Public anger at the recent stoning of a 13-year-old girl in Somalia shows the growing resentment towards radical Islamists Al-Shabaab who have gained control of much of the south and centre of the country.
Insurgents from the militant group al-Shabaab are seen as authoritarian and unaccountable - unlike the Islamists who were in control of the capital, Mogadishu, in 2006. Asha Ibrahim Dhuhulow was stoned to death for adultery in the southern port city of Kismayo, which was taken control by al-Shabaab and its allies in August.
The Al-Shabaab group, run by Hiiran's al-Shabab Chairman Sheikh Ali Dheere, is on the US terror list and is said to have links with al-Qaeda, has since split from the UIC, angered by its current peace negotiations with the government. It does not work against the UIC, but it favours co-operating with other groups including:
• The Kaanboni, led by Hassan Turki, who is also on the US terror list
• The Islamic Front, a new group about which very little is known.
For example, since mid-August, when they captured the Lower Jubba, Middle Jubba and Gedo regions from local clan militia, they now share the administration with existing officials. According to well-informed sources in the regions who requested anonymity, these groups instil fear among the local population.
"You keep quiet and follow the commands of the Islamists, or emigrate to neighbouring countries, or simply die and leave this world," one of them said. In Mogadishu, al-Shabaab insurgents are said to move around the city freely - often in vehicles captured from the government.
The government forces and troops from Ethiopia and the African Union are limited to the airport, port, presidential palace and a few military camps. Besides the central city of Baidoa, these are the only areas government forces now hold.
Death threats on cell phone text messages; Al-Shabab insurgents have a countrywide organisation (internet website click to see here), threatening anyone they perceive to be supporting the government with text messages on cell phones. One human rights activist outside the capital told the BBC that he was ordered to close down his offices. He said he began receiving quite frequent threatening messages on his mobile. So he stopped using his phone. Eventually a relative brought him a stern message from al-Shabab. It said if he did not stop his work, he would be killed.
As the government has lost ground over the last five months, the number of attacks on civil society activists, local non-governmental workers and international aid workers has increased. Some have been shot dead point-blank; others have been kidnapped and are still missing. Most suspect that those behind the attacks are al-Shabaab insurgents, even if no-one dares say so publicly.
The Al-Shabaab website is http://www.kataaib.net/ and the website is hosted in the USA at the Dotster Web Co in Vancouver WA. Jihad terror sites hosted in the USA, like http://kataaib.net/ the official website of the Somali Harakat Al-Shabaab Al-Mujahideen, must be shut down.
Hosted ISP by; Dotster Inc.
kataaib.net = 22.214.171.124 IP Address
Kevin Kilroy, chairman of web hosting firm Dotster
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Vancouver, WA 98662
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