a). 70 killed in Somalia fighting
b). Militia control key Somali port
c). Rebels attack president's home
d). Two ships seized off Somalia
Kismayu - Bodies littered the streets of this strategic southern port in Somalia on Saturday, a day after it was seized by Islamist rebels in fighting that killed at least 70 people.
The loss of Kismayu to the al-Shabaab insurgents was another blow for Somalia's interim government, which signed a peace deal with some opposition figures last week that has only seemed to stoke violence in the Horn of Africa nation.
"We are now collecting the corpses lying in the streets," resident Mohamed Farah, 55, told Reuters. "The town is calm today and we're busy burying the victims of the fighting. The Islamists are at the abandoned sea and air ports, and people here are hoping to reopen their businesses."
Since the start of last year, al-Shabaab rebels have been waging an Iraq-style insurgency of mortar attacks, roadside bombings and assassinations, targeting the fragile administration and its Ethiopian military allies. The artillery and gun battles that broke out on Wednesday around Kismayu were the heaviest in the area for months. Medical workers said at least 140 people had been wounded.
Fearful residents said large, unidentified aircraft had been flying over the area since then. "We don't know what will happen, but we are scared," said another local man, Hussein Ahmed, 35. It was not clear who sent the planes. The United States, which has launched air strikes inside Somalia in recent months, officially listed al-Shabaab earlier this year as a terrorist organisation with close ties to Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda.
Washington sees Somalia as a training ground for extremists and says that radical Islamist leaders have made much of it a safe haven for high level suspects, including the bombers of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania a decade ago. The violence in Somalia has killed more than 8 000 civilians and uprooted 1 million since the beginning of 2007, when government forces backed by Ethiopian tanks and warplanes drove a sharia courts group out of the capital Mogadishu. On Monday, UN-led talks in Djibouti produced a tentative peace agreement between the government and some opposition figures. But the deal had already been rejected by al-Shabaab commanders and other opposition hardliners.
SEE VIDEO; AL-SHABAAB TERRORISTS IN SOMALIA PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE TO OSAMA BIN-LADEN, CLICK HERE.
Al-Shabaab's offical website is seen here, the translated website is see by clicking here, they solicit funds and recruit additional "fighters" online, the website is hosted in the USA by the Dotster Web Hosting Company in Vancouver WA.
Al-Shabaab in Somalia is Al-Qaeda.
Dotster web hosting; DOTSTER INC
8100 NE Parkway Dr #300
Vancouver, WA 98662, USA
Phone 1-360-449-5985 or 1-360-449-5900
Many in Kismayu fear the pro-government clan militia that fled the town on Friday might soon try to regroup to retake it. "The capture of Kismayu by al-Shabaab may bring us a new disaster," Fatuma Mohamud, a local mother-of-four, told Reuters. "We're afraid our town will become like Mogadishu, where explosions and hit-and-run attacks are order of the day."
THE COLUMBIAN NEWSPAPER; IN OUR VIEW, INTERNET CENSOR (BILL WARNER); Wednesday, May 07, 2008A
Florida man’s heart might be in the right place, but he is misguided in his bid to get a Vancouver Internet service company to drop a Somali-language Web site.
Bill Warner, a Sarasota private investigator (www.wbipi.com ), wants Dotster Inc. of Vancouver to refuse service to kataaib.net (Al-SHABAAB). Warner, who has launched similar purge efforts in other cities with other Internet companies, says kataaib.net supports an al-Qaida organization in Somalia (AL-SHABAAB), where war and genocide are tragic facts of daily life.
“There are groups like this one that associate with al-Qaida through Web sites that help promote the ideology, help find new recruits and help the effort to support terrorism,” Warner said in a Tuesday Columbian story by Courtney Sherwood. “It’s not freedom of speech. This site (AL-SHABAAB) should not be hosted in Vancouver".
Certainly the world has changed since 9/11, and we don’t fault any citizen for being alert to signs of possible terrorism. But the line separating suspicion (and the alerting of authorities) from vigilantism and paranoia gets blurry fast, as it did in World War II when the U.S. government rounded up 120,000 Japanese Americans on the West Coast and put them in camps, for fear they would assist the Axis countries. Dotster, which employs about 100 here and has clients worldwide, already works closely with the FBI and other law-enforcement agencies, says its CEO, Clint Page.
Dotster has more than 3 million domain names under its management, each with numerous Web pages. About once a week, Page told us, Dotster discovers one with questionable content, such as child pornography, anti-Semitism, credit card scams or possible terrorist sympathies. In other instances, authorities discover them first and come to Dotster.
Closing a site before the FBI has finished probing it might actually impede an investigation.“We have a close relationship with all law enforcement,” said Page, who in the late 1980s was vice president of the Columbia River Economic Development Council in Vancouver. “We routinely go to authorities with complaints.”Two of the most common, Page said, are child porn Web pages originating in the former Soviet Union and illegal gambling pages out of China.
Without subpoenas, Dotster is limited in what it may legally provide authorities, but, Page says, the company is as helpful as it may be under the law. With subpoenas, which it does get on occasion, Dotster provides even more information.“We cooperate as fully as we legally can as soon as we can,” he said. “A lot of times these Web sites are fleeting — shut down shortly after they are activated.”
Another problem with Warner’s approach is the danger of it leading to abuses. If Web service is denied because of protests from concerned citizens, what would be next after kataaib.net ? Political-advocacy pages? The ACLU? The National Rifle Association? Minor political parties?“We can’t just arbitrarily go in and shut down sites based on what someone finds offensive,” Page said.
Certainly a Web page that is intended to inspire terrorism should be probed and be a candidate for closure. But the FBI or other experts should make that decision, with a judge if that’s required by law........... It’s not Warner’s call.