

African and Somali forces have regained several towns this year, but rebels still hold other centers and tracts of countryside.   Read the rest of this entry »


BREAKING: Large explosion, Gunfire at Somalia’s Intelligence Headquarters, Islamic Militants Attack a High Security Prison

In this photo taken Friday, Aug. 29, 2014, African Union (AU) soldiers from Uganda gather as they prepare to launch an offensive against Al-Shabab strongholds in the Lower Shabelle region of Somalia. (AP/AMISOM, Tobin Jones)  Read more: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2014/Aug-31/269091-large-explosion-gunfire-at-somalias-intelligence-hq.ashx#ixzz3BxiXwCS1  (The Daily Star :: Lebanon News :: http://www.dailystar.com.lb)
African Union (AU) soldiers from Uganda gather as they prepare to launch an offensive against Al-Shabab strongholds in the Lower Shabelle region of Somalia. (AP/AMISOM, Tobin Jones)

MOGADISHU: Suspected Al-Shabab militants attacked Somalia’s intelligence headquarters in central Mogadishu Sunday, setting off a bomb and opening fire on the complex, police and witnesses said.

UPDATE (AP) — A Somali police officer says heavily armed suspected Islamic militants have attacked a high security prison in the Somali capital.

Capt. Mohamed Hussein said that armed men on Sunday morning invaded the Godka Jilacow prison, which also serves as a key interrogation center for Somalia’s intelligence agency.

Mohamed Hassan, a resident who lives near the prison in the neighborhood of the presidential palace, said he heard gunfire and explosions as soldiers and militants fought for the control of the notorious jail. Read the rest of this entry »


Holly Fisher: The Difference, Explained

For National Review OnlineCharles C. W. Cooke explains…

This image — which features an American woman named Holly Fisher and an international terrorist named Sherafiyah Lewthwaite — has been doing the rounds on Lefty Twitter:

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“Explain the difference”? With pleasure.

The woman on the left is a peaceful American citizen with a husband in the military. She has never killed anybody, and nor does she have any desire to. The reason that you know her name is that she has become a minor political celebrity for her outspoken support of a Supreme Court decision that upheld the rule of law against the intrusion of the executive branch. In her photograph, she is mocking the president for his intolerant and ignorant “cling to guns or religion” comments. Read the rest of this entry »


BREAKING: US Navy SEALS raid militant group linked to Kenya mall attack

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DEVELOPING: US Navy SEALS have conducted a raid of the Al Shabaab militant group in Somalia, killing at least one militant, Fox News confirms.

The group is linked to last month’s Kenya mall attack that killed more than 60 people.

In Somalia, officials say international military forces carried out a pre-dawn strike Saturday against foreign fighters in the town of Barawe. Officials say the strike was aimed at “high-profile” targets.

The strike comes two weeks after Al Shabaab militants attacked Nairobi’s Westgate Mall.

The strike was carried out in the hours before morning prayers in Barawe, the same town where Navy SEALs four years ago killed a most-wanted Al Qaeda operative, the officials said. Read the rest of this entry »


VIDEO: Kenya Mall Massacre – First moments Captured in Amateur Video


Kenyan Mall Massacre Hero: Off duty SAS soldier with handgun saved 100 lives

Our saviour: The soldier, whose gun is circled, helps two women to safety. His identity has been protected for security reasons

An off-duty member of the SAS emerged as a hero of the Nairobi siege yesterday, after he was credited with saving up to 100 lives. The soldier was having coffee at the Westgate mall when it was attacked by Islamists on Saturday. With a gun tucked into his waistband, he was pictured helping two women from the complex.

He is said to have returned to the building on a dozen occasions, despite intense gunfire. A friend in Nairobi said: ‘What he did was so heroic. He was having coffee with friends when it happened.

‘He went back in 12 times and saved 100 people. Imagine going back in when you knew what was going on inside.’  Read the rest of this entry »


How al-Shabaab picks its targets

A Kenyan police officer guards the entrance of a building near the Westgate Shopping Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, on Monday, September 23. Gunmen burst into the mall and opened fire in a deadly attack on September 21. Kenyan authorities sounded increasingly confident Monday that they had brought the three-day standoff to a close, reassuring a nervous public that there was little chance of escape for any surviving Al-Shabaab gunmen who had terrorized the mall, killing dozens of people.

A Kenyan police officer guards the entrance of a building near the Westgate Shopping Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, on Monday, September 23. Gunmen burst into the mall and opened fire in a deadly attack on September 21. Kenyan authorities sounded increasingly confident Monday that they had brought the three-day standoff to a close, reassuring a nervous public that there was little chance of escape for any surviving Al-Shabaab gunmen who had terrorized the mall, killing dozens of people.

Nairobi mall attack fits with Al-Shabaab’s motives

(CNN) — Peter Bergen reportsAl-Shabaab, al-Qaeda’s brutal Somali affiliate, has claimed credit for the attack by multiple gunmen at an upscale shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya that has already killed at least 59 people.

This should not be a surprise. For Al-Shabaab, the mall was an attractive target because Westerners, including Americans, frequented it. The mall is also in the capital of Kenya, a country that Al-Shabaab has good reason to dislike, as the Kenyan military played a major role in handing their forces a defeat last year when they liberated the key Somali port of Kismayo from their control.

Read the rest of this entry »


REPORT: Al-Shabaab Claims Three Americans Among Gunmen in Kenya Mall

Bridget Johnson writes: Al-Shabaab is claiming that there are American gunmen among those still holed up in the Westgate mall in a standoff with Kenyan and Israeli special forces.

The Somali al-Qaeda affiliate tweeted a series of names on its latest account before Twitter against suspended the group. Al-Shabaab has been creating new accounts each time they get shut down but a movement of pro-Kenyan tweeters has been tracking down the new accounts and complaining to Twitter.

“We received permission to disclose the names of our mujahideen inside #Westgate,” their latest account tweeted.

They proceeded to tweet the names one by one, including Ahmed Mohamed Isse, 22, “native” of St. Paul, Minn., Abdifatah Osman Keenadiid, 24, of Minneapolis, and Gen Mustafe Noorudiin, 27, of Kansas City, Mo.

Read the rest of this entry »


Americans among injured in deadly Kenya mall attack as Al Qaeda-linked Somali militant group claims responsibility

Reporting from Fox news and AP: The Al Qaeda-linked Somali militant group al-Shabab is claiming responsibility for a deadly attack targeting non-Muslims at an upscale mall in Kenya’s capital.

A statement from al-Shabab on its official Twitter feed Saturday says the attacks, which killed at least 39 and wounded 150, including American citizens, are retribution for military action by Kenya inside Somalia. The group said it was now shifting the battlefield to Kenya. Police say they are treating the assault as a “terrorist attack.”

Witnesses say the gunmen asked victims they had cornered if they were Muslim: If the answer was yes, several witnesses said, those people were free to go. The non-Muslims were not. Read the rest of this entry »