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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Oman Tribune - the edge of knowledge

Oman Tribune - the edge of knowledge

Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi on Tuesday has warned of the ‘Somalisation’ of Syria if the peace efforts fail, as Syrian President Bashar Al Assad sacked Deputy Prime Minister, Qadri Jamil, saying the official had been absent without leave and carried out unauthorised meetings abroad.

Brahimi’s grim warning came as fighting prevented chemical weapons inspectors from visiting two sites, although UN chief Ban Ki-moon said the mission to destroy Syria’s arsenal by mid-2014 was still on track.

In an interview with a French website published on Monday, Brahimi said Assad could contribute to the transition to a “new” Syria but not as the country’s leader.

“What history teaches us is that after a crisis like this there is no going back,” he told the Jeune Afrique website ahead of his to Syria.

He admitted “the entire world will not be present” at the talks, but said the alternative to a political settlement could be a failed state in the heart of the Middle East.

“The real danger is a sort of ‘Somalisation,’ but even more deep and lasting than what we have seen in Somalia.”

Uganda arrests Somalia peacekeepers over theft - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Uganda arrests Somalia peacekeepers over theft - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

At least 40 Ugandan soldiers, including an army brigadier who held a position near the top of the African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia, have been recalled from Somalia and arrested as a Ugandan military panel investigates allegations they stole from the mission, Lt. Col. Paddy Ankunda, spokesman for Uganda's military, said Tuesday.
Some allegedly sold guns and ammunition on the black market. Others hoarded gas to sell, trying to avoid using the fuel-guzzling armored vehicles, endangering the lives of many peacekeepers.
Critics have long accused Uganda's military of entrenched corruption, but the seriousness of the allegations against some Ugandan peacekeepers in Somalia underscores the limitations of Ugandan-led African forces as they try to keep al-Qaida-linked rebels at bay in the Somali capital.

For Somali Immigrants, All Politics Really Is Local » News » OPB

For Somali Immigrants, All Politics Really Is Local » News » OPB

Politics in Minneapolis is about to change.
Not only is the city electing a new mayor on Nov. 5, but it’s possible a majority of the members of the city council will be freshmen as well.
Among their number could be Abdi Warsame, who would be the first Somali American elected to the city council there — or anywhere else.
“The community has realized we can turn to each other to address issues of education, housing and health, which are mainly controlled by the politicians,” says Muhamud Noor, a Wasame ally.
As Noor points out, previous immigrant groups have also turned to politics as a means of gaining representation and improving their status.
It happened a century ago with the Irish and the Italians in the Northeast and far more recently in the Southwest and elsewhere with Hispanics. And now it’s happening in Minneapolis, home to the nation’s largest Somali community.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

US 'drone strike' kills senior Shabab members - Africa - Al Jazeera English

US 'drone strike' kills senior Shabab members - Africa - Al Jazeera English

A US military strike has hit a car carrying senior members of the al-Shabab armed group in Somalia, killing at least two people including the group's top explosives expert, according to rebel and US sources.

The unnamed US official told the Associated Press news agency that there was a US strike against a target in Somalia on Monday but would give no further details.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because there was no authorisation to discuss the strike publicly.

It was after afternoon prayers between 1:30pm and 2pm when I heard a loud bang.  Just one big bang.
Witness in Jilib town

An al-Shabab member who gave his name as Abu Mohamed said one of those killed was al-Shabab's top explosives expert, known as Anta.

He said a drone fired at the car in Somalia's Middle Juba region. It was not clear how Mohamed would know it was a drone strike, except that he said no attack helicopters were seen.

Four witnesses at the scene confirmed the strike to Al Jazeera and said that both fighters killed were Somali men. The rebels are known to have foreign fighters in their ranks.

US 'drone strike' kills senior Shabab members - Africa - Al Jazeera English

US 'drone strike' kills senior Shabab members - Africa - Al Jazeera English

A US military strike has hit a car carrying senior members of the al-Shabab armed group in Somalia, killing at least two people including the group's top explosives expert, according to rebel and US sources.

The unnamed US official told the Associated Press news agency that there was a US strike against a target in Somalia on Monday but would give no further details.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because there was no authorisation to discuss the strike publicly.

It was after afternoon prayers between 1:30pm and 2pm when I heard a loud bang.  Just one big bang.
Witness in Jilib town

An al-Shabab member who gave his name as Abu Mohamed said one of those killed was al-Shabab's top explosives expert, known as Anta.

He said a drone fired at the car in Somalia's Middle Juba region. It was not clear how Mohamed would know it was a drone strike, except that he said no attack helicopters were seen.

Four witnesses at the scene confirmed the strike to Al Jazeera and said that both fighters killed were Somali men. The rebels are known to have foreign fighters in their ranks.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Southeast Asia still worst for pirates despite high-profile Somali attacks | The Australian

Southeast Asia still worst for pirates despite high-profile Somali attacks | The Australian

SOMALI pirates are in the news again.
Kidnappings, ship hijacks, a run-in with the Australian navy and a Tom Hanks movie have put them back in the spotlight.
But, despite several high profile incidents off the Horn of Africa, the lawless brigands terrorising shipping heading in and out of the Suez Canal are not the worst offenders on the high seas.
The worst area for piracy is right on Australia's doorstep.
Shipping industry figures show that the waters around Indonesia and the Malay Peninsula is the world's hotspot for pirates.

Immigrants turn to terror - Columbia Daily Tribune | Columbia Missouri: News

Immigrants turn to terror - Columbia Daily Tribune | Columbia Missouri: News

Somali immigrants in Norway fear that violent extremism is taking root in the community after reports of young Somali-Norwegians traveling abroad to join jihadist groups.
One of the gunmen in a Nairobi mall attack that killed 67 people last month has been identified in Kenya as Hassan Abdi Dhuhulow, a 23-year-old Norwegian citizen who returned to Somalia in 2010.
Norway's Somali community was still coming to terms with that news when they were struck by another startling development: Two teenage sisters — 16 and 19 — had left their family in Norway to join the civil war in Syria.
"It is very shocking," said Mohamed Husein Gaas, a Somali-born East Africa expert at the Fafo research foundation in Oslo. "No one thought two young girls would travel to a place where they don't have any connection."
It's not clear how exactly the sisters from suburban Oslo, who have not been named, planned to participate in the Syrian war.
But they told their family they wanted to take part in jihad, said Bashe Musse, a Somali community leader and local politician in Oslo.
Musse said he had been in contact with their father, who traveled to Turkey in hopes of finding the sisters in the Turkish-Syrian border area where the Norwegian police say they were last spotted.
He reached one of his daughters by phone, but she told him it was too late to stop them from joining the "jihadists," Musse said.
"I don't have words to express how difficult this was for the" Somali "community," Musse said. "In so short time, two cases ... there's a signal that there's a challenge. It's kind of a wakeup call."

allAfrica.com: Somalia: Somali Government Shuts Down Local Radio

allAfrica.com: Somalia: Somali Government Shuts Down Local Radio

Somali government forces on Saturday shut down Shabelle, a local FM radio based in Mogadishu.
According to news reports heavily armed security forces entered the radio building near the main airport around noon today and ordered to shut down the radio.
The journalists, armed guards and other staff were also ordered to leave the building and later taken into police custody.
The government already ordered the radio Shabelle to vacate the government owned building which Radio Shabelle has been using as its main centre since 2009.
A public notice from the government ordering the people to vacate all the government owned buildings ended on Friday.
Neither the government security forces nor the management of radio Shabelle gave details on the closure of the local radio.

Badass Somali pirates deterred from kidnapping by blasts of Britney Spears songs | Latest News | News | Daily Star. Simply The Best 7 Days A Week

Badass Somali pirates deterred from kidnapping by blasts of Britney Spears songs | Latest News | News | Daily Star. Simply The Best 7 Days A Week


The ruthless kidnapping pirates plague shipping along the coast of east Africa – looting vessels, taking hostages and killing anyone who tries to stop them.
But the fearsome band of seafaring bandits hate western pop music and a blast of Baby One More time and Oops I Did It Again is often enough for them to think twice and sail on.
Rachel Owens, 34, a merchant navy officer on huge super tankers off the east coast of Africa, says: "Britney Spears is the best way of keeping them away.
"Her songs have been chosen by the security team accompanying our tankers because they thought the pirates would hate them most.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Somali Pirate Movies Take Hollywood

Somali Pirate Movies Take Hollywood

After armed men off the Nigerian coast took two seafarers hostage this week, CNN declared the Gulf of Guinea the new “piracy hotspot" -- second to the Somali coast, but catching up.
As usual, Hollywood is one step behind. On the silver screen, it’s boom time for a brand new genre: the Somali pirate movie.
There's “Captain Phillips,” the dramatization of the 2009 Navy Seal rescue of an American cargo ship, starring Tom Hanks as the titular captain. The high-profile movie has held steady at No. 2 at the box office since debuting earlier this month.

allAfrica.com: Somalia: Al Shabaab Frees Again Importing Charcoal From Lower Shabelle Region

allAfrica.com: Somalia: Al Shabaab Frees Again Importing Charcoal From Lower Shabelle Region

News sources from Barawe town in lower Shabelle region suggest that AL-Shabab militants in Barawe town again allowed importing charcoal from Barawe town in lower Shabelle province.
Al-Shabab officials who spoke to radio speaks with AL-Shabab's mouth located in Barawe town broadcast that AL-Shabab freed charcoal importing from coastal city of Barawe .
Somali's AL-Qaeda linked group of Al-shabab recently stopped importing charcoal from Barawe town in lower Shabelle province.
Local residents in Barawe town told Shabelle Media station in Mogadishu that following allowance of AL-Shabab importing charcoal from the town that loaded trucks with charcoal reached at the town.
AL-Shabab rejected already importing charcoal from the port city of Kismayo in lower Juba region.
United nation imposed ban on Somali charcoal trade after the charcoal business had become Al-Shabaab's most lucrative source of income, according to the UN Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea.

Somali journalist dies in hospital after attack - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Somali journalist dies in hospital after attack - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

A Somali journalist died in hospital after being attacked by gunmen, a colleague said Sunday, bringing to seven the number of journalists killed in Somalia this year.

Journalist Mohamed Mohamud, 26, died in hospital Saturday night, said fellow journalist Ahmed Nor Mohamed. "We have lost a precious life once again. Doctors were not able to save our colleague," he said.
Mohamud was buried Sunday.

Mohamud, who also was known as Tima'ade, had undergone surgery after being shot six times in the neck, chest and shoulder, said the Committee to Protect Journalists, or CPJ. Unidentified gunmen in a car shot at Mohamud as he drove to work early Tuesday in the Wadajir district of the capital, Mogadishu, the journalists' group said, citing local reports.

Mohamud reported for the private U.K.-based Universal TV, which covers news for the Somali diaspora, said the CPJ.

Somalia is one of the most dangerous countries for media workers. At least 18 journalists were killed in Somalia last year.

It's not entirely clear who has been targeting journalists. But militants, criminals, and even state agents all could have reasons to want journalists killed in Somalia, according to the CPJ.

The killings of media workers often happen in the government-controlled areas that journalists generally consider safe, and reporters must watch their backs for attacks from extremists and criminals as well as possible hostility from the government.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

First Female: Somalia President Elect 2016 | Somalicurrent.com

First Female: Somalia President Elect 2016 | Somalicurrent.com

Imagine you wake up on December 13, 2016. You open a web browser, or pick up your journal, or turn on TV/Radio to get your daily news fix. To your delight the headline reads, “Progress in Africa”. Curios, you dig in. The subtitle reads: “Somalia Makes Positive History by Electing First Female President in East Africa and Second in All of Africa”.

Now, you sit back and sib your tea/coffee. Take in this news. I know, your self-doubt is saying, “this is just wishful thinking”, but I can also hear your ambition rising up to see the possibility. Keep this image in mind.

Come along. Read with me.

Faribault police film 'historic' video with Somali-American police to help bridge cultural gap - Faribault MN: News

Faribault police film 'historic' video with Somali-American police to help bridge cultural gap - Faribault MN: News


Two Minneapolis police officers came down to Faribault Thursday to film a dual-language video addressing Somali-American community relations, public safety concerns and quality of life issues in Faribault.

Officers Mohamed Abdullahi and Abdiwahab Ali – the first Somali officers in the state — patrol the densely Somali-populated Cedar/Riverside neighborhood of Minneapolis.
Chief Andy Bohlen invited the officers to talk about cultural differences between new immigrants and others in Faribault, Ali said.

“The police always want to give the message that the police are impartial,” Ali said. He stressed the importance of the community cooperating with the police and taking pride and ownership in where they live.
Asher Ali, director of the Faribault Diversity Coalition, said that the video is “historic” and a “big opportunity for Somalis” to see the police helping the community come together and build that cultural bridge.

Bohlen said there’s two parts to having a good relationship; first is to understand each other, and second is to work together to report crime.

Asher seconded having a good relationship with police, and he said that Somalis in town feel safe. However, he added that educating people about cultural differences, especially between downtown businesses and the concentration of Somali-American residents who live around them, or above them, needs to be addressed as well.

Kenya piles pressure on Somali refugees to return home - Yahoo News

Kenya piles pressure on Somali refugees to return home - Yahoo News

Kenya on Friday said Somali refugee camps were being used as a safe haven for Islamist militants and said the time had come for hundreds of thousands of refugees to go home.

The country's interior minister also said 15 immigration officers had been fired in connection with an ongoing tightening of national security after last month's attack on Nairobi's Westgate shopping mall, which killed at least 67 people.

"For many years, Kenya has been host to the largest refugee community in the world, we are host to almost 600,000 refugees. We have welcomed, with open arms, refugees fleeing from insecurity in neighbouring countries," Joseph Ole Lenku told reporters.

"Some of these refugees have abused our hospitality and kindness to plan and launch terror attacks from the safety of the refugee camps. This cannot and should not be allowed to continue," he added.

In the wake of the Westgate attack, several Kenyan officials pointed the finger at Dadaab, a Somali refugee camp in the northeast and home to over 400,000 people, as being a "training ground" for Somali extremists.

Friday, October 25, 2013

15 top immigration officers fired in Westgate probe

15 top Kenya's mmigration officers fired in Westgate probe

Fifteen senior Immigration officers have been sent home over illegal issuance of identity cards to foreigners as investigations into Westgate attack proceed.
The fifteen are senior and mid-level immigration officers who endangered national security with the issuance of the illegal ID cards, according to Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Ole Lenku.
He said the officers would appear in court to face the law.
Seventeen senior administration officers have been re-deployed to the Department Of Immigration to help streamline and reorganise the department to "avoid a recurrence of security lapses like we have seen in the past," Mr Lenku added.
The government will also carry out a thorough audit of identity cards and passports issued in the country in the last two years, Mr Lenku said while briefing the media on security matters at Harambee House office in Nairobi.
"This exercise will enable us flush out all those who have been issued with illegal passports and other identification documents," he said.

AFP: Italian coastguards rescue 700 migrants off coast

AFP: Italian coastguards rescue 700 migrants off coast

Nearly 700 refugees including dozens of Eritreans have been rescued off Sicily in five operations, as leaders grapple with the issue of illegal immigration at a European Union summit.

Italian coastguard and navy vessels and a Maltese cargo ship have saved asylum-seekers from five boats in the past 24 hours, including at least two that were adrift, officials said on Friday.

"It was a night of rescues in the Strait of Sicily" -- the stretch of water between Sicily and Tunisia, the coastguard said in a statement.

The 318 migrants picked up by the navy were all packed on two boats and were later transferred onto the San March amphibious assault ship taking part in a massive search and rescue operation.

The operation was launched by the Italian government in the wake of an October 3 refugee shipwreck tragedy just off the Italian island of Lampedusa in which 366 asylum seekers perished.

Some of the refugees rescued between Thursday and Friday were also from Eritrea, the country where most of those on the boat that sank came from.

More than 33,000 migrants have landed in Italy so far this year -- nearly three times more than the number for last year. The most common countries of origin are Eritrea and Somalia and now also Syria.

Somali terror chief linked to White Widow lived in capital - World - News - London Evening Standard

Somali terror chief linked to White Widow lived in capital - World - News - London Evening Standard

A leader of terror group al Shabab, who has been linked to “White Widow” Samantha Lewthwaite, had previously lived in London, it emerged today.
An investigation by the BBC has found that Abdikadir Mohammed  — who is also known as Ikrimah — came to Britain early in 2007 after being refused asylum in Norway.

He spent around a year here, living in London for at least part of his stay, before moving back to Somalia to begin masterminding terror attacks and the recruitment of foreign fighters.

He is suspected of involvement in organising the attack on Kenya’s Westgate shopping centre, in which 67 people died, and was targeted earlier this month by US special forces in a failed raid on a hideout in Somalia.
Commandos from Seal Team Six — the same unit that killed Osama bin Laden — carried out the seaborne mission, arriving before dawn in the Somali town of Barawe in an attempt to snatch Ikrimah.

The raid, which US officials said was linked to the Westgate attack, was aborted amid heavy resistance from  al Shabab fighters, allowing Ikrimah to remain at liberty.

He is regarded as a key link between al Shabab and the Yemeni-based terror group al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Kenyan intelligence documents have also linked him to Lewthwaite, the widow of July 7 London bomber Jermaine Lindsay, who is now subject of a worldwide Interpol arrest warrant and similarly regarded as a key figure in the east African terrorist network.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

BBC News - Death of a British al-Shabab fighter


Talha aka Taufail Ahmed 

BBC News - Death of a British al-Shabab fighter

Last week the Somali Islamist militant group al-Shabab released an hour-long propaganda video - featuring a number of British men the group said had died fighting for it.

They included "Talha," a British-Asian man from Tower Hamlets in east London, whom the video said had been killed last November.

Speaking in a noticeably British accent, he smiles at the camera while holding a rifle - and explains his motivation for being in the country.

"All the Muslims in Britain, especially the people of Tower Hamlets, the citadel I was born in. I call upon you to come to jihad," he says.

 
But who is "Talha" and how did he end up fighting - and dying - for al-Shabab, the group that has claimed responsibility for the Westgate attack in Nairobi?

BBC News has learnt that his real name is Taufail Ahmed. He was a British citizen of Bangladeshi heritage who grew up in Stepney Green in east London.
 
A number of British Muslims who knew him before he left for Somalia spoke to BBC News - but none wanted to be identified in case of repercussions.

Former Minnesotan arrested on suspicion of assisting pirate ringleader | Minnesota Public Radio News

Former Minnesotan arrested on suspicion of assisting pirate ringleader | Minnesota Public Radio News

The inspiring story of a former Burnsville, Minn., man who helped stabilize an area in his native Somalia has taken a detour after Belgian authorities arrested him this month on suspicion of assisting a pirate ringleader.

The U.S. State Department is providing consular assistance to Mohamed Aden, a naturalized U.S. citizen, a department official told MPR News. The official declined to say more about Aden's case, citing privacy rules.

Friends and fellow community members in Minnesota, home to the nation's largest Somali-American population, were taken aback by the Oct. 12 arrest. More than 400 people have "liked" a recently launched Facebook page called "Free Tiiceey," a nickname by which Aden is better known.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Somali bandy team embarks on icy road to Siberia - FRANCE 24

Somali bandy team embarks on icy road to Siberia - FRANCE 24

The sound of sharp steel blades scratching the skating rink's ice pierces the chill air as players on wobbly legs hunt a bright pink ball with wooden sticks.

This is Sweden, but the players are Somalis. Hailing from a country that touches the Equator, they hope to shine in bandy, an ice hockey-type sport popular in countries blessed by the midnight sun.

The Somali national bandy team has stood on ice only a handful of times before, but with the coaching of Swedish bandy pro Per Fosshaug, they have their sights set on the 2014 World Championships opening in late January in the Siberian city of Irkutsk.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Video suggesting soldiers looted attacked mall angers Kenyans | Reuters

Video suggesting soldiers looted attacked mall angers Kenyans | Reuters

Security camera footage of soldiers appearing to loot goods during last month's Nairobi shopping mall siege has infuriated Kenyans who had initially praised troops for their courage in battling the Somali attackers.

A front page headline over the weekend in Kenya's biggest selling newspaper The Nation read "Shame of soldiers looting Westgate" under the caption "caught on camera".

Gunmen from the al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab group massacred at least 67 people when they raided the upmarket Westgate mall, hurling grenades and spraying bullets at shoppers as a punishment for Kenya sending troops to Somalia.

Closed-circuit television footage, distributed by Reuters TV over the weekend, shows soldiers taking goods that appear to be unpacked mobile phone boxes from a phone store while others are in a mobile money transfer shop.

Twin Cities museum showcases Somali art, culture - San Antonio Express-News

Twin Cities museum showcases Somali art, culture - San Antonio Express-News

A new museum showcasing Somali art and culture is now open in the Twin Cities.

The Somali Artifact and Cultural Museum opened Saturday and features paintings of nomadic life and photos of Somalia's capital Mogadishu along with traditional rugs, ancient writing tablets and lots of items made from animal skins.

Twin Cities businessman and restaurant owner Osman Ali started says the idea of bringing the artifacts to Minneapolis came out of his desire to teach younger Somalis the story of nomadic life in Somalia.

Twin Cities museum showcases Somali art, culture - San Antonio Express-News

Twin Cities museum showcases Somali art, culture - San Antonio Express-News

A new museum showcasing Somali art and culture is now open in the Twin Cities.

The Somali Artifact and Cultural Museum opened Saturday and features paintings of nomadic life and photos of Somalia's capital Mogadishu along with traditional rugs, ancient writing tablets and lots of items made from animal skins.

Twin Cities businessman and restaurant owner Osman Ali started says the idea of bringing the artifacts to Minneapolis came out of his desire to teach younger Somalis the story of nomadic life in Somalia.

Somali pirates stopped by Royal Navy and allies | Meridian - ITV News

Somali pirates stopped by Royal Navy and allies | Meridian - ITV News

A group of Somali pirates have been stopped in their tracks by acounter piracy task force following recent attacks of two vessels in the Indian Ocean.
The Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) Counter Piracy task force along with other allies embarked on the operation.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Norwegian-Somali 'radicalized' before mall attack - Westport News

Norwegian-Somali 'radicalized' before mall attack - Westport News

Quiet and respectful at the mosque as a boy, Hassan Abdi Dhuhulow later became angry and radicalized, people in the coastal town in Norway where he grew up said Friday of the Somali native — the first Westgate Mall attacker to be identified.
Security camera images show the 23-year-old and three other gunmen firing coldly on shoppers as they made their way along store aisles after storming the upscale mall four weeks ago Saturday.
Until recently, investigators had referred to the attackers only by the colors of their shirts. However, two officials in Nairobi, one Western and one Kenyan, confirmed Friday that one of the gunmen had been identified as Dhuhulow.
The suspect's 26-year-old sister, reached in the southern Norwegian town of Larvik, said his family was unaware of any role he may have played in the four-day siege that killed at least 67 people.

Islamist rebels say they were behind Somalia suicide bombing | Top News | Reuters

Islamist rebels say they were behind Somalia suicide bombing | Top News | Reuters

The Somali Islamist militant group al Shabaab claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing on Saturday that killed at least 13 people at a restaurant popular with Ethiopian and Somali troops in the town of Baladweyne in central Somalia.
"Our main target was Ethiopian and Djibouti troops who invaded our country. They were sitting there,' Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, Al Shabaab's military operation spokesman said.
He put the death toll from the attack at 25, including troops from Ethiopia, Djibouti and Somalia.There was no independent word on whether any foreign soldiers were among the casualties in the bombing.

Islamist rebels say they were behind Somalia suicide bombing | Top News | Reuters

Islamist rebels say they were behind Somalia suicide bombing | Top News | Reuters

The Somali Islamist militant group al Shabaab claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing on Saturday that killed at least 13 people at a restaurant popular with Ethiopian and Somali troops in the town of Baladweyne in central Somalia.

"Our main target was Ethiopian and Djibouti troops who invaded our country. They were sitting there,' Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, Al Shabaab's military operation spokesman said.

He put the death toll from the attack at 25, including troops from Ethiopia, Djibouti and Somalia.
There was no independent word on whether any foreign soldiers were among the casualties in the bombing.

Toronto police to host information session for Somali recruits

Toronto police to host information session for Somali recruits

Somali men and women aged 18 and older are invited to attend a special information and recruitment session being hosted by the Toronto police next month.

The Somali General Information/PREP Session will take place on Saturday, Nov. 2 at the Toronto Police College in Etobicoke at 70 Birmingham St.

The information session offers potential candidates with an interest in a career in law enforcement with important information about becoming a police constable, as well as civilian opportunities within the Toronto Police Service.

For those interested in becoming police constables, the information session will be followed by a practice PREP session, which provides practical knowledge of the physical fitness requirements.

The session is only open to new candidates and advanced registration is required.

Contact Const. Wayne Jackson at wayne.jackson@torontopolice.on.ca or Const. Milton Ferguson at saintpage.ferguson@torontopolice.on.ca to register.

UK Muslims named as terror targets | UK | News | Daily Express

UK Muslims named as terror targets | UK | News | Daily Express

Scotland Yard is investigating a video apparently made by Somali militant group al-Shabab after British Muslims who have spoken out against extremism were named as targets.
The hour-long film, narrated by an unidentified man with a British accent, reportedly praises acts of Islamist terrorism and starts by hailing the killing of soldier Lee Rigby in Woolwich, south east London.

The video singles out British Muslim commentator Mohammed Ansar as one of those who "distanced themselves" from those who carried out the attacks and as having "mutilated the teachings of Islam", according to reports.

He is one of a number of prominent Muslims to claim police have issued warnings to following credible evidence of potential threats against them.

The imam and broadcaster Ajmal Masroor wrote on his Facebook page that two Metropolitan police detectives arrived at his home on Wednesday night to warn he was "in imminent danger from the terrorists."

"The police officers were visiting me to give me a warning and asking me to be more vigilant," he wrote.

"As soon as they left my house I started digging further and found an al-Shabab video has been uploaded on the internet and in it they name me as a Muslim who is an enemy of Islam and should be eliminated.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Somali man arrested after gunfire at west Salt Lake City motel | The Salt Lake Tribune

Somali man arrested after gunfire at west Salt Lake City motel | The Salt Lake Tribune
An argument involving several people at a west Salt Lake City motel ended with gunfire and the arrest of a fugitive.
Salt Lake City police said no one was injured during the altercation at the Garden Inn, 154 W. 600 South, about 4 p.m. Wednesday.
Police said the suspects were guests at the motel, and at some point some of them attempted to force entry to a room with one of the suspects brandishing a handgun. Whether intentionally or by accident, the firearm discharged.
The suspects fled, but while officers were on the scene investigating, the 22-year-old alleged shooter returned and was taken into custody.
Police said it turned out that the man, a Somali immigrant, was already wanted on multiple warrants out of South Salt Lake.

Migrants risk their lives to reach Italian island - CBS News

Migrants risk their lives to reach Italian island - CBS News

The U.S. Navy came to the rescue of 128 Somali migrants on a rickety boat in the Mediterranean Sea.

They were picked up late Wednesday by the USS San Antonio, the ship on which a Libyan terror suspect was interrogated earlier this month. On Thursday, the migrants were transferred to Maltese authorities.


They were just the latest group attempting the perilous journey from Africa to the Italian island of Lampedusa.


More than 500 have died in two shipwrecks this month, and yet the migrants keep trying.


On Lampedusa, there's a stretch of beach covered with the wreckage of boats. Locals call this "the boat cemetery." Most of the vessels were barely seaworthy before they ended up here.

Migrants risk their lives to reach Italian island - CBS News

Migrants risk their lives to reach Italian island - CBS News

The U.S. Navy came to the rescue of 128 Somali migrants on a rickety boat in the Mediterranean Sea.

They were picked up late Wednesday by the USS San Antonio, the ship on which a Libyan terror suspect was interrogated earlier this month. On Thursday, the migrants were transferred to Maltese authorities.


They were just the latest group attempting the perilous journey from Africa to the Italian island of Lampedusa.


More than 500 have died in two shipwrecks this month, and yet the migrants keep trying.


On Lampedusa, there's a stretch of beach covered with the wreckage of boats. Locals call this "the boat cemetery." Most of the vessels were barely seaworthy before they ended up here.

Photos: Somali Artifact and Cultural Museum | Minnesota in Photos | Minnesota Public Radio News

Photos: Somali Artifact and Cultural Museum | Minnesota in Photos | Minnesota Public Radio News

A national gallery once existed in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia. But years of war led to its destruction. The new Twin Cities museum aims to fill the void.

Read more by clicking the headline.

No 'Captain Phillips' ending to real Somalia piracy | GulfNews.com

No 'Captain Phillips' ending to real Somalia piracy | GulfNews.com

Self-congratulatory proclamations by the West about the successes of the Somali government in controlling piracy are mere wishful thinking
The Tom Hanks movie Captain Phillips focuses 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 has 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 US-flagged vessel by Somali pirates — the February 2011 seizure of a US yacht in which the Americans were killed. And Somalia’s other evils — the Al Shabab and its terrorist activities, for example — have taken over news headlines.

But a lull in activity does not mean there is a happy ending. The threat of piracy remains, along with its underlying causes, and Somali piracy still carries an important message for the US and for international order.

First, there are the economic costs of these attacks. Although the number of vessels actually hijacked in the Gulf of Aden and the western Indian Ocean has been decreasing, the number at risk is high. It is estimated that 30,000 tankers and cargo vessels transit these waters annually. Since 2008, the area has been declared a “war risk” zone subject to special insurance premiums, sometimes more than $150,000 (Dh551,700) per ship per voyage. A 2010 study estimated that marauders imposed $7 billion to $12 billion in annual losses on the global economy.

Neighbor accused of killing 86-year-old Minn. man - Westport News

Neighbor accused of killing 86-year-old Minn. man - Westport News

A 63-year-old Minneapolis man is accused of beating his elderly neighbor to death because he felt he was being ostracized by the Somali community.

Bashir Yusuf Jama is charged with second-degree intentional murder in the Oct. 8 beating death of 86-year-old Jama Adan Mohamed. Mohamed's daughter found his body in his apartment.

Police reviewed security cameras that showed Mohamed entering the building at 12:22 p.m. and a suspect identified as Jama following about 10 minutes later.

Jama told police he felt Mohamed was spearheading an effort to push him out of the community. The charges say when Jama went to confront Mohamed, he struck him several times over the head with a piece of metal construction material.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

We were informed of U.S. raid: Somali President - The Hindu

We were informed of U.S. raid: Somali President

The failed U.S. navy Seals raid along the coastal town of Barawe in Somalia was part of a broader US-
Somali military and intelligence engagement to fight insurgents in the conflict-prone east African state, Somalia President Hassan Sheikh Mahmoud said in a rare interview.

President Mahmoud said no firm evidence had yet emerged that that Somali nationals were involved in last month’s insurgent attack on a mall in Nairobi, Kenya, or that the attack was planned on Somali soil.

In a joint report last week, the United Nations and African Union warned that Al Shabab, the Al Qaeda affiliated militant group that took responsibility for the Nairobi attack, was rearming, regrouping and refinancing even as the 17,709-strong continent of African troops in Somalia (AMISOM) was geographically stretched and unable to make fresh inroads into insurgent territory.

On the US raid, President Mahmoud described cooperation with the Americans as proceeding on a case-by-case basis, rather than “blanket operational endorsement.”

“In the case of Barawe, we were informed. The way it happened, and the way it was planned was okay with us,” President Mahmoud said, describing Barawe as a target for further military action as the port had emerged as a safe haven and financial centre for Al-Shabab, the al-Qaeda affiliated militia that took responsibility for last month’s attack on the Westgate mall in Nairobi.

The US authorities said the Seals were after Al-Shabab commander Abdulkadir Mohammed Albdulkadir, but withdrew after a prolonged fire fight with Al-Shabab fighters drew large crowds. President Mahmoud said the withdrawal was consistent with a tacit pact that such raids minimize civilian casualties.

Somalia Seeks Foreign Investment in Energy Sector – Big Oil Cautious

Somalia Seeks Foreign Investment in Energy Sector – Big Oil Cautious

Oil companies are renowned for going into hostile environments in their relentless search for the world’s seemingly insatiable thirst for “black gold.”
That said, there remain a few nations where even the intrepid masters of the universe hesitate to tread.
In Central Asia, it is Afghanistan, despite the nation’s purported 1.6 billion barrels of extractable crude.

In Africa, it is Somalia, poster child for failed nation states since President Siad Barre was ousted in 1991. Over the past two decades, the wretched country has only known civil war, chaos and famine.

But, no matter, never mind al Shabaab. During the 7 October Somalia Oil and Gas Summit in London, Somali Minister of Finance and Planning Mohamud Hassan Suleiman encouraged foreign investors to "seize the opportunity" to invest in Somalia’s flat-lined energy sector. Suleiman told a wary audience, "The discovery of oil and gas in Somalia opens up an array of hope and opportunities for the new Somalia, enabling it to influence the pace of economic recovery and the future stability of the country. International investors and multi-national corporations are turning their attention to Somalia and we must now seize the opportunity and work with them.”

Building a New Somalia: The Diaspora Experience

Building a New Somalia: The Diaspora Experience

There is great hope and optimism in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, for those residents who lived through years of war.

In a gallery at the Center for Research and Dialogue in Mogadishu, Somali artist Adan Farah Affey stands in front of one of his paintings. It is called “Empty Suit” and depicts a business suit without a body that he says represents politicians from the diaspora.

“The first politicians that came to the country… the ones who got into politics, not business, were those that experienced hard times abroad and came here wanting to make quick money,” said Affey.

Affey has lived in Mogadishu his entire life.  He took his painting underground during more than 20 years of conflict.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Eid al-Adha Pilgrims On Mount Arafat, At The Climax Of Hajj Pilgrimage (PICTURES)

Eid al-Adha Pilgrims On Mount Arafat, At The Climax Of Hajj Pilgrimage (PICTURES)

Clad in white in the early morning sun, these extraordinary pictures capture moments of prayer, joy and rest as Muslim pilgrims climb Mount Arafat, near the holy city of Mecca.

Pilgrims in their hundreds of thousands thronged Mount Arafat in Saudi Arabia from early morning for the climax of the annual hajj pilgrimage, arriving on foot, by train or in vehicles.

Eid al-Adha is the Muslim feast of sacrifice which marks the end of the Hajj pilgrimage.

AFP: Notorious Somali pirate 'Big Mouth' held in Belgium

AFP: Notorious Somali pirate 'Big Mouth' held in Belgium

One of Somalia's most notorious pirate leaders, known as "Big Mouth", has been arrested in Brussels and placed in custody pending charges, judicial sources said Monday.

Mohamed Abdi Hassan, known as "Afweyne" or "Big Mouth", was being held in Bruges after being detained at Brussels airport on Saturday on disembarking from a flight from Nairobi, Belga news agency said.

Judicial sources told AFP that the federal prosecutor would hold a news conference later Monday.

Afweyne announced in Mogadishu in January that he was quitting piracy after a highly profitable eight-year career. He said he was working to persuade other pirates to do the same.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Miraa trader sues UK - News - nation.co.ke

Miraa trader sues UK - News - nation.co.ke

A miraa (khat) trader in Britain has sued the UK Government for banning import of the commodity in July.
Mr Mahamud Ahmed Mohammed, a member of the Somali community living in the UK, filed the suit against Home Secretary Theresa May at the Her Majesty Courts and Tribunals Service in London on October 2.
The case is referenced number CO/14552/2013, according to the court papers seen by Sunday Nation.
Meru Senator Kiraitu Murungi and Women’s Representative in Parliament Florence Kajuju will be the star prosecution witnesses.

Italy to triple Mediterranean naval and air units to address migrant safety | Global development | theguardian.com

Italy to triple Mediterranean naval and air units to address migrant safety | Global development | theguardian.com

Italy is to triple its air and sea presence in the Mediterranean between north Africa and Sicily in a bid to make it "as safe as possible" for migrants making the perilous journey in overcrowded rickety boats, the prime minister, Enrico Letta, has said.

Speaking after a fortnight during which at least 390 people lost their lives in disasters involving capsized vessels, Letta announced that Italy would on Monday launch a military and humanitarian mission in the part of the Mediterranean he said had been "turned into a tomb" in recent days.

Somalia slowly turning the corner to economic stability - News - nation.co.ke

Somalia slowly turning the corner to economic stability - News - nation.co.ke

Somalia is slowly returning to normalcy with international investors trickling in to exploit the numerous investment opportunities.
The country, especially the capital Mogadishu, is undergoing a rejuvenation with major companies that had shut down during the civil war making a comeback.
A visit by the Sunday Nation to last week, indicated that investors from Turkey, Britain and US are among those who venturing on Somalia’s oil and gas, fishery, minerals and ICT sectors.
Another striking symbol of success will be the reopening of the Coca Cola in Mogadishu next month.
Somalia Minister for Finance Mohamud Hassan Suleiman and Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon termed Somalia as an investor friendly country.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Innovative program in Minneapolis helps Somali children ease the transition to school | MinnPost

Innovative program in Minneapolis helps Somali children ease the transition to school | MinnPost

A folk tale is a story that is passed on. One generation tells it to the next, which recounts it in turn to another. The process contains the germs of much: language, culture, identity, customs and relationships, among other things.

As the human brain develops, folktales — as well as nursery rhymes, songs and other forms of word play — allow it to both categorize all of the aforementioned things and to relate them to one another.

Earlier this week Stephany Jallo and Miriam Adam took turns reading a folktale to a group of Somali children who have been in the United States, with one exception, for less than six months. The teachers read the story, “Wiil Waal,” in English and Somali, respectively.

The multi-grade class is one of two at Minneapolis’ Anne Sullivan Community School that make up NABAD, a brand-new pilot program designed to give refugee youth who have no experience of school a fighting chance at making up lost years. The name is both an acronym and a Somali greeting meaning “peace.”

Send us helicopters to beat al-Shabaab, Somalia tells West | The Times

Send us helicopters to beat al-Shabaab, Somalia tells West | The Times

Somalia is drawing up plans to retake the seaside town of Baraawe, where US Navy Seals mounted a failed operation to capture a suspected terrorist leader last week.

Abdi Farah Shirdon, the Prime Minister, said his Government was determined to “pacify and control the port”, which is currently run by al-Shabaab, the Somali militant group that claimed responsibility for the siege last month at a Nairobi shopping mall.

Mr. Shirdon claimed that Al-Shabaab were on “their last legs” and could no longer fight “in a conventional sense”.

Suspect charged in Mombasa over terror links | Capital News

Suspect charged in Mombasa over terror links | Capital News

A suspect has been charged in a Mombasa court for allegedly planning to carry out terror attacks in the country.

Swaleh Abdalla was arraigned before Mombasa Senior Resident Magistrate Richard Odenyo but denied being in possession of a hand grenade and planning to carry out terror attacks in Kenya.
“The accused will be remanded at a police station for four days when the court will rule on the hearing of the case,” said Odenyo.
In a sworn affidavit, police requested the court to grant them four days for officers to thoroughly interrogate the suspect and possibly get leads that may help arrest his accomplices.
Chief prosecutor Simon Waithaka said police are probing Abdalla’s possible links to the Westgate mall attack that claimed 67 lives and left others injured.

Migrant Sinking Kills 34 As More Boats Spotted

Migrant Sinking Kills 34 As More Boats Spotted

The Italian navy has rescued 183 migrants from a fishing boat in the Mediterranean as at least 140 Syrians arrived in Malta after being rescued from another sinking boat yesterday.
Among the migrants, who come from Nigeria, Syria and Tunisia, are 34 women and 49 children. Other rescue operations are also currently ongoing.

Some 34 people, including three children, are understood to have died on Friday as the overloaded vessel went down between Malta and the Italian island of Lampedusa


It was the second such tragedy in the region in a week.
Speaking to Sky News, Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said: "At least 34 people died last night, many more are expected to be found dead in the next couple of hours.


"The difference to last week's tragedy is that, instead of Somalia, they hail from Syria, which makes the case even more complicated and shows the immense human tragedy the Mediterranean is experiencing right now." The Maltese navy dispatched rescue ships and helicopters and diverted commercial vessels to the area to assist the Syrians, while Italy sent two naval vessels and helicopters carrying inflatable life rafts.

Refugees Waiting Overseas Are in Limbo as U.S. Shutdown Continues

Refugees Waiting Overseas Are in Limbo as U.S. Shutdown Continues

The U.S. government shutdown has temporarily frozen resettlement of refugees in some parts of the United States. Dozens from Africa, Asia, and the Middle East who hoped to arrive in the Midwest state of Missouri in October are in limbo abroad. Family members anxiously awaiting their arrival fear the longer the shutdown goes on, the less likely they will reach their destination.

When Man Subba arrived in St. Louis last year, it was the final stop on his flight from Bhutan that began more than a decade earlier.

“It was a hard life,” said Subba.

A life spent mostly in a refugee camp in Nepal, where he lived with his parents and siblings. They belong to an ethnic minority that was politically persecuted in Bhutan.

Now, his family has resettled in the United States - all except his parents. They are currently in a transition center in Nepal's capital, Kathmandu.

They were scheduled to leave for the United States on October 8, but because money for their travel is mostly funded by the U.S. government, those funds are not available while the government is closed.

African Union calls for more African troops in Somalia | Reuters

African Union calls for more African troops in Somalia | Reuters

The African Union has backed a call to boost by about a third the number of troops in an African peacekeeping force in Somalia to reinforce a campaign against Islamist militants there who attacked a Nairobi shopping mall last month.
The union's Peace and Security Council said 6,235 soldiers and police should be added to the AMISOM peacekeeping force to take its total strength to 23,966 uniformed personnel for a limited period of 18 to 24 months.
The council endorsed the recommendations of a review of the force this week and announced its decision on Friday. The decision needs the approval of the U.N. Security Council.

CBS '60 Minutes' Bob Simon: Detroit reminds me of Mogadishu, Somalia | Detroit Free Press | freep.com

CBS '60 Minutes' Bob Simon: Detroit reminds me of Mogadishu, Somalia | Detroit Free Press | freep.com

“Mogadishu is the worst place I’ve ever been,” said Simon, 72. “Not the worst place in terms of danger, but the worst place in terms of what it looks like.”
Veteran CBS correspondent Bob Simon said he was struck by the contrast between Detroit’s ailing neighborhoods and a revitalizing downtown during his recent visit for a “60 Minutes” TV segment set to air Sunday.
Simon, who interviewed a half-dozen residents, civic and business leaders for the news program’s segment on Detroit, said that from downtown it was hard to tell he was in a bankrupt city “until you get in the car and drive for 5 minutes.”
Yet once he toured through the city’s vast neighborhoods, he was surprised by the extent of the decay and number of burnt-out buildings.
Speaking by phone Friday, Simon said that of all the places he has visited in more than four decades of reporting, much of it as a foreign correspondent, Detroit reminds him most of Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia.