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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Somali Pirates connections to Al Qaeda

In Somalia, U.S. weapons end up in al-Qaeda hands

Geoffrey York September 22, 2009

Globe and Mail :: As the Somalia conflict spirals into a new proxy war between al-Qaeda and the United States, there is mounting evidence that U.S. weapons and Somali soldiers are ending up under the control of Islamic terrorists, Somali politicians say.
  • A proxy war is a war that results when two powers use third parties as substitutes for fighting each other directly.
  • While powers have sometimes used whole governments as proxies, terrorist groups, mercenaries, or other third parties are more often employed. It is hoped that these groups can strike an opponent without leading to full-scale war.
  • Proxy wars have also been fought alongside full-scale conflicts.
  • It is almost impossible to have a pure proxy war, as the groups fighting for a certain nation usually have their own interests, which are often divergent from those of their patron. (wkpd. proxy war. 10.09.09)
The warning comes after a week of heavy violence in Somalia, including a U.S. commando raid that killed a suspected terrorist leader, followed swiftly by a double suicide bombing that killed 17 African peacekeepers in revenge for the U.S. raid.

The United States has pumped at least 40 tonnes of weapons into Somalia in recent months to help the government fight the Islamic warriors who are linked to al-Qaeda. But the Somali army is so weak and ill-trained that its soldiers have begun defecting to the Islamists and their U.S.-supplied weapons are being traded to the insurgents, known as al-Shabab, the politicians say.
[ ... ]
Washington's attempt to prop up the Somali government with a flow of arms is a futile gesture because there is not enough training and support for its soldiers, the politicians said in interviews in Nairobi, ... Providing weapons without training and preparation is completely useless, said former prime minister Ali Mohamed Gedi, who stepped down in 2007 but remains an MP. ...

 All those weapons will end up in the hands of the terrorists. ... Mr. Gedi said he created 14,000 soldiers and 6,000 police officers during his term as prime minister, but they were undermined by a lack of training and support.

These forces have disintegrated totally, he said. Some of them may have even joined the terrorists.

... The government is currently defended by about 5,000 Burundian and Ugandan peacekeeping troops from the African Union.  The force is supposed to have 8,000 troops, but other African nations have failed to send their promised contributions so far.

... Suicide bombings, a technique imported from Afghanistan and Iraq, have become common in Somalia in the past two years.

The United States, worried about the growing power of al-Qaeda in Somalia, is reported to be setting up a Central Intelligence Agency base in Mogadishu, in addition to sending weapons into the country.

This week, U.S. commandos in helicopters attacked a vehicle in southern Somalia and killed a top terrorist leader, Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan. It was an escalation of the U.S. involvement in Somalia, where the Pentagon had previously limited itself to long-range missile strikes.

In retaliation for the helicopter attack, suicide bombers drove into an African Union base in two stolen United Nations vehicles. They detonated massive explosions that killed at least 21 people on the base, including a deputy commander of the peacekeeping force and 16 other peacekeepers.
The extremists vowed to launch more attacks, and a Somali official acknowledged that six more UN vehicles were missing.
[ ... ]
Mr. Gedi, the former prime minister, said the government is unlikely to survive unless it is defended by a newly trained Somali force of at least 30,000 troops and 15,000 police officers.
Coming Next -- : Scooby-Doo and the Hegelian Dialectic

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