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November 3, 2006

Winds of War in Somalia Approach Gale Force

Somalia constitutes, or has the potential to constitute, the next battleground in the GWOT. That does not mean war is a necessity, but it is a nation in which the United Nations recognized government is already at war with the Al Qaida supported Islamic Courts Union. The ICU has openly delcared jihad against Ethiopia, whose soldiers are training Somalia soldiers and helping to keep the Somalia government together.

Somalia's Foreign Minister, Ismael Mohamoud Hurreh, told The Independent the ICU is not a run of the mill Islamist organization, but is being greatly supported by the Islamist movement from afar.

"They are coming by ship. Look who is coming through Mogadishu port - al-Qai'da, people from Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Eritrea, Yemen and Chechnya."

The question of whether or not Al Qaida has a presence in Somalia has been answered with a resounding "yes" on numerous occassions, but what's further interesting is the international flavor on both sides of the rising conflict.
The Horn of Africa is becoming a battleground in the US-led "war on terror". US assistance for Somali warlords trying to capture suspected Islamic terrorists was the catalyst for the Islamic Courts to defeat the warlords in Mogadishu. Since then, the US is believed to have been offering assistance to Ethiopia in an effort to halt the Islamic Courts.

The United States and Ethiopia present one side trying to defeat an Islamist organization intent on imposing Sharia in Somalia and supporting or giving support to Al Qaida. The ICU, on the other hand, is murdering teenagers for watching the World Cup. This presents a clear picture of the battle between Islamism and what I certainly call civilized society. Al Qaida has clearly laid the groundwork to send more hirabahs to Somalia to wage a holy war against what they see as invaders, but when will other nations that support democratic values step up and support the beseiged Somalia government and come to the aid of Ethiopia, who clearly will take the brunt of the war?

The revelations posted upon earlier today included not just Al Qaida was inside Somalia sheltered by the ICU, but that Hezbollah was as well. These two terrorist organizations seem to have found a refuge in a nation with a large uranium ore deposit in which Iran is seemingly interested in. This does not bode well.

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross writes in The Counterterrorism Blog that war is indeed imminent, and hostilities could break out any day now. I have been following the events in Somalia to a degree, but the tides of a bigger war have long been rising in much of the Horn of Africa. Terrorists connected to the ICU have threatened suicide bombings in Ethiopia and Kenya.

Posted by Chad at November 3, 2006 3:01 PM

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