October 14, 2013 |
Barkhad Abdi is used to finding his way in strange new places: At age 7, he moved with his family from war-torn Somalia to Yemen, where he learned Arabic on the soccer field. At 14, he moved to Minneapolis and learned English from Jay-Z songs and "Seinfeld" episodes. Now, at 27, Abdi has made himself at home in another new town - Hollywood - by starring opposite Tom Hanks in the film "Captain Phillips. " In director Paul Greengrass' fact-based thriller, which opened Friday, Abdi plays Muse, a Somali pirate who hijacks an American cargo ship and takes its captain hostage.
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 6, 2013 |
WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration's decision to mount two risky capture raids against Al Qaeda operatives in North Africa reflects a reduced role for lethal CIA drone strikes and a growing role for the Pentagon in leading counter-terrorism operations, U.S. officials said Sunday. In storming the coastal Somalia home of a leader of Shabab, the Somali-based group that claimed responsibility for last month's massacre inside a shopping mall in Nairobi, the Obama administration opted to put U.S. Navy SEALs at risk against a fixed target that could have been destroyed with bombs or missiles from the air. The suspect sought in the raid was not captured, though he may have been killed in a firefight that ultimately forced the U.S. force to withdraw, officials said.
September 25, 2013 |
WASHINGTON -- The deadly mall attack in Kenya is unlikely to change the Obama administration's restrained approach to Shabab, the Somali-based terrorist group that claimed responsibility for the violence and that has been the target of occasional U.S. military action, American officials and counter-terrorism analysts say. Pushed out of territory in Somalia it once controlled and riven by internal dissent, Shabab is seen as a dangerous regional threat....
September 21, 2013 |
This post has been corrected. See bottom for details. JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- At least 39 people were killed and 150 injured Saturday when masked gunmen stormed an upscale shopping mall in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, shooting people and taking hostages, President Uhuru Kenyatta said in a live statement on national television. Kenyatta said that he lost close family members in the ongoing attack at Westgate mall, which is popular with wealthy Kenyans and expatriates. Police and government officials were swift to call it a terrorist attack, with witnesses reporting that non-Muslims were targeted.
September 21, 2013 |
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- The Al Qaeda-linked Somali militant group Al Shabab claimed responsibility on Twitter on Saturday for an attack on a Nairobi, Kenya, shopping mall that killed at least 11 people and as many as 30, according to conflicting casualty reports. Masked gunmen stormed the popular, upscale Westgate mall in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, at lunchtime Saturday, shooting people and taking others hostage. Police and government officials were swift to call it a terror attack, with witnesses reporting that non-Muslims were targeted.