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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

US Imam: Islamic State 'Damaging Islam'

US Imam: Islamic State 'Damaging Islam'

The leading imam in the U.S. city of Minneapolis has condemned the beheading of hostages by Islamic State militants, saying the practice is "not Islamic."

Sheikh Abdirahman Sheikh Omar told VOA's Somali service that under Islamic law, captives have rights and should not be killed because of their nationality.
He compared the Islamic State to the Somali extremist group al-Shabab, saying the militants are damaging Islam more than they are attracting people to the faith.
"They killed all the educators, they killed professors, they killed even the imams in the mosques. They killed a lot of people, a lot of innocent people. At the same time, they’re saying, 'We are saving the people.' They kill more Muslims than any other thing. They’re damaging Islam, the face of Islam,” said Omar.
Sheikh Omar said U.S. officials need to do more to show that America is not at war with Islam. He highlighted discrimination Muslims have faced, particularly after the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, saying things like the no-fly list, "intimidating" questions about daily life and the surveillance of mosques creates the perception that America is battling Muslims.
He said that view increases the number of people who join radicals.
"I think the way that the foreign policy of the United States treats the Muslims -- the 1.5 billion Muslims in the world -- will have a role for the radicalization of Muslim youth.  The radicals are saying, 'United States is fighting with the Muslims in the world,’” said Omar.
Sheikh Omar said there must be a way to separate the tiny number of radicals from the 99.9 percent of Muslims who just want to practice their faith and not be "guilty of being a Muslim."
In 2008, he was accused of helping Somali men travel to Somalia to join militants like al-Shabab, which he denied. The FBI investigated the disappearance of more than a dozen men from the state of Minnesota, many of whom attended the imam's mosque.
Ethnic Somalis have now left North America to join militant groups in Syria, including one from Minneapolis who was killed fighting in Syria earlier this year.
Sheikh Omar said he is surprised at that development, and does not understand why they would join the conflict instead of helping their own people in Somalia who do not have enough food or education. He called attention to the influence of social media and videos that can connect radicals to people across the world.

Somali-American Says Son Joined Syrian Jihadists

Somali-American Says Son Joined Syrian Jihadists

A Somali-American man says his son has left the United States to join an Islamist extremist group in Syria.
In an exclusive interview with VOA's Somali Service, the father of Mohamud Mohamed, 19, said his son vanished from the city of Minneapolis on July 18, then called his mother from Syria four days later to tell her that he was with his "brothers."
The father says Mohamed, who normally lives with his mother in Canada, had come to Minneapolis to spend time with him during the holy month of Ramadan. He says Mohamed disappeared without warning after saying he was going to a mosque for Friday prayers.
"It was shocking," the man said. "My son was a student, he suddenly changed. He used to pray but he increased it to 24 hours of prayers, and he was rarely away from mosques. He arranged his travel without my knowledge, and then he ended up in Syria. All of us [in the family] are very saddened. We did not expect he would do this.”
The 19-year-old allegedly traveled to Turkey, a route often used by Westerners attempting to join Islamic State and other militant groups operating in Syria.
His story is similar to other ethnic Somalis who left North America to fight alongside such groups.
An ethnic Somali from Minneapolis, Abdiraham Muhumed, was killed fighting in Syria earlier this year, as was an African-American from the same city, Douglas MacArthur McCain.
Mohamed's father says he does not know which group his son has joined. He says his son last made contact about a month ago, and he does not know whether the young man is dead or alive.
He appealed to his son to do everything he can to get out of Syria, saying, "You are either in danger of killing someone or getting killed."

Monday, September 15, 2014

GEESKA AFRIKA ONLINE The Horn of Africa Intelligence News Group » Uganda: Somali “before you dare touching their women, kill them first“

The Horn of Africa Intelligence News » Somali “before you dare touching their women, kill them first“

Rape is cheaper than bullets in Uganda, Congo and Rwanda. Sexual violence is a devastating weapon in the war-torn Greater lakes provinces of Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Congolese army, peacekeepers (Ugandan soldiers) and rebel groups systematically use brutal gang rape against their enemies, causing crippling injuries and spreading HIV. The numbers speak for themselves.  Western Humanitarian groups estimate one in three women in North Kivu only been raped. Over 30 per cent of these have been infected with HIV. All across this devastated region – in every village, every camp and almost every home – a man-made plague is stealing and destroying the lives of women. In a scale never seen before around the world.
women_somali
In Somalia don’t dare touch their women
opinion page By Mohamed Osman, In Somalia don’t dare touch their women. If anyone of us believes that the African soldiers “Peacekeepers” come to Somalia or elsewhere in Africa for “mercy” missions, we better think twice. The following is what the Chief of Staff of Uganda told his soldiers when they were under training to go to Somalia. This is probably part of the statement of the Ugandan Chief of Staff that could be made public. However, it is enough information on their miss-behaviour during their mission abroad.
According to Lt. Gen. Aronda Nyakairima, Uganda’s Military Chief, this group of soldiers were in the Congo (DRC) on similar mission.
Mind you foreign soldiers can do whatever they wish with ZERO punishment as they enjoy immunity and they can be taken to court only in their homeland. About the “Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SEA) by African Union Forces in Somalia”, issued by Human Rights Watch (HRW)” see the African Union reaction.
The New Vision of Uganda on 7 March 2005 published a report in which it quoted Lt. Gen. Aronda Nyakairima, Uganda’s Military Chief as saying to the Ugandan soldiers under training for the said development in Somalia: “IGADSOM” would be deployed throughout Somalia, with the exception of the self-declared republic of Somaliland. We shall deploy from Puntland all the way to the south.”
“We hail your shining achievement in helping clear the LRA (Lord Residence Army) from Tesso, Lango and Kitgum, flushing the terrorists back to southern Sudan, killing some, capturing others, recovering weapons, and rescuing inductees.”
While the General spoke hundreds of the soldiers yelled, “Tuko tayari. Tuta songa mbele. Kazi tutaifanya (we are ready. We move forward. We shall execute the assignment).
The General does not warn his officers that action will be taken in case of repetition. He only advises them:
“Unlike in the past when commanders were mobile merchants, don’t command and operate kiosks. Don’t steal soldiers’ salaries. Behave well. Learn their culture. Somalia is not like the DRC, where we sent 400 soldiers and received back 600 including 200 wives. In Somalia don’t dare touch their women.” There was thunderous applause to the statement. He went on to caution: “Guard against HIV.” “You are young and healthy. Remember HIV/AIDS kills.”
A week later, President of Uganda, Yowery Museveni, as the Chairman of IGAD, speaking at the IGAD Defence Ministers’ meeting in Entebbe said on 15 March 2005: “We are going to deploy with or without the support of the warlords,” “Why should the warlords for example reject Ethiopia and Kenya?” He rhetorically asked: “If the two countries go there, what will happen?” “What are we waiting for? “You should work out the deployment programme as soon as possible”, he said.
Nearly ten years later, on September 9, 2014, the Somali Government expressed about the allegations of rape against Somali women and girls by African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) troops.
“The government condemns all forms of abuse against the Somali people and remains committed to ensuring perpetrators of any crime against its civilians are brought to justice,” Somali prime minister’s office said in a statement.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) released a report recently that drew upon 21 interviews with women and girls that said AMISOM soldiers had committed rape and traded food aid for sex.
The soldiers that the Uganda government selected for Somalia ten years ago, in 2005, are those who have committed all that General Nyakairima told them not to repeat again. But the call has fallen into deaf ears. Somalis cared less about the merchandise they bring in the streets of Mogadishu. But rape of girls and mothers is indeed humiliation.
As for the current event of rape by the African forces, a statement issued by the Somali Prime Minister’s office said: “The government condemns all forms of abuse against the Somali people and remains committed to ensuring perpetrators of any crime against its civilians are brought to justice.”
In the latest events, if the government of Somalia is convinced that rape has in fact, taken place, it is “committed to ensuring perpetrators of any crime against its civilians are brought justice”
According to BBC news report dated 8 September 2014, said “Last year, there was a huge public outcry following claims that AU and government soldiers had gang-raped a woman in Mogadishu.
A joint investigation by the AU and government dismissed the allegation as unfounded, even though neither the woman nor independent witnesses had been interviewed.
Only one rape case, in which the victim was a child, is before Uganda’s military court in Kampala, BBC added.
The best way to deal with such abuses committed by those who claim immunity although their crime has nothing to do with their official duties, is to ask their governments to strip the immunity from them so that they can be brought to justice. If the response is negative, then the Somali Government has no alternative but to declare the perpetrators of crime against Somali civilians PERSONA NON GRATA and order them to leave the country within 24 hours.
So, for their heinous action against Somalis, particularly women and girls, they have to pay the price by losing their immunity, privilege and handsome salaries etc.. And the Somali people and the families of the victims will note that the Somali government has taken the necessary steps before they are taken to a Court of Justice. 
By. Mohamed Osman. mohd.osman75@gmail.com

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Islamic State attracts female jihadis from U.S. heartland - News - AM 590 - WKZO Everything Kalamazoo

Islamic State attracts female jihadis from U.S. heartland - News - AM 590 - WKZO Everything Kalamazoo

U.S. law enforcement is investigating a new phenomenon of women from the American heartland joining Islamic State as President Barack Obama vows to cut off the militants' recruiting at home.
At least three Somali families in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area have female relatives who have gone missing in the past six weeks and may have tried to join Islamic State, said community leader Abdirizak Bihi. He said that while the reasons for their disappearance were unclear, he had told the families to contact police.
In a separate case, a 19-year-old American Somali woman from St. Paul snuck away from her parents on Aug. 25 saying she was going to a bridal shower. Instead, she flew to Turkey and joined IS in Syria.
Home to the biggest Somali community in the United States, the Twin Cities area of Minnesota has been plagued by terrorist recruiting since the Somali group al-Shabaab began enlisting in America around 2007.
This year, law enforcement officials say they learned of 15-20 men with connections to the Minnesota Somali community fighting for extremist groups in Syria. They included Douglas McAuthur McCain, a convert to Islam, who was killed in battle this summer.
The St. Paul woman is the first case of an area female joining IS that has been made public although her family have asked for her name to be kept private because it fears retaliation from Islamists.
Greg Boosalis, FBI division counsel in Minneapolis, said law enforcement was investigating the possible recruitment in the area by Islamist extremists of other females, as well as males, but refused to comment on specific cases.
"We are looking into the possibility of additional men and women travelers," he said.
Somali leaders and sources close to police worry that the reports of female would-be jihadis from the region could mark a new trend.
The St. Paul woman is highly likely to have been recruited by IS through Islamist sympathizers in the United States, rather than joining the group on her own, they said. At least one other woman is suspected of helping her leave the United States.
Another U.S. teenager, nurse's aide Shannon Conley, 19, from Colorado, pleaded guilty this week to trying to travel to the Middle East to enroll in IS. She was arrested at Denver International Airport in April with a one-way ticket and had been recruited online by a male militant in Syria.
Nipping domestic extremism in the bud before Americans try to join terrorist groups is part of Obama's strategy against Islamic State announced in a televised address last week.
Along with an aerial bombing campaign in Iraq and Syria, Obama pledged that the government would "intervene with at-risk individuals before they become radicalized toward violence and decide to travel abroad to Syria and Iraq to join ISIL."
He said authorities would offer "tailored domestic programs to prevent violent extremism and radicalization" but gave no more details.
The Somali woman from St. Paul who traveled to Syria attended a mosque near the eastern bank of the Mississippi River which had previously attracted suspected extremists. In June, the mosque banned an Egyptian-American man it said was spreading radical ideology.
The woman told a relative after leaving the United States that she wanted to help children in IS-controlled territory in Syria.
"The nature of the recruitment of these crazy organizations is how they use the element of surprise. Now they have surprised us again by going for the girls," said Bihi, speaking about the St. Paul woman who he said was targeted by recruiters.
Bihi's teenaged nephew was killed in Somalia in 2009 after being persuaded to join al-Shabaab while in Minnesota.
"BABY FACTORIES"
While foreign women who join Islamic State often envision aiding a holy war or at least playing an active role in establishing a purist Islamic nation, the reality can be more mundane.
Monitoring of extremists' social media accounts and other writings shows that male jihadis regard women counterparts as little more than mating partners, said Mia Bloom, from the Center for Terrorism and Security Studies at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.
"ISIS is recruiting these women in order to be baby factories. They are seeing the establishment of an Islamic state and now they need to populate the state," Bloom said.
Scores of European Muslim women, mostly from Britain and France, have joined IS in the Middle East.
Denver teenager Conley became engaged to an Islamic State militant in Syria who she met online. Jihadist groups like al Qaeda and IS usually only put women near the frontline in emergencies, Bloom said.
Some young foreign women have been deployed to Islamic State checkpoints in northern Syria where they pat down other women to search for weapons and force local females to abide by strict Islamic dress codes.
But snapshots on social media of the female jihadis' lives in Syria more often show that, "the girls go around making cookies. It's almost like a jihadi Tupperware party," Bloom said.
The main worry for law enforcement is that U.S. militants will one day return to the United States and attack targets.
"The obvious fear is of individuals coming back and committing a terrorist act here," said the FBI's Boosalis. The FBI has been working with the Somali community in Minnesota for years to help it combat radical Islamists.
(Editing by Marilyn Thompson and Ross Colvin)

GEESKA AFRIKA ONLINE The Horn of Africa Intelligence News Group » Kenya: Risks of losing Somali’s territorial waters in the Indian Ocean

The Horn of Africa Intelligence News » Kenya: Risks of losing Somali’s territorial waters in the Indian Ocean

Kenya risks losing almost all of its territorial waters in the Indian Ocean if a case filed by Somalia in an international court succeeds.
Alarmed by the grave implications of the move by its war-torn neighbour, the Jubilee Government has reopened negotiations with Somalia over its claim to a huge swathe of maritime territory considered rich in oil deposits and fish, which the ministry of Foreign Affairs says could effectively turn Kenya into a landlocked country.
On Saturday, Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Trade Amina Mohammed told the Sunday Nation the matter is so sensitive that a quick meeting to facilitate direct talks between President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Somalia counterpart Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has been arranged in New York.
“We are in discussions with the government of Somalia. It is unfortunate they logged their complaints even as we dialogued over this matter,” Ms Mohammed said, adding that Kenya preferred to settle the matter out of court.
Documents seen by the Sunday Nation show that the way Somalia wants the boundaries redrawn would take away at least five oil blocks and vast oceanic territory where deep sea fishing is conducted.
It would also mean that Kenya might have to access the Indian Ocean only with Somalia’s permission.
In June, an Australian firm prospecting off Kenya’s Indian Ocean coast reported a verified oil find at one of its recently completed wells in the Lamu Basin.
Pancontinental Oil and Gas NL confirmed their completed Sunbird well has intersected an oil column, making it the first-ever discovery of oil off the East African coast.
The dispute could also unsettle regional harmony as the proposal by Somalia could automatically move the Tanzanian island of Pemba to Kenyan territory, according to Foreign Affairs and International Trade Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho.
“This claim by Somalia could make Kenya a landlocked country which may restrict our access to the high seas. And if the alterations adopt the proposal by Somalia then the island of Pemba will become part of Kenya,” said Dr Kibicho.
If the case filed by Somalia at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) is determined in its favour Somalia’s maritime boundary in the Indian Ocean would stretch all the way to Tanzania’s shores.
ECONOMIC INTERESTS
Based in the Dutch city of The Hague, ICJ is the primary judicial branch of the United Nations that mostly determines legal disputes between states.
In its application to the ICJ, the Somali government is making reference to a number of oil fields in the disputed area which Kenya has laid claim to, signalling that the battle may have been precipitated by economic interests.
Ms Mohammed, an experienced diplomat with vast experience in the UN system, said Kenya was keen on preserving good relations with Somalia and is making every effort to find a solution to the impending crisis that could create tension in the region.
She said the New York meeting between President Kenyatta and President Mohamud on the sidelines of the annual UN General Assembly later this month was part of the diplomatic push to sort out the problem.
Her views were reinforced by PS Kibicho: “We have set technical teams who are negotiating. Somalia is considered a friendly state — it is our neighbour, and it will remain so.”
The Sunday Nation has also learnt that even as the diplomatic efforts continued Attorney-General Githu Muigai had scheduled an appointment with the ICJ president to discuss ways of handling the crisis.
“I recently appeared before the Law of the Sea Commission in New York to try to attend to this matter. But we were referred to the ICJ because the case had been filed (by Somalia),” Prof Muigai said.
The AG explained that his office was assembling a team of experts to support Kenya’s case.
“We have already submitted an MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) to the UN secretary-general showing the delimitation of our boundaries with Tanzania. We want the same formula adopted in our case with Somalia,” the AG stated.
CASUAL NATURE
Somalia rushed to court over what sources at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs claimed was the casual nature in which the Kenyan government was handling the long-standing matter.
Somalia was apparently angered by Kenya’s decision to skip without notice a negotiation meeting that was to be held between August 25 and 26 this year.
“The Kenyan delegation, without providing either advance notification or subsequent explanation, failed to arrive and, as a consequence, the additional round of meetings that Kenya had requested were not held,” reads part of the application Somalia filed in court.
The Registrar of the ICJ Philippe Couvreur wrote to Kenya on August 28 detailing the case filed by Somalia.
“I have the honour to inform Your Excellency that the Federal Republic of Somalia has today filed in the Registry of the Court an Application, instituting proceedings against the Republic of Kenya concerning a dispute in relation to the establishment of the single maritime boundary between Somalia and Kenya in the India Ocean, delimiting the territorial sea, exclusive economic zone and continental shelf including the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles (M),” reads the letter.
Kenya’s ambassador to The Netherlands, Ms Makena Muchiri, forwarded the letter to Ms Mohammed the following day.
APPOINTED AGENT
“Kindly note that the provision of Article 40 of the Rules of the Court that requires Kenya to inform the court of their appointed agent and the address of service at the seat of the court to which all communications can be sent,” Ms Muchiri wrote.
President Mohamud appointed his minister for Foreign Affairs and Investment Promotion Dr Abdirahman Dualeh the country’s agent in the case.
In the application, Dr Dualeh made it clear there were “no special or relevant circumstances that could justify Kenya’s claim” to the territory it occupied.
According to the technical descriptions used in documents, in previous negotiations with Somalia, Kenya insisted that the maritime boundary should run due east along the parallel of latitude from the land boundary terminus while Somalia said the boundary should be drawn to follow an azimuth (angle) of approximately N131.5 degrees east from the land boundary terminus out to the outer limit of the two states’ maritime entitlements.
A source at the Foreign ministry, who did not want to be named, explained this meant Kenya preferred the horizontal line from the land through the sea while Somalia wanted a diagonal dissection that would give it most of the territory.
“The parties have met on numerous occasions to exchange views on the settlement of the dispute over the delimitation of their maritime boundary. None of these negotiation sessions has yielded agreement. Indeed no meaningful progress towards an agreement has been achieved at any of them,” reads part of the application by Somalia.
On oil exploration, Somalia claimed that Kenya had acted unilaterally on the basis of the current boundary to exploit both living and non-living resources on the Somali side.
However, Kenya’s Foreign Affairs PS denied that oil exploration in the disputed area may have sparked off the controversies.
However, Somalia claims in court papers: “Relevant Kenyan petroleum blocs include L-5, L-21, L-22, L-23,L24 and L-25.According to publicly available information Kenya awarded block L-5 to an American company.”
The country also lays claim to oil blocks Kenya awarded to a French company.
“The blocks lie entirely or predominantly on the Somali side of provisional equidistance line,” read part of the court filings.
Sources in the Foreign ministry in Nairobi allege some Western and Gulf oil investors may have convinced the Somali Parliament and top politicians to claim the territory.
Even more intriguing are allegations that some senior Kenyan officials may be colluding with the Somalis by providing them with insider information that strengthens the ICJ case and any diplomatic negotiations.
Any loss of territorial waters could also compromise security as it would restrict Kenya Navy patrols.

Uganda foils Somalia Shebab cell plotting 'imminent attack': US - Yahoo News

Uganda foils Somalia Shebab cell plotting 'imminent attack': US - Yahoo News

Ugandan security forces stopped a cell of Somalia's Al-Qaeda linked Shebab insurgents apparently "planning for an imminent attack," the US embassy said Saturday.
Arrests were made, police said, in raids two weeks after Ugandan troops, fighting in Somalia, reportedly provided intelligence that helped US special forces kill the Shebab's chief in a devastating air strike.
"Ugandan authorities reported the discovery of an Al-Shebab terrorist cell in Kampala," the US embassy said in a statement, adding that forces were working to see "whether there are members of the cell still at large."
Citizens were urged to stay at home on Saturday.
"We remain in close contact with our Ugandan counterparts as investigations continue into what appears to have been planning for an imminent attack," the US added.
Police spokesman Fred Enanga said forces had "made arrests" but gave no details of how many people had been detained.

Somaliland:ID cards article | Somalilandpress.com | Somaliland News

Somaliland:ID cards article | Somalilandpress.com | Somaliland News

IDENTITY CARDS are meant TO identify the individuals identity and the PURPOSE of introduction has nothing to do with Voting and and elections at all.