BREAKING: Lead Prosecutor in al-Shabaab Bombing Case Shot Dead in Uganda

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Police say Joan Kagezi, who was prosecuting the case of 13 men on trial for killing 76 people, was followed on a motorbike as she drove home

Uganda’s lead prosecutor in the ongoing trial of 13 men accused of participating in 2010 al-Shabaab bombings that killed 76 people was shot dead Monday, police said.

Joan Kagezi, acting assistant director of public prosecution, was murdered by men on a motorbike as she drove home in a suburb of the capital, Kampala police spokesman Patrick Onyango said. “They were trailing her on a motorcycle … They shot her dead.”

Her current cases included the trial of men allegedly linked to July 2010 suicide bombings targeting football fans watching the World Cup final at a restaurant and a rugby club in Kampala. Somalia’s al-Qaida-affiliated Shabaab militants claimed responsibility for the attack, the group’s first outside Somalia.

The trial of the accused – seven Kenyans, five Ugandans and one Tanzanian – began earlier this month at Uganda’s high court on a range of charges including terrorism, murder and membership of a terrorist organisation.

All but one have also been charged with belonging to the Shabaab. The case was due to resume on Tuesday.

Jane Kajuga, spokeswoman for the office of the director of public prosecution, confirmed the death of Kagezi, lead prosector in the bombing trial, and who also led the prosecution’s anti-terrorism and war crimes section.

“She has been shot dead … but details are so far scanty,” Kajuga told the NTV Uganda station. Read the rest of this entry »


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 »


BREAKING: Al Shabab Lawyers File Trademark Infringement Lawsuit Against California Dem Rep George Miller

members of Somalia's al-Shabab jihadist movement seen during exercises at their military training camp outside Mogadishu.

Plaintiffs: Public Relations Operatives of Somalia’s al-Shabab jihadist movement seen taking break during exercises at their military training camp outside Mogadishu to discuss their lawsuit against George Miller (D) 

MOGADISHU – file – Public relations representatives of Somali’s al-Shabab jihadist movement announced today that George Miller (D) violated their trademark and used their image improperly by accusing Congressional Republicans of “waging Jihad” against the American People.

“He said it on the floor of Congress.” said one operative, “He used the term jihad, which we registered for the exclusive use of authentic, legitimate jihadist terror campaign operatives, and the various partnerships that share licensing fees. Miller is not among them.”

“We saw it on YouTube. I contacted our attorney immediately.” said one of the group “I sent emails to other jihadist groups, too”.

A senior member of al-Shabab’s legal advisory group arrived in Washington D.C. this morning. Speaking through an interpreter, he told the press:

“George Miller, and some of his colleagues, have received warnings before. Unless he goes through the proper channels, and licenses the use of our exclusive jihadist trademark, through our Mogadishu office, he’s in violation. This goes for any public figure improperly using our brand”.

Speaking on behalf of the group’s Public Relations division on location in Mogadishu, al-Shabab’s acting regional attourney added, “We take this very seriously, it’s my client’s registered trademark, and we’ve successfully protected it in the courts before”.

When reached for comment, legal counsel for Rep. George Miller–who asked that his name not be used in this report, for fear that his family would be in grave danger–dismissed the suit as frivolous, questioning al-Shabab’s trademark claims, and expressing confidence that his client would prevail.

“George was speaking metaphorically. His fellow lawmakers knew that, and the American people know it. Al-shabab’s public relations groups file lawsuits like this all the time. Why? Because funding for jihadist groups has extended to using legal victories to bankroll their terror activities”.

Al-shabab’s legal team disagreed. “We’ll see Rep George Miller in court. If he wants to settle out of court, we’ll expect to see what his attorney has to say, through intermediaries.”

Representative George Miller could not be reached for comment.