Mall of America under threat from al-Shabaab

The Somali terrorist group al-Shabaab released a video this weekend claiming to target several malls and shopping centers in the US and Great Britain. The most prominent target mentioned by the terrorists was the Mall of America in Minneapolis.

Minneapolis has a large Somali population and it is reported by DHS that al-Shabaab has been actively recruiting residents. DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson told CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday that shoppers should be vigilant when visiting the mall.

CNN:

“If anyone is planning to go to the Mall of America today, they’ve got to be particularly careful,” Johnson said.

“There will be enhanced security there, but public vigilance, public awareness and public caution in situations like this is particularly important, and it’s the environment we’re in, frankly,” he said.

His comments come as the Mall of America implements new security measures — some of which the mall said in a statement would be noticeable to shoppers. Continue reading

Al Shabaab forces telecom to switch off service

English: War flag of al-Shabaab

English: War flag of al-Shabaab (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By AHMED OSMA Special Correspondent

Posted  Saturday, February 22   2014 at  16:13

Osman Ali, the owner of an electronics shop in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, has been hard-hit since Al Shabaab forced the biggest telecoms company to switch off its mobile Internet service in the Horn of Africa nation.

“I don’t understand why the government has not done anything to deal with the situation. It could at least find an alternative for the people. This has thrown the country into darkness. We are left behind,” Ali said from his shop, explaining that his sales had dropped dramatically since the shutdown. Continue reading

The Jewel in the Crown of Washington’s Permanent War: Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti

In the final of the ‘Permanent War’ series from the Washington Post, Craig Whitlock reports on the expansion of Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti, the U.S. first ‘counter-terrorism’ base, and the hub of drone operations in Somalia and Yemen. In fact, drones take off and land around 16 times a day at the base, which is sandwiched between Somalia (10 miles to the Southeast) and Yemen (North, across the Gulf of Aden).permanentWar26

The origin of the base lies as a ‘Third World’ outpost by the French Foreign Legion (Yemen itself is a former French colony). About a decade ago it was used for marines looking to gain a foothold in the region. Since then, it has been transformed into the busiest Predator base outside of Afghanistan. The secretive 500 acre base is dedicated to counter-terrorism–the first of its kind–against al-Qaeda and its affiliates in a perpetual war.

Activities at Camp Lemonnier increased in 2010 after 8 Predators were delivered, turning the camp into a fully-fledged drone base. AQAP in Yemen had attempted to bomb two U.S.-bound airliners and jihadists in Somalia consolidated their hold. JSOC plays a central role at the base, with 300 Special Forces personnel coordinating raids from inside a barb wired compound. A total of 3,200 U.S. troops, civilians, and contractors are assigned to the camp where they ‘train foreign militaries, gather intelligence and dole out humanitarian aid across East Africa as part of a campaign to prevent extremists from taking root’.

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XIANG HUA MEN Freed By Iranian Naval Commandos

Piracy REPORT:UPDATE

High Profile Pirate Leader Garaad Captured In The Operation

04/06/2012

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Marine Traffic

XIANG HUA MEN, Panamana-Flagged Cargo Vessel Hijacked on April 06, 2012

Just hours after Panama-flagged cargo ship XIANG HUA MEN was hijacked by pirates 14 nautical miles off the Iranian coast, Iranian commandos stormed the vessel, rescuing the 28 Chinese crewmembers and capturing the nine pirates on board.

Two Iranian naval vessels approached the ship, following which the pirates threw their weapons overboard. Xinhua news agency reported that the Chinese embassy in Iran had requested that Iran intervene militarily to free the vessel.

“The Chinese embassy… immediately established contact with relevant Iranian authorities demanding (that) Iran adopt all necessary measures to fully rescue the ship and crew,” Xinhua reported.

Somalia Report can confirm that Garaad, a well-known pirate based out of Puntland was one of the nine pirates arrested. Somalia Report spoke with Garaad’s cousin this morning, who stated that Garaad was one of the nine pirates arrested. Garaad was responsible for the Blida hijack, which was subsequently released for $3.5 million. His gang has come under pressure from Puntland security forces recently: in February, a number of his colleagues were arrested, and the authorities burned two of their speedboats.

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Timeline: Operation Linda Nchi

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Two Kenyan battalions with air and armored vehicle support were deployed to Somalia at the start of Operation Linda Nchi. Additional troops have entered the country since then. The Kenyan Navy increased patrols along the northern coastline.

Month One (16 October – 15 November)
Month Two (16 November – 15 December)
Month Three (16 December – 15 January)
Month Four (16 January – 15 February)
Month Five (16 February – present)

AMISOM: African Union Mission in Somalia
IGAD: Intergovernmental Authority on Development
SNA: Somali National Army
TFG: Transitional Federal Government

16 OCTOBER 2011
  • A Kenyan battalion, with air and armored vehicle support, crossed the Somali border from Liboi, entering the town of Dhobley in Lower Jubba region. Residents reported that the troop columns were supported by four tanks, along with an estimated 40 armored vehicles, some of which towed artillery.[1]
  • Airstrikes targeted al Shabaab positions in the jungle surrounding the town of Qoqani, along the main road from Dhobley. Airstrikes also hit an al Shabaab base near the town of Afmadow. Kenyan officials have refused to confirm many of the air raids.[2]
  • Kenyan military helicopter crashed at 7:55 pm near Liboi’s primary school, killing five Kenyan military personnel.[3]
  • Kenyan Army units entered Somalia to create a 100 km buffer zone.[4]
17 OCTOBER 2011
  • Kenyan navy patrol boat hit by a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) off the coast of Lamu. Three sailors were injured.[5]
  • A Kenyan battalion reached the Somali town of Elwaq in Gedo region.[6]
  • Kenyan forces established a forward-operating base (FOB) in Qoqani in Lower Jubba region. Forces had already secured Dhobley and Taabta.[7]
  • Airstrikes targeted al Shabaab positions surrounding Afmadow town in Lower Jubba region.[8]
18 OCTOBER 2011
  • Heavy rains in southern Somalia slowed further progress.[9]
  • Kenya and Somalia signed a security and military cooperation agreement in Mogadishu, which limits Kenyan operations to Lower Jubba region.[10]
  • Kenyan army spokesman Major Emmanuel Chirchir claimed that Kenyan airstrikes had killed 73 al Shabaab militants.[11]
  • A suicide car bomb exploded in Mogadishu near the Foreign Ministry during the visit of Kenyan Defense Minister Mohammed Yusuf Haji and Foreign Minister Moses Wetangula. Kenyan Foreign Minister Moses Wetangula said that the explosion occurred along the planned route to the airport, but that the delegation’s travel plans were changed last minute.[12]
19 OCTOBER 2011
  • Residents reported Kenyan tanks and SNA troops seen in Busar in Gedo region.[13]
  • The TFG-aligned Ras Kamboni brigade stationed in Cag Libaax, 12 km west of Qoqani.[14]
  • Kenyan troops reported to be within 5 km of Afmadow, where al Shabaab had set up a defensive position. Kenyan airstrikes against al Shabaab positions near Afmadow continued. Kenyan officials credited Western satellites with providing intelligence on al Shabaab’s positions.[15]
  • A remote-control roadside bomb exploded in Mogadishu near the seaport.[16]
  • The Kenyan Cabinet unanimously voted for Kenyan troops to secure and remain in Kismayo until the TFG or AMISOM assumes control of the port city.[17]
20 OCTOBER 2011
  • Kenyan airstrikes targeted al Shabaab’s positions in the town of Ras Kamboni in Lower Jubba region.[18]
  • The TFG-aligned Ras Kamboni brigade and Kenyan troops captured the town of Ras Kamboni. Three hundred Ras Kamboni fighters entered the town, forcing al Shabaab to flee.[19]
  • TFG-aligned troops, SNA forces, and Ras Kamboni brigade headed toward Afmadow in Lower Jubba region.[20]
  • Kenyan military spokesman Major Emmanuel Chirchir stated Kenya’s intention of clearing Kismayo of al Shabaab militants and pirates.[21]
  • SNA and AMISOM troops launch an offensive in Mogadishu to secure Daynile district.[22] Continue reading

Kenya vows to continue fight against terrorism

Posted by LORDRICK MAYABI on March 11, 2012

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Victim of the Machakos bomb blast being assisted by well wishers/AFP

NAIROBI, Kenya Mar 11 – Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka has urged Kenyans to remain calm as the government continues to fights terror after a grenade attack on a Nairobi bus station killed six people on Saturday.

Musyoka, visiting survivors at the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) on Saturday night said that it was a difficult moment for the country but that the fight against terror was on course.

“We urge for calm and we will definitely win the war against terrorism,” he said.

The attack took place at the Machakos country bus station, near the city centre. Earlier, a senior police official who did not want to be named said it was believed several grenades had been thrown at the bus station.

“This is an act of people who think that they can puncture the resolve to fight terror, it is a difficult moment by it should strengthen our resolve and am sure we will win,” said the VP.

Earlier, police spokesman Charles Owino was equally defiant as he denounced the bloodshed.

Watch the video…

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US Muslims Joining Islamic Insurgency In Africa

From the Associated Press:

NAIROBI, Kenya — The October al-Qaida video shows a light-skinned man handing out food to families displaced by famine in Somalia. But the masked man is not Somali, or even African — he’s a Wisconsin native who grew up in San Diego.

Militant Islamist insurgency is recruiting Americans

A handful of young Muslims from the U.S. are taking high-visibility propaganda and operational roles inside an al-Qaida-linked insurgent force in Somalia known as al-Shabab. While most are from Minnesota, which has the largest Somali population in the nation, al-Shabab members include a Californian and an Alabaman with no ancestral ties to Somalia.

“They are being deployed in roles that appear to be shrewdly calculated to raise al-Shabab’s international profile and to recruit others, especially those from the United States and other English-speaking countries,” said Anders Folk, a former assistant U.S. attorney who prosecuted suspected al-Shabab supporters in Minnesota.

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