Al Shabab – a new international jihadist force

This worrying piece is by Andrew Bolt and should concern us all.

Kenyan and Israeli forces have killed three and arrested more than10 of the terrorists who slaughtered at least 62 people at a shopping mall:

Earlier witness reports had indicated that a woman was among the estimated 10 to 15 attackers. [Interior Minister Joseph Ole] Lenku said that instead some male attackers had dressed up like women…

Fighters from an array of nations participated in the attack claimed by al-Shabab, said [Kenya Chief of Defense forces Gen. Julius] Karangi.

“We have an idea who these people are and they are clearly a multinational collection from all over the world,” he said.

Andrew Zammit of Monash University’s Global Terrorism Research Centre, writing last year:

In August 2009, Australian security agencies foiled an al-Shabab associated plot to attack Holsworthy Army Barracks in Sydney. Codenamed Operation Neath, the counterterrorism operation disrupted the mass-shooting plot in its early stages. Five men were charged, and three—Wissam Fattal, Saney Edow Aweys and Nayef el-Sayed—were convicted of planning to attack the barracks. The men had sought weapons, dispatched others for training, conducted reconnaissance of Holsworthy Barracks and asked senior al-Shabab religious figures in Somalia for permission to attack Australian targets…

In 2007, the Australian Federal Police launched Operation Rochester to investigate reports of Somali-Australians traveling to fight for al-Shabab against the Ethiopian-backed Transitional Federal Government. That investigation ended because not enough evidence could be gathered to press charges. Operation Neath began in February 2009 as another investigation into al-Shabab support, with around 20 people—including Aweys, Fattal and el-Sayed—suspected of assisting the Somali jihadist movement. By 2009, this small support network had expanded beyond the Somali diaspora to include people of other backgrounds, mainly from Middle Eastern countries who lacked the nationalist element in their motivation. Of the three convicted in the Holsworthy Barracks plot, only Saney Aweys, the key link to al-Shabab, was from the Somali diaspora; Wissam Fattal and Nayef el-Sayed were of Lebanese descent…

Al-Shabab itself also played little direct role in the cell’s transformation: its globally focused discourse and alignment with al-Qa`ida may have helped enable it, but the Somali jihadist movement did not instigate the plot and key figures advised against it to avoid losing support. This supports other findings that al-Shabab is not known to have directed any attacks in the West. Despite its endorsement of al-Qa`ida’s global jihad, they have instead focused on local and regional politics, although this certainly has the potential to change with the recent al-Qa`ida merger.

Somalis in Australia admit to a radicalisation here, absurdly supported with taxpayers’ money:

SOMALI community leaders warned yesterday that education authorities had ignored calls to regulate madrassas, or religious schools, which were free to teach radical religious doctrines to young people and could be a fertile ground for recruiting jihadists in Australia for terrorist groups such as al-Shabab.

Somali Cultural Association president Aden Ibrahim said he and his colleagues had urged state and federal authorities for the past five years to close a loophole that had allowed religious leaders to set up the schools in Australia without any regulation of, or control over, the curriculum.

Mr Ibrahim said al-Shabab, which has claimed responsibility for the Westgate shopping mall massacre in Nairobi, had little support among Somalis in Australia… But, Mr Ibrahim said, in the absence of proper oversight [the weekend madrassas] sometimes promoted hardline religious doctrines.

The madrassas, many of which receive government funding of up to $30,000 a year, were allowed a free hand in what they taught… Mr Ibrahim said there had been concerns in the community about what was being taught in madrassas, including those at Braybrook and Broadmeadows…

Somali Australian Council of Victoria president Hussein Nur Haraco said community leaders had backed the creation of the madrassas as an alternative to parents sending children to Somalia for their education, where they could fall under the spell of radical groups such as al-Shabab.

Many local Somalis were fearful of speaking out about al-Shabab, claiming there were former operatives who had gone to Somalia to fight but had now returned to Australia.

If local Somalis are worried about al-Shabab fighters in Australia, shouldn’t the rest of us be, too?

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  1. I read this afternoon which posited that the ultimate goal of al-Shaabab is the establishment of Islam, but that their methods are taken from the Maoists – which puts them in conflict with the more traditional Islamists. No wonder the local Somali community is alarmed.

  2. Yes, of course we should be worried. It’s alarming for Muslims who come here wanting a peaceful life, away from the mayhem that afflicts their countries. Unfortunately though, those Muslims are not running the agenda and are silenced, partly by those Muslims who want political Islam. Mostly however, it is our government’s embrace of multiculturalism, which mandates that all cultures must have a place in Australia, even those which espouse a superior position for themselves, backed by violence.