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Saturday, May 31, 2014

GEESKA AFRIKA ONLINE The Horn of Africa Intelligence News Group » Somalia: Canadian family donated Airport Gear to Somali Airport

GEESKA AFRIKA ONLINE » Somalia: Canadian family donated Airport Gear to Somali Airport

In a rare gesture of kindness, a Canadian family donated airport gear to a Kismayu airport marshaller after they were moved by his story of working without proper gear which was published in the African Union Peacekeepers in Somalia, AMISOM page.
Canadian economist, Sean Paterson from Salmon in British Colombia who is a chief technical advisor working for the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO,) says after reading the story of 63 year old Adan Mohamed his 14 year old son Noah Jordan asked him what they could do for the poor old Somalia airport marshaller.
The story moved Sean and his son Noah so much that they decided to buy the kits themselves.
They spent $ 35 Canadian dollars to buy a reflector jacket, a pair of reflector gloves and paint and used some of their free time to make two luminous red reflector sticks using wood for Mohamed Adan, the marshaller to use for directing planes during taxing and take off at the Kismayu international airport in southern Somalia.
“I told my son Noah we could buy Adan Mohamed the kit and so we went to a local supermarket and grabbed him a reflector jacket, a pair of gloves. Since he works during the day we thought he would not need a light reflector and so we made him two sticks using wood and painted it luminous red for him to use to direct plane instead of using his bare hands,” Sean said, moments after handing over the kit to Adan in Kismayo, a southern port city located along the Indian Ocean.
BARE HANDS
Before he received the gifts, Adan used his bare hands to direct planes and had no gloves or even a reflector jacket endangering his own life especially during foggy weather during the rainy season when visibility is so low forcing him to be careful not to be hit by the planes he is directing.
Adan was elated with the presents and gesture.
“I cannot explain how I feel because I have never received a present in my life. It is so kind of them to remember me thousands of miles away and bring me these gifts. I have worked at this airport for the last 23 years under very hard and tough moments under 17 different administrations. The only thing that makes me happy is that this administration in control now wants to bring change and development and that is what keeps me going,” the 43 year old slim Adan said, barely speaking out of excitement.
Since then, pilots flying into Kismayu international airport have already noticed the difference after Adan started using the kit he was given by Sean.
“I noticed a difference with Adan today. I clearly saw the reflector sticks and his jacket and I was actually wondering whether it was him,” One pilot who did not give his name said.
Sean, who is an economist by profession, says he does more than he talks and that his family is happy to help in whatever little way possible.
“The 35 Canadian dollars and the time we spent in making him the reflector sticks is really nothing compared to the feeling of doing something good or helping improve someone’s life or work. We are really glad we made a difference in Adan’s life and you never know maybe someone working in a real airport might read this story and decide to help Adan or any of the airport staff in Kismayu or Somalia because information is power and reaches far and wide, just like it reached me in Canada,” Sean added.
Kismayu is a southern port city in Somalia that is known for its farmlands and white pristine beaches. Just like the rest of chaotic Somalia, in the last few years the city witnessed brutal war as different warlords and militia groups fought over the control of the city’s international airport and seaport.
The last group to be wrestled out of the seaside city is the Somalia militant group Al-Shabaab linked to Al-Qaeda. In September 29 2012, a combined force of Somalia forces and Kenyan military recaptured Kismayu from Al-Shabaab after months of fighting.
Since then, Somalia forces and AMISOM peacekeepers from Kenya, Sierra Leon and Burundi continue to maintain peace in the city opening it up to international and local investment as natives return to invest back home.

Kenyan Farmers Threaten Violence Over Khat Ban

Kenyan Farmers Threaten Violence Over Khat Ban

Kenyan khat farmers have threatened violent action against the British government following its decision to ban the stimulant.
FG Machuma, who says he represents the Meru tribe, told Sky News the decision to make the plant a class C drug was a "declaration of war".
He added: "If they don't listen to us ... they have a military base in Nanyuki ... and they will have to leave.
"If they don't leave peacefully then we will take arms and deal with them in Kenya."
In the UK, khat is popular among some members of Somali and Yemeni communities.
The latest figures from 2011-2012 put the plant's UK value at £13.8m.
Users chew the leaves then swallow the juice, which contains an ingredient similar to amphetamine.
After a few hours, users become talkative and experience feelings of alertness, euphoria and excitement.
But symptoms can include depression, lack of concentration and psychosis.
The majority of British trade comes from the town of Meru in Kenya.
A farmer plucking khat shoots off a tree on a plantation at Kenya's misty central highlands region of Meru.
A farmer plucking khat shoots off a tree on a plantation in Kenya
It provides a source of income for around 500,000 farmers, who say the ban threatens their livelihood.
Home Secretary Theresa May defied the Government's Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs to push through the ban, which was approved by the House of Lords on May 12.
A Home Office spokesperson said: "Drug misuse has a serious impact on society and the ban on khat will help protect vulnerable members of our community.
"It will also prevent the UK from becoming a single regional hub for criminals trying to make a profit, as countries across Europe have already implemented the same ban.
"Parliament has now approved the government's decision and khat will become a class C drug on June 24, 2014."
Users of the plant claim they are being unfairly targeted.
A van driving through a rural town centre transporting khat meant for export to Nairobi fresh from the farm in Kenya's misty central highlands region of Meru.
A van transporting khat meant for export to Nairobi
Mahamud Ahmed Mohamad - who owns the UK's largest khat warehouse in west London - insists that chewing khat is a Somali tradition.
He told Sky News: "It's like closing a pub ... will you feel happy if you close British pubs?
"Why don't you close alcohol which is affecting a lot of people? Why is it only khat that is a major issue?"
He currently employs around 40 workers and says they will be made redundant once the ban is implemented.
Mr Mohamad is challenging the ban in the Court of Appeal.

Farmer James Ntonyi chews khat leaves at his father's farm in Meru
Abukar Awale, a former user, insists the substance is addictive and psychologically damaging.
The anti-khat activist blames his former habit for a violent confrontation during which he was stabbed.
"Availability of khat and the legality of khat was attracting more young people," he said. "By banning it we are preventing young people from failing in society."
Kenyan farmer James Ntonyi chews khat leaves at his father's farm 16 January 2006, in Meru, 170 kilometres northeast of Nairobi.

GEESKA AFRIKA ONLINE The Horn of Africa Intelligence News Group » Somali Deaf Graduated University of Rochester Institute of Technology

GEESKA AFRIKA ONLINE » Somali Deaf Graduated University of Rochester Institute of Technology

The founder of Somali National Association for the Deaf , Abubakar Sheikh Abdulle is Somalia born America. Somalia bred deaf student to graduate in the US. He graduated from the university of Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), New York, USA with a double major.
The founder of Somali National Association for the Deaf, Abubakar was accredited well in the university as last year he was awarded with the trophy of social service better known in that university as Distinguished Public Service Award. The chairperson of the college which Abubakar graduated from RIT/NTID Dr.Gerry Buckley said that Abuubakar is a highly respected student at the college. “Abuubakar is a student leader who is highly respected in the campus”. Dr. Gerry said.
“Abubakar has done a lot in the support for new students from different countries of the world as he helped them to adapt with American culture..”. Dr. Gerrry added.
The founder of Somali National Association for the Deaf, Abubakar never relented from lobbying for the Somali Deaf Community as he is still the leader for that organization which is abbreviated as “SONAD”. Last year he came to visit Mogadishu. Abubakar called for all the Somali youth who got scholarships abroad to learn properly and to utilize from their opportunities properly so that they can take part in the rebuilding of their country after they complete their studies.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Somali physician nominated candidate for ‘Nobel Prize’.

Somali physician nominated candidate for ‘Nobel Prize’.

The Giuseppe Pitrè International Institute in the Italian city of Palermo announced that it has nominated a well known physician, Dr. Osman Mahamud Dufle, as its candidate for Nobel Peace Prize.

The institute also presented awards to several doctors from the Banadir Medical University in Somalia for the role they played in maintaining the country’s health services for over two decades, during which the country has been engulfed by a devastating civil war.  

Professor Giuseppe Chambini, Chairman of Pitrè International Institute,    announcing the candidacy of the Somali physician for the Nobel peace Prize, said that  it was an honour for his institute to nominate Dr. Dufle as their candidate. Prof. Chambini presented Somali physicians “Pitre Award.”

In an interview with the VOA, Dr.Osman Mohamud Dufle, said that  the Institute nominated him because of his humanitarian role and other volunteer work he undertook during the 23 years of civil war in the country.

 “It was challenging act”, Dr. Dufle said, “for my colleagues and I to remain in the country to serve our people. What attracted the attention of the Chairman of the Pitre International was the transformation of a “custody” into a Hospital, now known as “Keysaney Hospital”

Dr. Dufle continued: “I was serving my people. I had no idea that others were watching on me. Prof. Giuseppe Chambini was amazed by the fact that the Somali physicians decided to stay in the country even after having experienced the suicide bomb attack on December 3, 2009, which claimed the lives of four Government Ministers and a number graduates from the Medical School at the ceremony held at Hotel Shamow in Mogadishu.

During the early years of the civil war, when Mogadishu was divided into two parts by so-called “Green Line”, Dr. Dufle was a co-founder and Chairman of the Joint Medical Committee which was composed of Doctors from two sides – North and South.

“Medical Service” is for all” is the slogan of the Somali physicians.

HOl English News Desk

Experts: Corruption exposing Kenya to terrorism - WKRN News 2

Experts: Corruption exposing Kenya to terrorism - WKRN News 2

Corrupt police and other government employees willing to break rules for bribes are weakening Kenya's ability to prevent a new rash of terror carried out by attackers with links to Somali militants, officials and analysts say.
Kenya has seen a long string of deadly attacks this year, including grenade blasts and homemade bombs deployed against buses, in markets and at a beachside hotel. Security officials fear another Westgate Mall-style attack - an assault by four gunmen in September that killed at least 67 people - could be coming.
"Corruption - systemic graft - is at the heart of the state's inability to respond to insecurity in general," said John Githongo, a former Kenyan government adviser who exposed millions of dollars in government corruption.
Grand theft by the country's ruling elite has allowed an attitude of "if he can do it so can I" to permeate the country's lower ranking security apparatus, he said.
"We are paying the price in blood," Githongo said.
Two senior Kenyan police officials who insisted on anonymity for fear of reprisals said police officers, customs officials and immigration officials are easily compromised because of low pay and bad working conditions. One of the officers said there have been multiple instances of police arresting a suspect and setting him free for a bribe and it later turned the suspect is a terrorist.
Corruption has a long history in Kenya. A decade ago a series of security contracts dubbed Anglo-Leasing that were supposed to improve the country's security infrastructure with the purchase of police helicopters, communication systems and a forensic laboratory instead saw money by senior government officials plundered, Githongo said. No one has served any prison time for what is believed to have been a loss of tens of millions of dollars of government money.
"National security has always been the last refuge of the corrupt in Kenya. Security sector contracts were always subject to unconstrained predatory treatment. The chickens are coming home to roost and it hurts," Githongo said.
Government funds were also squandered in the 1990s, when the police force was supplied with vehicles "of a caliber lower than any you would get on the road," said Samuel Kimeu, who heads the Kenyan chapter of the of the anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International. "It was an unmitigated disaster," he said.
Kimeu noted that after the Westgate attack, which saw a huge section of the mall catch fire and collapse, FBI forensic experts helped to identify the remains of the attackers. Had the Ango-Leasing scandal not happened, Kenya could have done that work itself, he said.
"We had to seek foreign forensic expertise that we should have were it not for the corruption riddled procurement over 10 years ago," he said.
Al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab militants have vowed to carry out revenge attacks in Kenya because the East African country sent troops to Somalia to fight the extremists in 2011.
Kimeu said there are too many illegal aliens in the country who have authentic Kenyan identification documents, an easy way for a terrorist from Somalia to get into the country. After Westgate, the government fired 15 customs agents for issuing government documents for bribes.
Kenyan authorities have reacted to the wave of terror attacks by carrying out sweeps on illegal aliens in Somali enclaves in Nairobi. At least 3,000 people have been arrested and nearly 400 deported. The operation has drawn heavy criticism from rights groups who accuse police of extortion and bribe-taking.
The Kenyan activist group InformAction, in a YouTube video titled "All in a Good Days Work," posted a video of a police officer with someone in custody letting the woman go after handing money to the officer.
The man in charge of the force is Interior Minister Joseph Ole Lenku. During a recent graduation ceremony for new recruits Ole Lenku called the accusation that police were demanding $60 bribes during the security sweep a "distraction."

Source: AP

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Up to 200,000 Somali children could die from malnutrition, UN claims | Fox News

Up to 200,000 Somali children could die from malnutrition, UN claims | Fox News

Up to 200,000 children under the age of five could die from severe malnutrition in Somalia by the end of the year unless the United Nations receives emergency funds to stave off mass hunger, U.N. officials said on Tuesday.
Only $15 million has been received in the U.N. Children's Fund (UNICEF) $150 million appeal to donor states to provide vital health services to more than 3 million women and children in the Horn of Africa nation this year, the agency said.
"If funding is not received immediately, UNICEF will have to suspend essential life-saving health services within one month," said spokesman Christophe Boulierac.
"Somalia has 200,000 children under the age of five at risk of death (by) the end of the year 2014 from severe malnutrition if they do not receive life saving therapeutic assistance," he told a news briefing in Geneva.
Some 50,000 Somali children under five currently suffer from acute severe malnutrition, according to UNICEF.
Somalia's government is struggling to impose any sense of order, more than two decades after the fall of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre tipped the country into chaos.
UNICEF has been providing 70 percent of health services including medicines, vaccinations, staff salaries and fuel to run hospital generators, especially in central and southern Somalia, Boulierac said.
Western nations fear the country could sink back into chaos and provide a launch pad for Islamist militancy.
The capital Mogadishu has been hit by a series of suicide bomb attacks in the past few months, claimed by al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab militants, who have waged a sustained guerrilla campaign even after being pushed out of the city in mid-2011.

GEESKA AFRIKA ONLINE The Horn of Africa Intelligence News Group » Somalia: Amisom mandate failed to protect Critical Institutions

GEESKA AFRIKA ONLINE » Somalia: Amisom mandate failed to protect Critical Institutions

A member of federal parliament of Somalia stated that AMISOM forces  failed to fulfill their obligations to safeguard the security of the government institutions including the federal parliament in Mogadishu. AMISOM forces were not providing any specific guard at the federal parliament building during the attack claiming that most of the killed security officers were the federal government forces.
Feisal Omar Guled said the resignation of the national security minister was not enough. “It is not something that will satisfy us and we are not satisfied,” he said.  Other sources commented AMISOM should not be blamed for any neglect in a local security.
The Somali MP asked the federal government to assess the roles of AMISOM in keeping the security,  their real mandate and  their presence role  in Somalia.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

White Widow Samantha Lewthwaite marries ruthless terror chief on the run in lawless Somalia - Mirror Online

White Widow Samantha Lewthwaite marries ruthless terror chief on the run in lawless Somalia - Mirror Online

Lewthwaite’s third marriage means she will be offered better ­protection by her new husband’s heavily-armed relatives as security agencies step up the hunt for her Hunted White Widow Samantha Lewthwaite has got married to a ruthless terror chief while on the run in lawless Somalia.

Intelligence sources claim the British fugitive tied the knot with suspected warlord Hassan Maalim Ibrahim, also known as Sheikh Hassan.

He is a senior commander in radical terror group al-Shabaab – allies of al-Qaeda.

The marriage, Lewthwaite’s third, means she will be offered better ­protection by her new husband’s heavily-armed relatives as security agencies step up the hunt for her.

She has already ditched her inner circle of bodyguards, dubbed the Suicide Brigade, who were looking after her night and day.

Sources have reported seeing bombing suspect Lewthwaite and Hassan in the remote village of Nasable, 25 miles from the south central Somali city of Baidoa where the mum-of-four was spotted last November.

A senior security insider said: “Her in-laws will treat her very well as she is now one of them and part of one of the large clans.

“Samantha is in a heavily guarded village in a no-go area for outsiders.

“But we’re sure she’ll move around which is why she needs to get in with the family.

"At the moment she hardly leaves her grass thatch house.

“She wears black socks and gloves and hijab to cover her white skin so spies won’t see her.

“Samantha has given herself great protection with this marriage.”

Lewthwaite, widow of twisted 7/7 London suicide bomber Germaine Lindsay, was also believed to be married to former Kenyan naval officer turned terrorist Abdi Wahid.

Sources have revealed he left her to fight for al-Shabaab after being selected to lead a suicide unit targeting Kenyan soldiers fighting in Somalia.

It is not known if he is dead or alive.

Detectives believe Wahid could be behind a double bomb attack in a Nairobi market this month which left 10 people dead and scores wounded.

Lewthwaite has been on the run for nearly three years after being linked to a failed 2011 plot to blow up hotels and a mall in Mombasa, Kenya.

She became the world’s most wanted female terrorist when she was linked to last September’s Nairobi mall massacre that killed 67 shoppers, including five Britons. Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the atrocity.

The group has also been blamed for a string of grenade blasts and murders in Kenya.

British and American ­embassies have since warned tourists against travelling to the country.

Security services believe Lewthwaite, from Aylesbury, Bucks, is still directing murderous operations from inside Somalia and is on a revenge mission after her terror mentor and al-Qaeda chief Sheikh Abubakar Shariff Ahmed was killed in Mombasa last month.

The Muslim convert has two children by Jamaican-born Islamist Lindsay, who slaughtered 26 ­innocent people on a London Tube train in the 2005 7/7 attacks.

He had already passed on his sickening ideology to his wife.

Despite branding the ­bombings, which killed 52 and injured 700 more, as “abhorrent”, soldier’s daughter Lewthwaite fled the UK, surfacing in Africa in 2009.

After the Nairobi bombing she is said to have slipped back into Somalia, making some of the journey on a camel.

Last October, the Mirror published exclusive photos showing her cradling newborn baby Surajah, her daughter with Wahid.

Eldest son Abdullah, nine, and eight-year-old girl Ruqayyah – from her relationship with Lindsay – stood by her as she lay in South African hospital bed in June 2010.

Behind Lewthwaite, Wahid hugged the couple’s son Abdur-Rahman.

A source said: “Samantha Lewthwaite lives a double life of a doting mother and international terrorist side by side.”

She was once in a ­relationship with another al-Shabaab Brit, Habib Saleh Ghani, 28, from Hounslow, West London.

He was killed last year in Somalia.

Lewthwaite’s appearance may have changed with plastic surgery. It is thought she has dyed her hair and lost more than two stone.

Sources believe she has become ­increasingly desperate, fearing a raid by Special Forces.

Four months ago she fled an al-Qaeda training camp after it was bombed.

She is also living in fear as up to 10,000 troops from the UN peacekeeping force and local army soldiers have launched a major offensive against al-Shabaab.

Lewthwaite is considered a valued propaganda figure by the terror group .

And she is said to be hell-bent on avenging her former teacher Ahmed’s death.

Apart from Lewthwaite, he is believed to have recruited hundreds of Brits, including, her friend Jermaine Grant, now on trial in Kenya accused of bomb plots, and Lee Rigby’s killer Michael Adebolajo.

It is believed she is ­determined to hit Western targets . But a few weeks ago her terrorist disciples killed 21 people with a suicide attack in Baidoa.

On Saturday suicide gunmen bombers stormed the Somali parliament in Mogadishu, killing at least 10 people.

They also recently drove a truck into a police compound murdering 28 officers and injuring 31.

Al-Shabaab fanatics are fighting to impose sharia law in Somalia. They have banned TV, football, music, dancing and even mobile ringtones.

Lewthwaite converted to Islam when she was a teenager and started to wear full length robe and veils at school.

Her terrorist manifesto was uncovered by The Mirror in Kenya.

It revealed she brainwashed young radicals for a holy war against the West.

She is the subject of a manhunt in nearly 200 countries.

A source said: “As long as she is free she is a danger.”

Gangsters, goris and 10 cups of coffee: Life among the Dixon City Bloods | Toronto Star

Gangsters, goris and 10 cups of coffee: Life among the Dixon City Bloods | Toronto Star

Anthony Smith is lying on the pavement, bleeding from a gunshot wound to the head.

It’s the early morning of March 28, 2013, and Smith, nicknamed Bucks, has been murdered during a brawl outside Loki Lounge, a busy King St. W. nightclub. He has been gunned down by a young man from a rival group, an act of violence powered by a toxic mix of rage, neighbourhood warfare, cough syrup and alcohol.
As news of Bucks’ killing spreads, not everyone is shocked.
Ayanle Omar (Fatboy) is on the phone mouthing off about his friend’s fatal mistake.
“If you’re not f---ing about this life, get out of the kitchen, bro. I’m ready to die any day, bro,” he tells an unidentified woman.
“You guys wanna go to the club with no ‘gori,’ it’s their fault,” Omar says, referring to Smith and the crew he was with that night, and using a term cops believe to be slang for gun.
What Omar, 21, doesn’t know is that his conversation is being recorded. It is one of thousands intercepted over three months last year during an investigation targeting the Dixon City Bloods that police dubbed Project Traveller. That project led to a spinoff,Project Brazen 2, the continuing investigation into Mayor Rob Ford and others.
The information in this story about Project Traveller comes from search warrant documents containing portions of the actual wiretaps and summaries of those taps that have been released to the Star and other media after a legal challenge. The allegations in the police documents have not been tested in court.
For three months last year, authorities logged and listened in real time to dozens of phones, at times getting the inside track on who was dating or breaking up with whom. While the wiretaps are best known for picking up chatter about Ford and his dealings with alleged gang members, including their attempts to peddle a video of the mayor smoking crack cocaine, they also picked up disturbing conversations, such as the one mentioned above, indicating the gang was preparing to arm itself in the wake of Smith’s death. Police listening in, with the help of interpreters, had to contend with street slang.
“I’m not going to lie to you, bro. I’m bring at least ‘shun gori’ to the dot right now for the mandem,” Omar says to the woman. Translating words from Somali, police say they believe he is going to bring five guns to Toronto for members of the gang.
Omar then talks to someone in the background: “My dope is the best dope … I’ll give you two chops right now.”
Toronto police allege the Dixon City Bloods trafficked drugs and ran guns through a pipeline that began in the United States, crossed the border at Windsor and ended in Toronto. In a city where young people are increasingly being charged with gun crimes or themselves being gunned down, and where two to three “crime guns” are recovered each day, the Project Traveller case offers a rare glimpse at how a gang operated on city streets and how the police built their case against them.
In the beginning
The roots of Project Traveller emerged just before dawn on June 7, 2009, on the polished stone floor in the lobby of 340 Dixon Rd., one of six highrise apartment buildings filled with families near Islington Ave. and Hwy. 401. The enclave is nicknamed Dixon City.
Police officers responding to a 911 call found 16-year-old Ayoob Aden in a pool of blood, dead from stab wounds to the stomach. Two other young men had also been stabbed, one in the arm, another in the back.
Aden, a baby-faced high school student whose mother had already lost a son and husband to violence in Somalia, found himself in the middle of a fight, a confidential informant would later tell police. Aden, the informant said, was a casualty of a larger dispute between the younger and older ranks of the Dixon City Bloods.
Over the next few years, the violence continued, as a shifting cast of characters fought with one another and fended off rival neighbourhoods.
The hundreds of pages of police documents highlight a series of incidents that are indicative of a neighbourhood under siege. They include security footage of young men firing guns at one another outside buildings; pistols being shot into the air; live rounds and shell casings recovered from parking lots; and a bullet pulled from an air conditioning vent. Some of the violence appears to be the result of sheer carelessness, like a hospital visit necessitated by an apparently self-inflicted bullet wound to the leg.
In the summer of 2010, officers stopped at a red light heard up to 10 gunshots. A witness would tell them a group was hanging out beside a daycare facility in Dixon City when three men — not from the neighbourhood — walked up, started shooting, then fled in a nearby car.
Anthony Smith (Bucks) was among those targeted, police believe. So was his friend Liban Siyad, nicknamed Gully (who would later become an alleged victim of extortion by Ford friend Alexander (Sandro) Lisi).
A year later, in March 2011, there was another murder. Abdikadir Khan, 24, was executed, shot in the head in a stairwell in a Dixon City highrise. Khan was one of two men stabbed the night Aden was killed in 2009. He lay there for 11 hours before anyone called 911. A jacket found at the scene was embroidered with the phrase “Dead men tell no tales.” A confidential informant told the cops Khan was killed because of the ongoing feud between younger and older ranks in the gang.
The summer of 2012 saw a rash of gang violence across Toronto — a shooting in the Eaton Centre food court, then a firefight at a busy block party on Scarborough’s Danzig St. that left two bystanders dead and 23 others injured. It was the worst case of gun violence Toronto had ever seen.
In Dixon, the internal gang conflict was morphing. Some of the “older heads” were moving on. Guys grew up, had families and wanted out of the game. Others moved to Alberta. Some were dead, got arrested or moved their business out of town.
New names started popping up as the Toronto police gangs and guns squad quietly started directing resources toward the area.
Ahmed Farah, nicknamed Sleepy (the brother of the man who would later try to broker a deal for the Ford crack video with the Toronto Star and Gawker), was arrested at a motel in Windsor. Court documents say police found crack cocaine “hidden in his buttocks.”
Security cameras outside a café on Lawrence Ave. W. captured Mubarak Rirash, nicknamed Franchise, being shot in the leg by another man who took off on foot.
By fall, a security void had opened in Dixon City. The private security guards who had manned one side of the buildings (320, 330 and 340 Dixon Rd.) were rarely seen. Police weren’t able to enter the complex without violating trespass laws, unless they were called, according to the police documents.
Some of the younger guys, called “goonies,” were actively dealing crack cocaine in the neighbourhood, one informant said. Liban Siyad (Gully), 22, and Ayanle Omar (Fatboy), 21, who was quoted at the beginning of this story, were among them, the informant said, adding that Omar had purchased a gun.
Guns were being brought up from Windsor because the border is so easy to cross, said another informant, adding: “Everyone seems to have one.”
Investigators cultivated at least 10 confidential informants. None agreed to testify in court because of fears for their safety, but the information they provided helped police home in on various players.
Mubarak Rirash (Franchise), who has a tattoo on his left hand that says “loyalty” beside a five-point crown (a gang symbol), was considered a “gun man,” according to one of the informants.
Rirash, who the police documents allege has a troubling history of violence, including an accusation that he punched his sister in the face and then pulled a knife on her, spent a lot of time with Mohamed Siad.
Siad, nicknamed Soya, is the man who shot the Ford crack video at a bungalow known as a crack house just north of Dixon City, a Star investigation revealed last year. Siad, an informant said, was dealing crack cocaine and hanging out in a Dixon City parking lot where people get drunk and shoot their guns “as a salute.” He and others, an informant told police, were storing guns in lockers and feuding with guys at Ardwick, a public housing complex near Finch Ave. W. and Islington Ave. They also had an ongoing beef with members of the Jamestown gang over guns stolen from their mothers’ cars.
Towards the end of 2012, police got their hands on a cellphone belonging to a young man from Dixon arrested for firearm possession.
On the device, they found photographs of females pointing what appear to be guns at the camera and dollar bills splayed out on tables, court documents say. There are messages indicative of “ounce level cocaine transactions.”
“I’ll give you whops on Ur 4.5 if we grab a 9 today,” reads one. Police translate this to mean the phone’s user was offering to find a buyer for 4.5 ounces of cocaine if there was an agreement to buy nine ounces together.
The most fruitful treasure the phone provided, though, was the cellphone numbers of the alleged Dixon City Blood members police were already looking at. The cops asked for permission from a judge to listen in on their conversations.
The wiretap project
There have been about 10 major street gang wiretap projects in Toronto since 2004. Some yield better evidence than others. When it came to Project Traveller, lawyers and police were in agreement: even if you ignored the sideshow that flowed from the gang’s involvement with Toronto’s mayor (much of which has already been made public), dramatic events were playing out.
The wiretaps began on March 18, 2013, a month after Siad filmed the crack video. Within two weeks, according to the police document, the taps were giving police a glimpse of a gun pipeline between Windsor and Toronto. They’d eventually glean that guns were allegedly coming across the border in the bumpers of the cars of unsuspecting Ontarians, then being traced with a GPS tracker for surreptitious pickups.
Ayanle Omar (Fatboy) was then staying in Windsor. On March 25, he was heard talking about “girls that came in” and saying he planned to head to Toronto within days with two “big tings.” Police say they believe he was talking about guns.
Three days later, Smith was gunned down.
A few days after that, a police surveillance team followed two other men from Dixon as they drove the 401 east from Windsor to Toronto. Officers watched as the men, seemingly anxious that they were being followed, crashed a rented Chrysler through the garage door at one of the buildings in Dixon City. Police searched the car soon after and found three guns, according to the police documents, which also note investigators believe these guns were the ones Omar had sent in the wake of Smith’s death.
(There’s no evidence to suggest there was ever any retribution for Smith’s killing. Much was made of a possible connection between his death and the Ford crack scandal, particularly after the mayor’s former logistics director, David Price, raised the possibility. But the Star has found no evidence to suggest the rumours are true, or that Smith’s death was caused by anything but a “street level” feud. One man from a rival neighbourhood, nicknamed Postman, who appears to have sparked the fight, has fled to Somalia, a source said. The shooter, Nisar Hashimi, is in jail, having pleaded guilty to manslaughter.)
On April 9, 2013, surveillance footage at Windsor’s Rack N’ Roll bar captured Mohamed Siad (Soya) greeting a man named Lamar Porter.
Porter, a 28-year-old who recently spent time in jail for breaking into his ex-girlfriend’s home and shooting a man in the scrotum with a pellet gun, according to a Windsor Star article, is not from Dixon, nor is he an alleged member of the gang. He was, according to police, one of the gang’s main gun suppliers.
“The 9s and stuff like that, Spike Lee the new 40s edition,” Siad can be heard asking Porter in one phone call, according to the search warrant documents.
“You mean the extra laces for it? Taking laces or the shoes themselves?” Porter responds.
Police say they believe Siad is looking to buy 9-mm and .40-calibre guns and that Porter is asking him about ammunition.
One call picked up after the Rack N’ Roll meeting revealed Porter sold Siad and a friend a .44-calibre Taurus revolver, according to the court documents.
Police allege Siad used a 24-year-old female student, Naimo Warsame, as a courier to transport that same weapon on a bus back to Toronto.
“Which one of you f---ers are going to give me my change for actually doing this trip,” Warsame asks Siad in one call.
“Don’t worry, I’ll get you your change, you f---ing d---head,” Siad replies.
Weeks later, police raided Warsame’s apartment and seized the Taurus they believe she transported on the bus from Windsor, along with two assault rifles.
The apartment raid, oddly, caused an interesting rift within the gang.
The cops busted through Warsame’s door around the same time Siad was picked up in Peel Region on a drug possession charge (those charges have been dropped.)
Some of the alleged gang members thought Siad had snitched on Warsame, according to police documents. Siad’s perceived untrustworthiness didn’t bode well for him weeks later, when news of the crack video broke and Liban Siyad (Gully) started getting threatening phone calls from Sandro Lisi because he’d dealt with him weeks earlier, when Ford’s cellphone went missing.
The guys in Dixon blamed Siad for bringing “heat” down on their neighbourhood, several sources have told the Star. “That guy’s an idiot,” said one.
The local drug trade
In addition to the guns, the wiretaps picked up chatter police believe is indicative of a local drug trade.
Some terms:
  • To describe the process of cooking powder cocaine into crack cocaine: “Chef up.”
  • Discussions about what was available for purchase: “four half B’s and eight forty wops,” which police interpret as four half-balls and eight packages of cocaine worth $40.
  • Code for heroin and cocaine: “Ten cups of coffee and white tea.”
    One drug deal allegedly involved a Tim Hortons coffee cup handed over at a local Walmart. Police believe the cup contained a sample of cocaine.
    It will be up to prosecutors to prove in a court of law, and beyond a reasonable doubt, that the alleged members of the Dixon City Bloods were actually talking about drugs — or guns for that matter — on some of those thousands of calls.
    The family members and friends of the accused swear their loved ones are innocent.
    Nura Hersi, 22, married Mohamed Siad (Soya) just a few weeks before he was arrested in the Project Traveller raids. In a recent conversation with the Star, she suggested her husband had been charged because he has the same name as another man.
    About two weeks after Anthony Smith’s death, Ayanle Omar was discussing a gangster’s life in a phone call with a woman.
    “Five n-----s” were “going down” for Smith’s death, he said, according to a summary of a call in the police documents.
    He talked about heading to Alberta before the summer ended with five “habuts” (yet another word police believe means guns) and four “bricks” (a word police interpret to mean kilograms).
    He planned to take all his money out of his account and worried that he was “too hot.”
    He was sleeping with a “gori” in his room.
    “If the door kicks in, I have to worry about my own s---,” he said to the woman.
    A few weeks after that, police allege Omar stabbed another man during a fight.
    A month later, on June 14, 2013, the doors of all the accused were kicked in, with police in riot gear using battering rams and flash bangs. Roughly 50 people arrested in the Project Traveller raids. About half are out on bail. The rest, including the players mentioned in this story, remain behind bars awaiting their day in court.
    With files from Tim Alamenciak and Michelle Shephard
    Jayme Poisson can be reached at 416-814-2725 or jpoisson@thestar.ca .