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Sunday, November 23, 2008

BBC NEWS..Pirates 'working with Islamists' Al-Shabaab Who Have Their Own Navy of 480 Strong, Al-Shabaab Website in USA !

Somali pirates have been accused of forming what is described as an "unholy high seas alliance" with some of the country's Islamist insurgents (AL-SHABAAB Terrorists who run a website in the USA).

Jane's Terrorism and Security Monitor says certain insurgents are using pirates to smuggle weapons and supplies and help provide bases in return. The London-based newsletter says pirates are also training Somali hardliners in naval tactics.

The links are traced to 2007, after Ethiopian forces invaded Somalia. The Union of Islamic Courts (UIC), which took control of much of southern Somalia in 2006, had cracked down on pirate operations in Hobyo and Harardheere. They even freed a dhow captured by the pirates in August 2006. But after the UIC were ousted, various Islamic groups formed links with the pirates.

Bruno Schiemsky - who formerly monitored UN arms shipments into Somalia - says these links take a variety of forms: Al-Shabaab Islamists have used the pirates to bring in arms shipments and foreign fighters, providing weapons and training in their use in return. They also help with bases from which the pirates operate.

Hardliners, known as the Shabaab, now have a degree of control over several pirate groups and provide operating funds and specialist weapons in return for a share of the ransoms being paid to free the ships and crew As many as 2,500 young Somalis have been trained by the Shabaab at points all along the Somali coast.

The Islamists are using the pirates to train their own forces in naval tactics so that they can provide protection for arms being smuggled in Somalia from Eritrea. The article provides details of three arms shipments brought into the country by pirates.

It says two shipments in May were for Sheikh Hassan Abdulle Hersi, who is also known as Hassan Turki, an Islamist leader who is based in southern Somalia near Kismayo. They are reported to have been picked up from islands off the Eritrean coast.

One was landed south of the capital, Mogadishu, the other brought into Mogadishu port where businessmen are alleged to have bribed port officials to allow them to be landed.

Another shipment arrived in July and is reported to have contained large quantities of weapons including specialist sniper rifles, heavy machine guns, guided anti-tank missiles and anti-aircraft guns, as well as ammunition.
This is said to have been landed in Puntland in north-eastern Somalia.

The maritime force organised by the Shabaab - along the lines of the Sea Tigers operated by the Sri Lankan Tamil Tigers - is said to be located in southern Somalia. They are reported to be 480 strong, and the article says they will operate off the coast of Somalia and northern Kenya
.

Experts said that while the pirates may enjoy tacit support from Somalia's leading Islamist group, al Shabaab, their motive is profit, not terrorism, and there is no evidence that they are linked to al Qaeda. The U.S. Treasury announced on Thursday new anti-terrorism sanctions against three al Shabaab leaders but did not link the move to the surge in pirate activity.A l Qaeda, which has conducted at least two major attacks at sea, may however watch the hijack dramas with keen interest.

A militant supporter wrote in a message to Internet forums (see website info below) this week, monitored by the U.S.-based SITE Intelligence Group, that the crisis was drawing Western navies to the seas off East Africa where they would be easy meat for al Qaeda attacks. "The enemies of al Qaeda ... will swallow the bait and come to the area in which al Qaeda has woven its nets," he wrote. "At that time, al Qaeda will settle scores with America and its allies by striking their ships or sinking them."

Al-Shabaab an Islamist group in Somalia officially said that they would track American citizens wherever they are, even if they are Aid workers or Journalists. The message was posted on their website http://kataaib.net/shuhadada%2028-01-2008.html they’ve also issued statements on the website praising Osama Bin Laden and inviting foreign fighters (Al-Qaeda) to come to Somalia. Al-Shabab is targeting all Journalists in Somalia. The Al-Shabaab website is hosted in the USA by the Dotster web company in Vancouver WA.

Visitors...Estimated number of visits for www.kataaib.net 5,037 visits per day
Al-Shabaab in Somalia is Al-Qaeda, Al-Shabaab's website
http://kataaib.net/shuhadada%2028-01-2008.html

Dotster web hosting;DOTSTER INC
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