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11 June 2011 Last updated at 18:08 'US Africa embassy bomber Fazul Abdullah Mohammed dead'
Fazul Abdullah Mohammed (FBI) Mohammed survived a US air strike in southern Somalia in 2007
Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, suspected of having played a key role in the 1998 US embassy bombings in East Africa, has been killed in Somalia, officials say.
Mr Mohammed was shot dead by Somali government forces early on Wednesday at a checkpoint in the capital, Mogadishu.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Mr Mohammed's death represented a "significant blow to al-Qaeda".
He became the most wanted man in Africa with a $5m bounty on his head after the 1998 attacks, which killed 224 people.
Mr Mohammed is reported to have later become the head of al-Qaeda in East Africa.
Mr Mohammed and a fellow militant were shot dead by Somali Transitional Federal Government forces at a checkpoint in Mogadishu, Somali security officials told AFP and Reuters.
"Our forces fired on two men who refused to stop at a roadblock. They tried to defend themselves when they were surrounded by our men," TFG commander Abdikarim Yusuf told AFP.
"We took their ID documents, one of which was a foreign passport," he said, adding that medicine, mobile phones and laptops were also found.
Somali sources told AFP that Mr Mohammed was carrying some $40,000 in cash and a South African passport bearing the name "Daniel Robinson".
Later, an official at Somalia's National Security Agency told AFP that DNA tests it had "confirmed by DNA tests carried out with our partners that it definitely was Fazul Abdullah".
Halima Aden, a senior Somali national security officer, also confirmed that Mr Mohammed was killed at a checkpoint this week, and that he had a South African passport.
Fazul Abdullah Mohammed
Born in Moroni, Comoros islands, in the Indian Ocean Indicted in the US over 1998 US embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania One of FBI's most wanted terror suspects with $5m reward Speaks French, Swahili, Arabic, English and Comoran
Profile: Fazul Abdullah Mohammed In pictures: Life of Fazul Abdullah Mohammed
There has been no confirmation from the US authorities, but one unnamed official told the BBC: "There's strong reason to believe he's dead. He was killed at a police checkpoint in Mogadishu."
One source told AFP that the incident took place at about 0200 on Wednesday (2300 GMT on Tuesday) in the Afgooye corridor, a 20km-long strip of land north-west of Mogadishu.
Photographs published by AFP showed the faces of the bodies.
But a spokesman for the African Union peacekeeping force in Somalia said the photos did not appear to resemble Mr Mohammed.
Kenya's Police Commissioner, Matthew Iteere, told reporters on Saturday that he had been told that "there were two terrorists who were killed in Somalia on Wednesday.
"They were identified as Fazul Mohammed and Ali Dere. That is what we have been told by our counterparts," he said.
Born in the Comoros islands in the early 1970s, Mr Mohammed is believed to have joined al-Qaeda in Afghanistan during the 1990s.
After the bombings of the US embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in 1998, which killed 224 people, the US accused him of involvement and issued a $5m reward for information leading to capture.
In 2002, Mr Mohammed was reported to have been put in charge of al-Qaeda operations in East Africa. That year, he was blamed for the bombing of a beach resort in Kikambala, Kenya, which left 13 people dead, and an attempt to shoot down an Israeli passenger aircraft.
In 2007, he survived a US air strike on the southern Somali coastal village of Hayo, near the town of Ras Kamboni.
In recent years, Mr Mohammed is thought to have fought alongside members of the Somali Islamist militant group, al-Shabab, which declared allegiance to al-Qaeda in 2010.
Al-Shabab controls much of southern Somalia and has been fighting government forces and African Union troops for control of Mogadishu. It said reports of Mr Mohammed's death were untrue.
Somali terror suspect captured in US 'linked to Anwar al-Awlaki
A Somali terror suspect captured and detained by the United States has links to Anwar al-Awlaki, a key leader of Al-Qaeda's branch in Yemen, a US official said Thursday.
The US administration has ordered Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen to be targeted
6:30AM BST 08 Jul 2011
Ahmed Abdulkadir Warsame, who was captured in the Gulf by the US military on April 19 and is now facing terror charges, had contacts with Awlaki and "was a key interlocutor" between Somalia's Shabaab Islamist insurgency and Awlaki's Al-Qaeda outfit in Yemen, the official said.
"He was a senior commander" in Shabaab, said the official.
The Somali national was indicted on Tuesday in a New York court on charges of providing material support to both Shabaab and Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, (AQAP).
Warsame, 25, faces nine counts including acting as a go-between between the two groups, providing them with both money and training between 2007 and 2011. He faces a life sentence if convicted on the terror and weapons charges.
US officials say Awlaki, an American citizen who remains at large in Yemen, is a powerful leader of AQAP and is suspected of instigating a string of attacks against the United States, including a failed attempt to blow up a US-bound airliner.
The Saudi and Yemeni Al-Qaeda branches merged in January 2009 to form the Yemen-based AQAP.
US officials have voiced concern about deepening ties between AQAP and Shabaab and that the Somali insurgency may broaden its focus to try to strike at Western targets outside of Somalia.
The Shabaab rebels are locked in a protracted battle with the country's weak, Western-backed government for control of the Horn of Africa nation.
The Shabaab are currently facing an unprecedented offensive launched by the transitional government and backed by the African Union peacekeeping mission in Mogadishu.
The Shabaab have suffered serious setbacks during the major offensive launched in February by the government and backed by the AU peacekeeping mission.
The US government meanwhile has defended the treatment of Warsame, who was interrogated for two months on an American warship.
US officials said Warsame provided "valuable" intelligence and that military and civilian interrogators strictly followed Army rules that prohibit abuse or torture of a detainee.
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Mogadishu truck bomb kills dozens
Al-Shabaab claims responsibility for deadly explosion outside government buildings in Somalian capital
Reuters guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 4 October 2011 10.53 BST
An injured man is carried from the scene of a truck bomb in Mogadishu. Photograph: Omar Faruk/Reuters
A truck bomb has killed at least 65 people at government buildings in the heart of the Somalian capital, an ambulance worker said.
Al-Shabaab insurgents have claimed responsibility for the attack. Witnesses said there was a loud blast at a compound housing four government ministries in the K4 (kilometre four) area of Mogadishu, where students had gathered to take exams. Police said a truck had exploded at the gate.
"We have carried 65 dead bodies and 50 injured people," Ali Muse, an ambulance co-ordinator, told Reuters. "Some are still lying there. Most of the people have burns."
Muse said it looked as though the truck had been packed with petrol and explosives. He said students, soldiers and civilians were among the dead.
A Reuters reporter said he had seen nine bodies at the compound, which is in a part of the capital under the control of government forces and African Union peacekeeping troops.
The reporter said scores of people who had suffered burns were walking to a nearby hospital, and police were trying to free more students trapped inside the damaged buildings.
The al-Qaida-linked al-Shabaab rebels had threatened to carry out attacks on government institutions after pulling most of their fighters out of Mogadishu in early August.
"Al-Shabaab carried out that attack," a spokesman for the insurgents told Reuters. "Our target was the ministries."
A second Reuters reporter nearby saw a government pick-up truck leaving the scene, carrying two covered bodies and another five people who had bloodied faces. He said police were shooting into the air to disperse crowds.
The suicide attack is the most devastating since the al-Qaida-linked group withdrew from Mogadishu in August
Clar Ni Chonghaile in Nairobi guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 4 October 2011 12.31 BST
A suicide truck bomb has exploded outside a compound housing government buildings in Mogadishu, killing at least 65 people and maiming scores in one of the most devastating attacks claimed by al-Shabaab insurgents since they withdrew most of their forces from the Somali capital.
The explosion ripped through the K4 (Kilometre Four) area of Mogadishu, which is under the control of government troops and African Union peacekeeping forces. Many of those killed and injured were students and parents waiting for exam results at the Ministry of Higher Education. Buildings were destroyed and rescue workers struggled to free people trapped in the debris while the walking wounded made their way to the battered city's hospitals. News reports said students had gathered inside the compound to take exams.
"We have carried 65 dead bodies and 50 injured people," the ambulance co-ordinator Ali Muse told Reuters. "Some are still lying there. Most of the people have burns."
A Reuters reporter said scores of people with burns were walking to a nearby hospital and police were trying to evacuate more students trapped inside the damaged buildings.
The Somali government put the death toll at 15 with more than 20 injured from the suicide bombing.
"The casualties are mostly students and parents who were waiting for results of scholarships from the Ministry of Higher Education," the government said in a statement.
"The attack shows that the danger from terrorists is not yet over and that there are obviously still people who want to derail the advances that the Somali people have made towards [peace]," it said.
Lieutenant Colonel Paddy Ankunda, a spokesman for the African Union peacekeeping force Amisom, which has 9,000 troops in the country, said the explosion had been caused by a suicide vehicle bomb, but that he had no definite figures yet on casualties.
"We have conflicting reports. Some people are still lying under the debris because buildings fell down … we are trying to pull them out. Amisom has sent excavators," he told the Guardian by phone.
Al-Shabaab, which is linked to al-Qaida, claimed responsibility for the blasts, Reuters reported. The group, which is fighting the weak Transitional Federal Government, pulled most of its fighters out of Mogadishu in early August but threatened to carry out attacks on government installations.
"This is the biggest attack since al-Shabaab was defeated," said Ankunda. "This was expected because we knew they would go more into this kind of attack, including suicide attacks," he said.
Asked what Amisom's response would be, he said: "Vigilance. We need more vigilance."
A Somali living in Nairobi, who spoke on condition of anonymity, described what he had heard about the blast.
"My house is in K6, which is 1km from the bombing, and all the glass windows are shattered so that tells you how strong the blast was," he said.
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A better headline would be "Kenya invades Somalia while the world wasn't looking"
Kenya's advance in Somalia surprises U.S. officials
MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) – Kenyan troops surprised U.S. officials by entering Somalia last weekend, even though the U.S. had urged Kenya to take measures to improve security along its border with Somalia following a spate of kidnappings, officials said Thursday.
One U.S. official said that the Americans had not been informed before hundreds of Kenyan troops rolled over the border, pushing 60 miles (100 kilometers) into Somalia. Kenya is a close American ally and the Kenyan military receives substantial training and funding from the U.S.
Another official said that the U.S. had been pushing Kenya to improve its border security after Somali gunmen kidnapped four foreigners from Kenyan soil in the past six weeks. One elderly French hostage has died and the husband of a British woman was killed when she was carried off.
The U.S. official in Nairobi who is familiar with security operations but not authorized to speak to the press told The Associated Press Thursday that the U.S. has been pressuring Kenya to "do something" because Kenya's response to the deteriorating security situation before has been "pathetic."
He said he was not sure if the U.S. knew that Kenya would make a military move in Somalia, but that it shouldn't have come as too big of a suprise because of the U.S. pressure. But a third U.S. official said that did not mean the U.S. had encouraged Kenya to enter Somalia. All of the officials spoke on condition of anonymity.
A military spokesman said Kenya's force will stay in Somalia until the insurgency is defeated.
But Kenya's troops are untested and it isn't clear they are prepared for a long-term occupation requiring counterinsurgency skills — a scenario that ended U.S. and Ethiopian interventions during Somalia's 20-year-old civil war. The Somalia operation is Kenya's biggest foreign military commitment since independence in 1963.
On Thursday, fierce fighting in Mogadishu claimed the lives of at least 10 peacekeepers and dozens of government soldiers. Al-Shabab fighters displayed dozens of bodies which they said were African Union peacekeepers but it was unclear if some of them might be government troops. Eyewitness Ali Abdullahi Nor said he counted 54 bodies.
An AU official said that 10 soldiers had been killed and 30 wounded, and fighting was still continuing on Thursday night. He asked for anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press.
Unless Somalia overcomes the conditions that helped create al-Shabab — corruption, insecurity and a lack of social services — a similar group could rise even if al-Shabab was defeated.
Al-Shabab's forerunner, the Islamic Courts Union, was widely welcomed when it took power in 2006 because it provided security and had a relative lack of corruption, said Roger Middleton, a Somalia expert researcher at London-based think tank Chatham House.
But al-Shabab — formed from the extreme youth wing of the union — has lost a lot of support, partly due to its mishandling of a famine that has cost tens of thousands of lives in its drought-stricken southern strongholds. The group refused many aid agencies permission to operate and levied extortionate taxes on impoverished farmers and herdsmen.
The militia also carries out public amputations, beheadings and stonings, Middleton said.
"But, there's a good chance that foreign military intervention in Somalia could serve as a lightning rod for opposition that could coalesce around al-Shabab," he said.
Somalis had overcome clan divisions to unite against the U.N. and U.S. troops in 1993 and to fight Ethiopians after they invaded in 2006, he said. Kenya is a mostly Christian nation, and Somalia overwhelmingly Muslim — something al-Shabab propagandists have already seized on.
The current Somali government is limited to the capital, entirely dependent on foreign support and has shown little inclination to provide services or tackle theft by officials. Starving parents from the countryside camp with their skeletal children under plastic sheets even as businessmen openly steal and sell foreign food aid.
The United States now funds a 9,000-strong African Union peacekeeping force and pays Somali government troops battling the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab militia. But African Union and government operations are mostly limited to the capital, a devastated seaside city of smashed buildings and potholed streets that they almost fully control.
A Nairobi-based diplomat said Kenya has appealed several times for U.S. assistance on the intervention, but that it appears the U.S. worries that the plan has not been fully thought out and may compete with the efforts of the U.N.-backed government in Mogadishu. The diplomat asked for anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press.
The Kenyans have met little resistance since sending in forces. They have penetrated about 60 miles (100 kilometers) into Somalia but al-Shabab still has bases near the border. Kenyan troops and a pro-government Somali militia rolled into the southern town of Ras Kamboni, 2 miles (3 kilometers) from the Kenya-Somalia border, on Thursday morning, residents said.
The town has great historical resonance: it was used as a training ground by the al-Itihad al-Islam group in the 1980s, and it was the scene of the Islamic Courts Union's last stand in 2007, when they were chased from power by Ethiopian troops. It is also the clan base of many of the fighters in the pro-government 'Jubaland' militia, recruited and trained by Kenya.
"Kenyan troops and other soldiers arrived here in the morning today after planes flew overheard for hours," said town elder Mohamud Sanyare. "Some people are happy and some maybe not happy. Some of the soldiers arrived here are the sons of families living here and so they welcomed them."
Soldiers were doing foot patrols and searching houses, he said.
"We are going to be there until the (Somali government) has effectively reduced the capacity of al-Shabab to fire a single round … We want to ensure there is no al-Shabab," Kenyan military spokesman Maj. Emmanuel Chirchir told The Associated Press. "We want to destroy all their weapons."
"This provides a vantage point for us to clear al-Shabab and pirates from the Somali coast in Kismayo," Chirchir said. "Al-Shabab is in disarray."
His words were the clearest statement yet of Kenya's intentions. Initially the East African nation said it was pursuing Somali gunmen who have attacked and abducted foreigners from Kenyan territory. Two Spanish aid workers, a cancer-stricken quadriplegic Frenchwoman and an Englishwoman have all been seized in the past six weeks.
But analysts say such a complex operation in Somalia would have taken Kenya far longer to plan, and was sparked by Kenyan fears about instability from Somalia spilling over the border. On Thursday, Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki confirmed that there would be an internal crackdown against suspected al-Shabab operatives.
"Our security forces have begun operations within and outside of our borders against militants who have sought to destabilize our country," he said.
Some Muslim and Kenyan-Somali leaders have said they fear their communities may be unfairly targeted.
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Secret SAS squadron sent to spy in Africa Rafael Epstein and Dylan Welch March 13, 2012
A secret squadron of Australian SAS soldiers has been operating at large in Africa, performing work normally done by spies, in an unannounced and possibly dangerous expansion of Australia's foreign military engagement.
The deployment of the SAS's 4 Squadron - the existence of which has never been publicly confirmed - has put the special forces unit at the outer reaches of Australian and international law.
The Age has confirmed that troopers from the squadron have mounted dozens of secret operations over the past year in African nations including Zimbabwe, Nigeria and Kenya.
They have been out of uniform and not accompanied by Australian Secret Intelligence Service officers with whom undercover SAS forces are conventionally deployed.
It is believed the missions have involved gathering intelligence on terrorism and scoping rescue strategies for Australian civilians trapped by kidnapping or civil war.
But the operations have raised serious concerns within the Australian military and intelligence community because they involve countries where Australia is not at war.
There are also concerns within the SAS that the troopers do not have adequate legal protection or contingency plans if they are captured. ''They have all the espionage skills but without [ASIS's] legal cover,'' said one government source.
In a comment relayed to government officials, one soldier said: ''What happens if we get caught?''
Australian National University professor Hugh White, a former deputy secretary of Defence, said: ''Such an operation deprives the soldier of a whole lot of protections, including their legal status and, in a sense, their identity as a soldier. I think governments should think extremely carefully before they ask soldiers to do that.''
Despite the dangers, then foreign minister Kevin Rudd last year asked for troopers from 4 Squadron to be used in Libya during that country's conflict. His plan was thwarted by opposition from Defence Minister Stephen Smith and chief of the Defence Force General David Hurley.
Both Mr Smith and General Hurley declined to be interviewed about this story.
SAS 4 Squadron is based at Swan Island, near Queenscliff, a high-security defence facility that has doubled in size over the past decade, in part to accommodate the new squadron.
The squadron was formally raised in 2005 by the Howard government, but The Age has learnt that its new intelligence-focused role was authorised in late 2010 or early last year by Mr Smith.
The SAS is also at the forefront of gender reform in the Australian military, with six female soldiers being trained in the United States for their work with 4 Squadron.
Collecting intelligence overseas without using violence is the main function of ASIS, which was created in 1952 but not officially acknowledged until 1977.
Since the mid-1980s, ASIS officers have been refused permission to carry weapons or use violence, but in 2004 the Howard government amended legislation to allow them to have weapons for self-defence and to participate in violent operations provided the officers themselves do not use force.
It was around that time that the creation of the fourth SAS squadron was authorised, with its soldiers expected to be an elite version of bodyguards and scouts for ASIS intelligence officers.
The African operations by 4 Squadron initially centred on possible rescue scenarios for endangered Australian citizens, such as freelance journalist Nigel Brennan, who was held by Somali rebels.
The soldiers have also assessed African border controls, explored landing sites for possible military interventions and developed scenarios for evacuating Australians, as well as assessing local politics. ASIS officers are legally permitted to carry false Australian passports and, if arrested, can deny who they are employed by. ADF members on normal operations cannot carry false identification and cannot deny which government they work for.
While the SAS has worked alongside Australia's intelligence agencies for decades, the creation of a dedicated squadron mirrors the US model, where the military and the intelligence services have closer links.
That relationship has resulted in the growing importance of the US Joint Special Operations Command, whose soldiers killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Pakistan last year.
Some staff within the ADF's special operations command see 4 Squadron detracting from what they believe is the main effort - the war in Afghanistan and the counterterrorism teams on the east and west coasts of Australia, manned by soldiers from the 2nd Commando Regiment and the SAS respectively. But others argue it is vital to Australia's contribution to the American fight against al-Qaeda - particularly in the Horn of Africa. US intelligence believes many second-tier al-Qaeda fighters and leaders from the Afghanistan and Pakistan region have fled there.
The intelligence gathered by the Australian soldiers in countries such as Kenya all flows into databases used by the US and its allies in Africa.
Australia's security service ASIO is also increasingly concerned by the domestic threat posed by Somalia-based terror group al-Shabaab. ASIO holds concerns that a small group within Australia's growing Somali community is sending money to al-Shabaab.
Critical Analysis The MI6-Al-Shabaab Connection By T.J. Coles. Axis of Logic Wednesday, Jul 4, 2012
British security analysts fear that the militant Islamic Somali group Al-Shabaab, which has admitted to carrying out acts of terrorism, may attack the London Olympic Games. The military and its secret services count on the media to “set the agenda” (Chatham House)1 and to “shape perceptions” (Ministry of Defence).2 It is not surprising, then, that the government’s terrorism claims are repeated uncritically by the media, which specialise in “white propaganda” (an official term for establishment messages).3
Al-Shabaab foreign forces are recruited and trained by MI5 agents.
In reality, Al-Shabaab was infiltrated by old MI6 assets long ago, and its foreign forces are recruited and trained by MI5 agents (see below). If there is an attack on the Olympic Games carried out by Al-Shabaab, it will almost certainly be a false-flag designed to propel a war-weary public into supporting yet more bloodshed in the Pentagon’s quest for Full Spectrum Dominance.4 With one million Somalis dependent on Red Cross food aid (and not by accident), a British-led invasion could lead to mass starvation.
Shell and BP have long-standing oil contracts in Somalia, which the country’s socialist Islamic Courts Union jeopardised by permitting Chinese and Russian prospecting.5 A Chatham House study sponsored by BP recommended that because “Voters will not actively call for a more effective foreign policy,” the unelected Tory-Liberal government “should define its international mission as managing risks on behalf of British citizens.”6
The review laid the basis for the national security and strategic defence reviews, which named Somalia and adjacent Yemen, as “threats” to Britain’s “security.”7 In reality, Britain has been a major threat to Somalia and Yemen since the days of Empire, killing 200,000 Yemenis in the 1962-1970 war.8 If you want to know the military-industrial-complex’s real interest in Somalia and Yemen, look at a map. No amount of propaganda (except perhaps major cartographical revisions) can disguise the fact that 16,000 trade ships a year pass through the Gulf of Aden on their way to Europe and the US.9 Counterterrorism is a necessary pretext for militarising the zone.
The Red Cross warned that nearly one million Somalis are dependent upon aid.10 The foundations of the crisis were laid in 2006, when the Ethiopia-based Transitional Federal Government (TFG)—financed, armed, and trained by British special forces—invaded Somalia to depose the Islamic Courts Union. The TFG’s interior minister, Guled Ghamadeere, held up World Food Program (WFP)-delivered aid. The WFP refused to act because it was being used to funnel Department for International Development money (given by the British taxpayer) to the TFG.11
The mass-murder, rape, looting, and torture inflicted by the TFG sparked a refugee crisis in which one million Somalis fled Mogadishu. Hundreds of thousands of Somali and Ethiopian “boat people” flee across the Gulf of Aden each year to seek refuge in Yemen,12 where the British-trained and armed security services murdered demonstrators during the Arab Spring.13 A quarter of a million Somalis also live in dire conditions in Kenyan camps, where the British-trained and armed Kenyan forces rape and extort the women. Other refugees live on the Somalia-Ethiopia border.14
The dire situation put 4 million Somalis on the brink of starvation in a “famine caused by men, not by global warming,” in the words of the only journalist in Britain to cover the story (Aden Hartley). The US Congress described the Islamic Courts Union (ICU) as a non-violent, non-extremist socialist government which achieved poverty reduction. A Chatham House paper noted the ICU’s near-total eradication of piracy.15 But a stable, socialist government which allowed Russia and China to prospect for oil was not to be tolerated by Britain.
Al-Shabaab spokesman, Sheikh Rageh
The TFG finally dismantled the ICU in the three-year war. From the wreckage emerged Al-Shabaab, the armed, militant wing of the ICU. In contrast to its predecessor, Al-Shabaab is an extremist organisation which has committed human rights violations—though nothing on the scale of the British-created TFG.16 Ugandans, whose military forces are part of the international occupation of Somalia, paid a bitter price in 2010, when Al-Shabaab committed its first external act of terrorism, targeting a soccer World Cup game. The act was confirmed by Al-Shabaab spokesman, Sheikh Rageh.17 What was not reported, however, is that Rageh’s superior, Ahmed Abdi Godane, has CIA-MI6 links:
THE SHABAAB-MI6 CONNECTION
In June 2011, the head of UK Counterterrorism, Campbell McCafferty, testified to a committee that “There has not been any evidence of a link between the [Somali] pirates and al-Shabab.” However, such a “link to terrorism would change entirely the international community’s view … I think people are looking hard for those links.”18 The inference being that if terrorism doesn’t exist, it has to be invented.
A few months later, People newspaper reported “fears that al-Shabaab will attempt to strike at the [London Olympic] Games, as well as growing concern over piracy and kidnappings.” Providing no evidence, the author Nick Dorman said that “Fanatics from the [Shabaab] group were responsible for 21/7, the botched plot to set off bombs in London in 2005.”19 There is just one slight problem with this analysis: Al-Shabaab didn’t even exist in 2005. Congressional sources trace its origins to 2007.20
MI5 Chief Jonathan Evans
Dorman’s article ended with a quote from a Ministry of Defence official who claimed that Somalia may be next in line for British occupation. This was followed by an unprecedented statement from MI5 chief Jonathan Evans, that “Somalia has become the next destination after Pakistan for terrorist training due to the presence of al-Shabaab, an extremist group with links to al-Qa’ida.”21 According to the late British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook, “al-Qaeda” is a CIA term used by the agency to describe “the computer data-base” of fighters that it—together with MI6 and the SAS—funded, armed, and trained in 197922 in order “to draw the Russians into the Afghan trap,” as Jimmy Carter’s then-National Security Advisor explained.23
Haroon Rashid Aswat
Parliamentary documents reveal that MI6 “mobilised” the terrorist group Al-Muhajiroun in the 1990s in order to fight in Kosovo.24 FBI agent and former prosecutor John Loftus, speaking on behalf of the FBI, revealed that the British extremist Haroon Rashid Aswat is an MI6 double-agent, and that through Al-Muhajiroun has recruited fighters for Somalia from the UK. Far from being “Al-Shabaab” that tried to commit terrorism on 21/7, it was actually Aswat who was behind the 7/7 and 21/7 attacks, Loftus said.25 It should be noted, however, that most British Somalis do not support Al-Shabaab, “al-Qaeda”, or terrorism.26
Abu Qatada, MI5-MI6 Agent in a safe house in England cared for by British Intel Services.
Abu Qatada, whom the Daily Mail describes as “Bin Laden’s right-hand man in Britain,”27 is another MI5-MI6 agent, which explains the reason for his slow extradition. According to a Time Magazine article from 2002, “senior European intelligence officials tell TIME that Abu Qatada is tucked away in a safe house in the north of England, where he and his family are being lodged, fed and clothed by British intelligence services.”28
MI5 double-agent Reda Hassaine stated: “I saw Qatada brainwash young Muslims, living in Britain from Africa, Somalia, Sudan, Morocco and my own country of Algeria.”29 On Al-Shabaab, the Guardian reported that “Britons are believed to make up about a quarter of the 200 or so of its foreign fighters, according to the Royal United Services Institute.”30
It is surely no coincidence that Somalia and Sudan are now listed as the most dangerous places in the world by the Maplecroft Terrorism index?31 After Somalia’s first mosque bombing in 2010, many Somalis suspected foreign involvement.32 It was later revealed that SAS killers had been in Somalia for many years assisting the TFG and the Puntland police force.33
Ahmed Abdi Godane, Al-Shabaab Leader
One of Al-Shabaab’s leaders is Ahmed Abdi Godane (also known as Abu Zubayr). Godane joined Al-Itihad al Islamiya (AIAI) in the 1990s. According to the US State Department, AIAI “was an Islamist militant group founded by Somali Salafis in the 1980s. Many of its fighters trained with al Qaeda in Afghanistan during the Soviet occupation, and returned to Somalia after the war.”34 The US State Department defines “al-Qaeda” as: “Established by Usama Bin Ladin in the late 1980s to bring together Arabs who fought in Afghanistan against the Soviet Union.”35 In other words, its own creation.
The MI5-MI6-Al-Shabaab links appear to cross “virtual” barriers. Al-Shabaab's website alqimmah.net reaches Somalis from its registered base in Sweden. It has posted anti-negotiation statements, written under religious pretexts, in order to encourage Al-Shabaab members to dismiss peace settlements, such as the Djibouti Round (2009). The website also schools young recruits in bomb-making and even attempts to incite Kenyan Muslims. The website is run by Musa Said Yusuf Godir, who in 2008, was arrested in London with his colleague Ahmed Said Mohamed Faarax-Deeq, who runs other Al-Shabaab-affiliated websites. They were charged with terrorism offences. However, “Both men were subsequently cleared of the charges and released,” the UN reported. “On the night of 28 July 2009, participants in an Al-Shabaab online forum celebrated the release of Faarax-Deeq,” the agency added, concluding: “On 9 August 2009, a group of Somalis … hosted a reception for Faarax-Deeq and Godir in Leicester [UK],”36 all under the nose of MI5.
READ MORE ANALYSES & ESSAYS BY T.J. COLES, AXIS OF LOGIC COLUMNIST
Chatham House, “Are our media threatening the public good?” February, 2010, London: Institute for Government
Ministry of Defence, “The Strategic Trends Programme: Out to 2040”, London: MoD
See, for instance, Stephen Dorril, 2000, MI6, London: The Fourth Estate
US Space Command, “Vision for 2020,” February, 1997
Senlis Council, “Chronic Failures in the War on Terror”, 2009
Alex Evans and David Steven, “Organizing for Influence”, June, 2010, Chatham House
Cabinet Office, “A Strong Britain in an Age of Uncertainty: The National Security Strategy”, October, 2010, and Cabinet Office, “Securing Britain in an Age of Uncertainty: The Strategic Defence and Security Review”, October, 2010
For the shocking details, see Mark Curtis, 2003, Web of Deceit, London: Vintage and Stephen Dorril, MI6
Roger Middleton, “Piracy in Somalia: Threatening global trade, feeding local wars”, Africa Programme, October, 2008, Chatham House Briefing Paper, AFP BP 08/02
Red Cross, “Somalia: food aid distributed to over 900,000 people”, No 11/04 16, December, 2011
See my, "Somalia Still Suffers", Z Magazine, July-August, 2010 See my, “Somalia: 'A famine caused by men, not global warming” Axis of Logic, 27 November, 2011
House of Commons, “Yemen: Military Aid”, 30 November, 2011, Column 919W
See my, “Somalia: 'A famine caused by men, not global warming'.”, Axis of Logic, 27 November, 2011
See my, "Somalia Still Suffers", Z Magazine, July-August, 2010
Human Rights Watch, “Harsh War, Harsh Peace: Abuses by al-Shabaab, the Transitional Federal Government, and AMISOM in Somalia”, April, 2010, London: HRW
Department of State (US), “Background Information on Designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations Contents” Appendix B, no date
United Nations Security Council, “Letter dated 10 March 2010 from the Chairman of the Security Council Committee pursuant to resolutions 751 (1992) and 1907 (2009) concerning Somalia and Eritrea addressed to the President of the Security Council”, S/2010/91, 10 March, 2010
IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION ADMINISTRATIVE COURT
Royal Courts of Justice Strand, London, WC2A 2LL 19th October 2012
B e f o r e :
LORD JUSTICE LLOYD JONES ____________________ Between: SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT
Applicant - and -
CC and CF Respondents
James Eadie QC, Andrew O'Connor and Louise Jones (instructed by the Treasury Solicitor) for the Applicant Timothy Otty QC and Dan Squires (instructed by Birnberg Peirce) for CC Danny Friedman and Tom Hickman (instructed by Irvine Thanvi Natas) for CF Hugo Keith QC, Zubair Ahmad and Shaheen Rahman (instructed by the Special Advocates' Support Office) as Special Advocates for CC and CF Hearing dates: 9th, 10th, 16th-20th, 24th-26th July 2012.
III. NATIONAL SECURITY CASE AGAINST CC.
Involvement in terrorism-related activity. #33 On behalf of CC it is submitted that the decisions of the Secretary of State to make a control order and a TPIM in respect of CC were flawed in that she had no reasonable grounds for suspecting or believing (respectively) that he had been involved in terrorism-related activity.
#34 The Security Service assesses that CC is linked to a group of six British nationals who received terrorist training from Al Qaida operatives, Saleh Nabhan and Harun Fazul in Somalia in 2006. It assesses that the group returned to the United Kingdom in late 2006 and early 2007 and has evolved into a well-established and prolific extremist facilitation network, actively supporting extremist associates in East Africa. The network consists of a UK-based group and an East Africa-based group. The UK-based group supports the activities of the associates in Somalia and also seeks to recruit and radicalise further individuals. The UK-based group maintains contact with the East Africa-based group to co-ordinate the transfer of money, equipment and individuals to Somalia.
#35 For the reasons set out in my closed judgment in this matter, I have come to the clear conclusion that the Secretary of State had and has reasonable grounds for suspecting or believing (respectively) that CC has been involved in terrorism-related activity. In particular, the evidence before the Secretary of State supports that conclusion in the following respects:
(1) CC is closely linked to the network described above.
(2) CC travelled to Somalia where he received terrorist training in 2008 from experienced Al-Shabaab operatives. CC attended a terrorist training camp in Kamsuma, Southern Somalia, from 2008 onwards in preparation for fighting along side Al-Shabaab.
(3) CC fought on the front line in Somalia in support of Al-Shabaab.
(4) CC facilitated the travel of several individuals from the United Kingdom to Somalia to enable them to take part in terrorism-related activity. He was involved in facilitating the attempted travel of Mohammed Aden (September 2008) Mustafa Ferole (June 2009) and the travel of Mohammed Sharif Nur to a training camp (August 2009).
(5) CC facilitated the support of the UK-based network for terrorism- related activity in Somalia. The network, which includes Ibrahim Magag and Jama Hersi, has had access to money, false passports and documentation, as well as equipment. CC was involved in procuring funds for terrorism-related activity.
(6) Between 2008 and late 2010 CC was engaged in procuring weapons for use in furthering his terrorism-related activity, including fighting and attack plans.
(7) CC played a role in planning attacks in Somalia and overseas. CC was involved in an attack plan with Saeed Mohamed and Mohammed Ali Sharif Nur intended for the Juba Hotel in Mogadishu, Somalia in August 2010 and he was willing to participate in a terrorist attack.
(8) Shortly before his arrest CC was involved in attack-planning with Hersi. These plans were potentially intended for western interests in Somaliland.
#36 CC has failed to deal in his witness statements with the allegations against him, other than to deny them and to claim that he has been the victim of false allegations about his purpose in travelling to Somaliland, and he has not given evidence. Rather, his response has been limited to the submission made by his counsel that "a host of the most serious allegations against him must be immediately set aside as either having been the subject of inadequate disclosure or because put no higher than allegations of possible – rather than reasonably believed – conduct." (Closing Submissions paragraph 76.) Disclosure in this case has been exhaustively considered in a series of interlocutory hearings, including one before me. There has been no appeal against the decisions made in those hearings. I have kept disclosure under review throughout the substantive hearing and I am satisfied that CC's complaint of inadequate disclosure is totally lacking in substance. The appropriate disclosure has been made so as to permit CC to respond.
#37 The Secretary of State has made clear that she no longer relies on the Somaliland interviews of CC. The Schedule 7 interviews of CC have been held to be ultra vires. (R (CC) v. Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis  EWHC 3316 (Admin).) In the course of the hearing it was suggested that the Schedule 7 interviews were not admissible in these proceedings. However, this point was never fully developed. As a result, in my evaluation of the evidence I have excluded from consideration the Somaliland interviews and the Schedule 7 interviews. Furthermore, I am satisfied that, if the Secretary of State had approached the matter on this basis, the weight of the other evidence is such that she would inevitably have come to the same conclusion.
#38 For the reasons set out in my closed judgment I consider that the Secretary of State was entitled to conclude on the basis of the evidence before her that each of these allegations was made out to the required standard. I consider that the Secretary of State had reasonable grounds for suspecting and believing that CC has been involved in terrorism-related activity. Indeed, I consider that the national security case against CC is overwhelming.
IV. NATIONAL SECURITY CASE AGAINST CF #45 On behalf of CF it is submitted that the Secretary of State's decisions to make a control order and a TPIM in respect of CF were flawed in that she had no reasonable grounds for suspecting or believing (respectively) that he has been involved in terrorism-related activity.
#46 The Security Service assesses that CF was also linked to the group of six British nationals with which CC was associated and which has evolved into an extremist facilitation network.
#47 For the reasons set out in my closed judgment, I have come to the clear conclusion that the Secretary of State had and has reasonable grounds for suspecting or believing (respectively) that CF has been involved in terrorism-related activity. In particular, the evidence before the Secretary of State supports that conclusion in the following respects:
(1) In 2008 CF attempted to travel to Afghanistan to fight "Jihad" and engage in suicide operations. This attempted travel was with an associate Mohammed Abushamma who is also assessed to be an Islamist extremist. Whilst CF was acquitted (following his absconding from bail) at a criminal trial where he was charged with offences contrary to section 5(1)(a) of the Terrorism Act 2006 arising out of his attempted travel in 2008, there is clear evidence that CF had sought to travel to Afghanistan for terrorism-related activity.
(2) CF undertook terrorist training in Somalia after June 2009, having travelled to Somalia for Islamist extremist reasons in June 2009, following his absconding from bail during the criminal trial in the United Kingdom. CF attended a terrorist training camp in Somalia and was involved in fighting alongside Al-Shabaab.
(3) CF provided advice on travelling to Somalia to others and attempted to recruit fighters in the United Kingdom for fighting overseas, including wanting to assist Hisham Kelifa's travel to Somalia in 2010 for terrorism-related activity.
(4) CF was engaged in fund-raising activities for Al-Shabaab.
(5) CF was potentially involved in attack planning when, shortly before his arrest, he was involved with CC and Jama Hersi's attack plans to target Western interests in Somaliland.
#48 CF's counsel informed the Court at the start of the substantive hearing that CF was undecided as to whether to give oral evidence. In the event, he decided not to do so. In his fourth witness statement, produced during the hearing, CF explained that having given this decision very careful thought leading up to the hearing and having listened to the hearing for the first two days, he felt that it was too difficult for him to give evidence. He stated that he finds it very difficult to talk about the past events, particularly the situation in relation to Somaliland, in relation to the control order and TPIM and in relation to his family. He stated that he is suffering from stress and is paranoid. He stated that he suffers from pericarditis, a viral heart condition. He had concluded that he could not put himself through giving evidence. However, I consider that there was no satisfactory explanation for CF's failure to give oral evidence.
#49 Furthermore, I accept the submission of the Secretary of State that it is plain that CF has lied in the course of these proceedings. Mr O'Connor draws attention to the following matters:
(1) Having previously denied that he had had any contact with his family in the whole time that he was in Somalia (Second witness statement of CF, paragraph 16), he now states that he did have contact with a limited number of members of his family on around four or five occasions (Third witness statement of CF, paragraphs 2-3).
(2) In his first witness statement CF stated that he had not seen Nur since before he left the United Kingdom in 2008 and, quite possibly 2007 (First witness statement of CF, paragraph 253). However, in his third witness statement CF states that he did see Nur in the neighbourhood occasionally and he thinks that he played football with him (Third witness statement of CF, paragraph 10).
I also consider that he has lied in respect of certain other matters addressed in my closed judgment. I accept the submission on behalf of the Secretary of State that these lies have an important bearing on the credibility of CF.
#50 In summary, it is submitted on behalf of CF as follows:
(1) The assessment in relation to what the Security Service assesses to be CF's attempt to travel to Afghanistan in 2008, even if made out to the required standard, in itself would not come close to justifying a control order or a TPIM.
(2) There is nothing in the Afghanistan allegations to link CF to the network.
(3) The Somaliland assessment is in its own terms insufficient to meet the statutory tests and it is based on unreliable and inadmissible evidence (i.e. the Somaliland interrogations and the Schedule 7 interviews) as well as ignoring evidence of CF's character and his account of his activities in Somalia.
(4) The allegations relating to attempting to assist the travel of his sisters and Hisham Kelifa to Somalia are insufficient to constitute terrorism-related activity.
(5) There has been inadequate disclosure.
The control orders/TPIM remain in place against CC and CF