November 17, 2011 |
Kenya's government has made an urgent appeal to the Obama administration for the Pentagon to provide intelligence and logistical support to Kenya's faltering month-old military operation in Somalia against the Shabab, a powerful Al Qaeda-linked militia. Administration officials are considering the request, which came through the State Department, to provide military surveillance and reconnaissance that could include imagery from drone aircraft. Such aid would represent a significant expansion of U.S. involvement in the chaotic East African nation.
August 5, 2010 |
Fourteen people have been accused of providing support to the Somali terrorist group Shabab in indictments unsealed Thursday that shed light on "a deadly pipeline" of funding and fighters to the group from cities across the United States, Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. said. Most of those charged were U.S. citizens of Somali descent. It has long been known that disaffected Somali Americans were leaving their homes in Minnesota and other states to join Shabab, an Islamist army whose several thousand fighters are battling Somalia's weak government.
July 14, 2011 |
To save themselves, Rahmo Ibrahim Madey and three of her children escaped on foot this month from southern Somalia's Bakol region — a drought-racked land controlled by the Islamist militants of the Shabab group. Less than 20 miles from their destination, the battered capital of Mogadishu, Madey's 1-year-old daughter, Fadumo, died of starvation. Days later, under a shelter of plastic sheeting and castaway fabric at one of the makeshift refugee camps in the capital, the 29-year-old mother spooned small helpings of porridge into the mouth of her 4-year-old daughter, Batulo.
October 11, 2013 |
The Tom Hanks movie "Captain Phillips," which opens Friday, will focus attention - again - on piracy off the coast of Somalia. The movie, in which (spoiler alert) the bad guys get caught, unfortunately might lead you to think that this is a problem that's been solved. After all, since the April 2009 seizure of the cargo ship Maersk Alabama, recounted in "Captain Phillips," there has been only one hijacking of a U.S.-flagged vessel by Somali pirates, the February 2011 seizure of a U.S. yacht in which the Americans were killed.
October 10, 2013 |
Lessons supposedly learned from counter-terrorism operations after 9/11: -- Massive U.S. deployments to faraway lands like Iraq and Afghanistan are expensive, protracted and perceived as American invasions. -- Drone strikes ignite resentment, for "collateral damage" sometimes inflicted on innocents and for their disregard of another nation's sovereignty. -- Terrorist groups are migratory and adaptable, able to regroup after being flushed out of one unstable country to set up camp in another.
September 18, 2009 |
In swift retaliation for the U.S. killing this week of a suspected Al Qaeda fugitive in Somalia, insurgents attacked the main African Union peacekeeping base in Mogadishu with twin truck bombs Thursday, killing at least nine people, including four AU soldiers. Suicide bombers attempted to infiltrate the heavily guarded seaside base by impersonating U.N. personnel, AU officials said. Among the wounded were unidentified senior Somali government officials, who were visiting the base, and the newly arrived African Union force commander, Ugandan Maj. Gen. Nathan Mugisha, who suffered minor injuries, AU and government officials said.