Up to a thousand foreign fighters, including Britons, have answered the call to jihad in Somalia and are leading street-fighting Islamist extremists in the war-torn capital Mogadishu,The Times has learnt.
Early yesterday the Western-backed Government launched a counter-offensive after almost a fortnight of attacks by insurgents that have killed at least 200 civilians. At least 45 people were killed yesterday in battles across the city, the highest daily death toll for months.
Senior security officials in the region say that the foreign fighters are behind the recent success of the extremists. More than 290 fighters from Britain, the US, Canada, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia entered Mogadishu in the past two weeks.
“I have no doubt that some of the foreign fighters are British as well as North American and Scandinavian,” said Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, the top Somali diplomat for the United Nations. One Western diplomat with experience in Somalia said: “These foreigners are the ones with al-Qaeda links. I would be surprised if Britons were not the leading foreign members of al-Shabaab.”
In March 2009 the propaganda unit for the al-Shabaab militia released a video entitled Ambush at Bardale, in which a white American (Abu Mansour Al-Amriki), thought to have a special forces military background, was filmed leading dozens of Somali fighters. “Mortar by mortar, shell by shell; only gonna stop when I send them to hell,” he rapped over the footage in a clear attempt to glamorise the insurgency and appeal to young disenfranchised Westerners.
See New York Post article from April 4th 2009, WHO IS AL-AMRIKI? AMERICAN STARS IN TERRORIST RECRUITMENT VIDEO.See 2008 YouTube video, in which private investigator Bill Warner found Somalia terrorist Abu Mansour Al-Amriki, he appears in the May 2008 Al-Shabaab Terrorist Recruiting Video. Abu Mansour Al-Amriki appears in the May 2008 Al-Shabaab video, he is in the passenger seat of the SUV at 3:22 into the video seen with his scruffy beard and hair pulled back in a pony tail, he also appears to do some of the voice over this video was posted to the al-Shabaab website www.kataaib.net, early in 2008.
Al-Shabaab (Al-Qaeda linked) terrorist recruiting website www.kataaib.net that had been hosted by the Dotster Web Co in Vancouver WA USA since April 13rd 2007 was finally been shut down by a US Government order on Jan 23rd 2009, but not before at least 1000 British and American Fighters Have Responded To Jihad Call in Somalia.
Somalia Al-Shabaab (Al-Qaeda) terrorist website www.kataaib.net is shut down, the Domain Pending Cancellation Per US Government Order on Jan 23 2009. "Registrant:Domain pending cancelation per government order c/o 8100 NE Parkway Drive, Suite 300 Vancouver, WA 98662 US, phone 360-253-2210" It only took 21 months for the Dotster Web Hosting Co to do the right thing, maybe now the Columbian Newspaper in Vancouver will re-think there stance on protecting the Al-Shabaab website www.kataaib.net "right" to Free Speech, even thought the Al-Shabaab was designated a Terrorist Organization in Feb. of 2008 !
See the Columbian Newspaper's article on the Al-Shabaab website www.kataaib.net by clicking on "In Out View-Interent Censor", the Columbian Newspaper's attack piece on private investigator Bill Warner that was run on May 7th, 2008, criticizing his efforts to shut down the Al-Shabaab terrorist website www.kataaib.net
Western intelligence agencies are directing their attention and resources to the Somalia region. “If this threat is not contained Somalia could become the Swat Valley of Africa,” said Ted Dagne, a Washington-based Somalia expert.
“There is no doubt that the foreign component of al-Shabaab is more extreme than those on the ground,” said Rashid Abdi, a Somalia analyst at the International Crisis Group, who added that the bulk of the militants were hired guns, not idealogues.
“There is a feeling now that al-Shabaab is ruled by foreign fighters; that they are dictating policy and this has all come about in the last couple of months.”