| Al-Shabaab target may explain US secrecy over failed Somali raid!

Al-Shabaab target may explain US secrecy over failed Somali raid ~ 



It would be seen as a serious setback if Westgate mall plotter Ahmed Adbi Godane was the intended prize in Barawe.


Al-Shabaab fighters march on the outskirts of Mogadishu, Somalia. Their leader Ahmed Abdi Godane may have been the target of a US forces failed raid. Photograph: Mohamed Sheikh Nor/AP

Official US reluctance to identify the target of the failed Somali raid by Seal Team Six special forces commandos may stem from a wish not to further bolster the reputation of al-Shabaab‘s shadowy leader, Ahmed Abdi Godane, also known as Mukhtar Abu Zubeyr.

The Islamist militia’s hardline emir emerged as Africa‘s most wanted man after the 21 September Westgate mall attack in Nairobi that killed least 67 people, for which he claimed responsibility. His capture would have been portrayed as a triumph. By extension, his eluding of US-style justicewill be seen as a serious setback. Pentagon officials will say only that the target of the dawn raid on the seaside town of Barawe, south of Mogadishu, was a “high-value” al-Shabaab terrorist linked to Westgate. Local sources said the Seals attacked a building housing foreign fighters, and that an unidentified Chechen fighter may have been their quarry.

But this is unlikely to be the whole story, given the elaborate preparations for the raid, which began soon after Westgate. The US navy Seals are the same crack unit that killed the al-Qaida leader, Osama bin Laden, two years ago in Pakistan. This time, too, Barack Obama was reportedly kept closely informed of the progress of the Somali plan, and of the almost simultaneous operation in Libya.

Given the political sensitivity, at home and in the Muslim world, that surrounds such US on-the-ground incursions, Obama will have personally given the go-ahead for both raids. His orders were reportedly to capture, if possible, rather than kill.

It was a high-risk gamble that paid off in Tripoli, where the wanted al‑Qaida leader Nazih Abdul-Hamed al-Ruqai, also known as Anas al-Liby, was seized, but not in Somalia. And it was likely to be a gamble that could only be justified if the prize was the capture of Godane, the al-Shabaab eminence grise.

An unnamed Somali intelligence official confirmed Godane was the target, and the Somali government had been informed in advance. Obama’s hope was for high-profile trials. In al-Liby’s case, that may now happen, probably in New York. But for now, Godane is free to plan more atrocities.

Little wonder the Americans are keeping mum on the Barawe flop. Ever since the Black Hawk Down disaster in Mogadishu 20 years ago this month, Somalia has occupied a dreadful place in the American psyche. Since then, thanks to Godane, al-Shabaab has joined in formal alliance with al-Qaida.

As the group has internationalised its outlook, it has attracted hundreds of fighters from the US, Britain and Middle East countries. Latest assessments from Kenya say the Westgate attackers belonged to al-Hijra, the local al-Shabaab affiliate. One unwanted consequence of the US operation may thus be to exacerbate the Islamist challenge across the Horn of Africa, as Godane, a self-styled global jihadist, surely wants. It further highlights the growing importance of northern Africa, Yemen and the Saudi peninsula to the fight against al-Qaida.

The relatively more straightforward Libyan operation may nevertheless have a similar negative effect. Much longer in preparation, it was clearly timed to coincide with the Somali raid, thereby in theory diminishing the public impact in Libya and the Muslim world generally. US officials say it was not directly linked to the calamitous 2012 attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, although US counter-terrorism operations in Libya were stepped up after that incident.

A Libyan spokesman, contradicting statements in Washington, said the Libyan government was unaware of the operation and had not supported it. Such embarrassment is understandable. Libyans were already questioning their current government’s pro-western stance.

“Disclosure of the raid is likely to inflame anxieties among many Libyans about their national sovereignty, putting a new strain on the transitional government’s fragile authority. Many Libyan Islamists already accuse their interim prime minister, Ali Zeidan, who previously lived in Geneva as part of the exiled opposition to [deposed dictator Muammar] Gaddafi, of collaborating too closely with the west,” the New York Times reported.

The two raids may provide Obama with temporary relief from his domestic troubles, distracting attention from the government shutdown. But secretary of state John Kerry’s claim on Sunday that the operations showed terrorists they “can run but they can’t hide” was macho bombast straight from the George W Bush school of utter thoughtlessness.

The raids yielded one wanted man. They shed yet more blood. They played the terrorists’ game. They invited further retaliation and escalation down the road. They reminded Muslims everywhere that the US, in righteous mood, has scant regard for other countries’ borders and national rights. And they did nothing to address the roots and causes of confrontation between Islam and the west.



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| Blowback Unlimited: Al-Shabab carries out fresh attack in Kenya!

Al-Shabab carries out fresh attack in Kenya ~ Al Jazeera.

Two police officers killed in attack carried out by armed group that was also behind the deadly Nairobi mall siege.

Al-Shabab’s raids occur regularly but have taken on new significance following the Westgate mall attack [AFP]
Two Kenyan police officers have been killed in an attack on a security post near the Somali border, with the suspicion falling on the same armed group behind the deadly siege at a Nairobi mall which left hundreds dead.

The attack early on Thursday took place in the town of Mandera. Regional police chief Charlton Mureithi said that in addition to the two police officers killed, three others were injured and 11 vehicles destroyed.

The attack came hours after the Somalia-based al-Shabab group threatened that violence would continue until Kenyan troops were withdrawn from Somalia.

The group’s leader, Ahmed Godane Shaykh Mukhtar Abu Zubayr, warned the Kenyan public there was no way they could “withstand a war of attrition inside your own country”, in a statement posted on the internet late on Wednesday.

“Make your choice today and withdraw all your forces,…” Godane said. “Otherwise be prepared for an abundance of blood that will be spilt in your country, economic downfall and displacement.”

Westgate crime scene

Meanwhile, forensic experts from around the world, including the US, Britain and Germany, continued their work on Thursday at Nairobi’s Westgate mall, carrying out fingerprint, DNA and ballistic analysis, said police spokesperson Gatiria Mboroki. She said she had no details on what the experts had found so far in the bullet-scarred, scorched mall and that their work was expected to take a week.

At least 18 foreigners are now known to have died after al-Shabab fighters attacked the mall last Saturday, firing from automatic weapons and throwing grenades. They took many shoppers hostage and the siege lasted several days.

In addition to those killed at the mall, another 175 people were injured, including more than 60 who remain hospitalised.
Morgue officials in Nairobi have been preparing for a large influx of bodies still in the mall. Officials said that the shopping centre could hold dozens more bodies.

Authorities have said at least five al-Shabab attackers were killed and another 11 suspects have been taken into custody.

Washington is providing technical support and equipment to Kenyan security forces and medical responders, said US Ambassador Robert Godec. The US is assisting the investigation to bring the attack’s organisers and perpetrators to justice, he said on Wednesday.




| Kenya: The same old script – what ‘doing something’ really means!

The same old script: what ‘doing something’ really meansLindsey German, Stop the War Coalition

With US and French support, Kenya and Ethiopia have carried out full-scale military invasions of Somalia. The US launches drone strikes and runs cover operations in the country. The attack in Nairobi is the result of ‘doing something’.

Kenya shopping mall attackSmoke rises from the Westgate mall in Nairobi on September 23, 2013

The Hollywood film Black Hawk Down, directed by Ridley Scott, came out at around the same time as 9/11 in 2001. To many of its admirers, the tale of a beleaguered band of US Marines caught up in the Battle of Mogadishu in Somalia in 1993 was one of heroism and personal sacrifice against the odds. To its detractors, it boosted the role of the US military, demeaned the Somalis, and tried to make a heroic episode out of a bungled military operation in a former colonial country.

The terrible attack on the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi brought all this back. Most of the reporting is concentrating on the loss of human life, the nature of the Islamist group al-Shabaab, and whether US and British nationals were involved in the attack which saw nationals from many different countries, as well as Kenyans, killed.

Little mentioned are the reasons why al-Shabaab might launch such a deadly attack, other than the usual ‘explanation’ that they are ‘evil’ or that they ‘hate our way of life’. There have been calls for western intervention in Somalia in response to the killings. USA Today, for example, says ‘Somalia could be the new Afghanistan. A lawless, fundamentalist Somalia could incubate a Somali Osama bin Laden and new attacks on the USA, just as Afghanistan protected and nurtured bin Laden and al-Qaeda’.

It continues: ‘Leaving Somalia to al-Shabaab is not an option’.

It may come as news to USA Today, but far from the western powers and their African allies leaving Somalia alone, they have staged repeated interventions in the country, as they did in 1993, and continue to do so. Then, 18 US soldiers died, plus a Malaysian and Pakistani, but over 1,000 Somalis did.

Did no one notice the military invasion by Kenya two years ago, backed by the US and France? The US has also carried out repeated drone strikes in Somalia. Israeli forces have also been involved, as they were in the military operation at Westgate.

When the Islamic Courts government came to power in 2006 it was generally viewed as bringing some very limited stability to a country that had been fraught by war for decades. The US backed an Ethiopian invasion in 2009 to fight against the Islamic Courts. The ensuing chaos led to the rise of al-Shabaab.

European Union ships patrol the Somali coast looking for pirates. One of the main concerns of the western powers is the control of rich natural resources in the country including iron ore, uranium, copper, natural gas and crude oil.

Kenya is a leading ally of the US in the region, along with Ethiopia. A terrorist attack in its capital has been expected, and it is not accidental surely that the target was a shopping mall, symbol of ‘western values’ and neoliberalism, and magnet for rich westerners and Kenyans in Nairobi.

Everyone should condemn any such attack. But the loss of human life there is far less than the terrible catastrophe that has befallen so many Somalis in the past decades.

Perhaps the most frightening response to it, however, is the rush to demand, as we saw recently in Syria, that ‘something must be done’. There is a terrifying inability to acknowledge that US, British, French or Kenyan government actions have played any part in creating conditions for these attacks. Instead, the growing threat of terrorism is treated as a horror movie: the evil bin Laden is killed in Pakistan, but is now returning somewhere else – this time in Somalia. So more drone attacks, more special forces, more proxy wars carried out by US allies in Africa. And when they root out the new bin Laden, they will find yet another new bin Laden – in Libya, or Yemen, or Mali, or even in Syria.

Even the most frightening Hollywood films have to end some time. But this terrifying war to root out terror goes on and on. And as long as it does, there will be more terror attacks and a refusal to countenance political solutions.

Maybe they should tear up the script and start again.


police state usaA

Frankenstein MonsterA

| Targetting Westgate: Counting the cost of Kenya’s Israeli connection!

Israeli-Owned Kenya Mall Targeted as Bloody Nairobi Terror Attack Kills 68 ~ Reuters/Barak Ravid, Jewish Daily Forward.

Islamist militants were holding hostages on Sunday at a shopping mall in Nairobi, where at least 68 people were killed in an attack by the Somali al Shabaab group, which demanded that Kenya pull troops back from its neighbour.

Brief volleys of gunfire and a blast interrupted hours of stalemate. A Reuters correspondent saw security personnel on the move and, as dusk closed in, two helicopters swooped low over the Westgate shopping centre, which has several Israeli-owned outlets and is frequented by prosperous Kenyans and foreigners.

Mobile phone signals began to fail in the area as darkness fell. Kenya’s president, vowing to stand firm against Somali militants, was cautious about the outcome, saying chances of the attackers being “neutralised” were “as good … as we can hope for”.

“We will punish the masterminds swiftly and painfully,” he said. In addition to the dead, more than 175 people were wounded in an attack that began around the middle of the day on Saturday, when the mall was heaving with customers.

Officials did not say how many hostages were being held, although one Kenyan television station cited a figure of 30. Trapped individuals emerged, dwindling as the day went on.

The focus of attention on Sunday was the mall’s branch of Nakumatt supermarket, one of Kenya’s biggest chains. A Red Cross volunteer said nine more bodies were taken out of the store late on Sunday, which the Red Cross said raised the toll to 68.

Volunteers said they believed more corpses were still inside, unreachable for now.


British Prime Minister David Cameron, confirming three Britons were dead, said: “We should prepare ourselves for further bad news.” U.S. President Barack Obama called Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta to offer condolences and support.

Previous such raids, in Russia, the 2008 Mumbai attacks or January’s al Qaeda assault on an Algerian gas plant, have generally ended with many hostages losing their lives.

Foreigners including a French mother and daughter and two diplomats from Canada and Ghana were killed in Saturday’s attack, which was claimed by al Shabaab. Other victims came from China and the Netherlands. U.S. citizens were injured.

Shortly after Sunday’s shots were fired, troops in camouflage ran below a restaurant terrace along the front of the building that had buzzed with customers when the attack began.


Scores of Kenyans gathered on Sunday at a site overlooking the mall, awaiting what they expected to be a violent denouement. “They entered through blood, that’s how they’ll leave,” said Jonathan Maungo, a private security guard.

President Kenyatta, facing his first major security challenge since being elected in March, said he lost a nephew and his fiancée in the raid and vowed to defeat the militants.

In an address, he urged wealthy governments not to warn their citizens against visiting a country heavily dependent on tourist income, while insisting he would not pull out Kenyan troops from Somalia: “We shall not relent on the war on terror.”

Saying all the gunmen were now in one place, Kenyatta added: “I assure Kenyans that we have as good a chance to successfully neutralise the terrorists as we can hope for.”

But the heavily armed and well disciplined attackers, still unidentified, had shown no hesitation in killing civilians.

The spokesman for al Shabaab’s military operations told Reuters in Somalia his group had nothing to fear: “Where will Uhuru Kenyatta get the power with which he threatened us?” said Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab.

The assault was the biggest single attack in Kenya since al Qaeda’s East Africa cell bombed the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi in 1998, killing more than 200 people.

Al Shabaab’s siege underlined its ability to cause major disruptions with relatively limited resources.

“In terms of capacity, while the group has grown considerably weaker in terms of being able to wage a conventional war, it is now ever more capable of carrying out asymmetric warfare,” said Abdi Aynte, director of Mogadishu’s Heritage Institute of Policy Studies.


Kenyatta, who said Kenya was still trying to establish conclusively who was responsible, said women were among the 10 to 15 attackers. Asked whether hostages had explosives strapped to them, he said he would not comment on operational issues.

Kenya’s deputy president, William Ruto, asked judges at the International Criminal Court in The Hague to allow him to return home to help deal with the siege and its aftermath.

He and Kenyatta face charges of crimes against humanity for their alleged role in coordinating deadly violence after the contested 2007 elections, when they ran in rival camps. Both deny the charges. They won a vote on the same ticket in March.

The dead in Saturday’s assault included children, and the wounded ranged in age from 2 to 78. More than 1,000 people were evacuated by security forces combing the mall, littered with shattered glass and pools of blood.

An Israeli security source said that Israeli advisers were at the scene helping Kenya to work out how to end the siege.

Kenya’s National Disaster Operation Centre referred to a “major engagement” on its Twitter account when a blast was heard. “It’s going on, it’s going good,” one Kenyan soldier who had been in the mall on Sunday told reporters as he left the scene. But later in the evening, the situation appeared calm.

After emerging on Sunday morning from a hiding place under vehicle in the basement car park, a woman, giving her name as Cecilia, told Reuters by telephone she had seen three men in the attack who looked like Arabs, judging by their skin colour.

“They were shooting from the exit ramp, shooting everywhere,” she said. “I saw people being shot all around me, some with blood pouring from bad wounds. I was just praying, praying ‘God, keep me alive’ and that my day hadn’t come.”

Witnesses said the attackers had AK-47 rifles and wore ammunition belts. One militant was shot and arrested early on in the siege, but died shortly afterwards.

Al Shabaab, which is battling Kenyan and other African peacekeepers in Somalia, said Kenyatta must end their mission in Somalia, whose border lies 500 km (300 miles) from Nairobi.

Kenya sent troops into Somalia in October 2011 to pursue militants whom it blamed for kidnapping tourists and attacking its security forces.

Al Shabaab’s last big attack outside Somalia was a twin assault in nearby Uganda, targeting people watching the World Cup final on television in Kampala in 2010, killing 77 people.


BDS ziocolony 



| Give Thanks You Weren’t Bombed and Murdered by Americans Because You ARE Americans!

Give Thanks You Weren’t Bombed and Murdered by Americans Because You ARE Americans ~ OpEdNews.

On Thanksgiving, don’t forget to give thanks for being AmericanGive thanks that what is happening in Syria this year, Libya last year, in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia and Yemen in years before, continuing today, and planned to happen in Iran in the immediate future,  cannot happen to you in America because Americans are not about to butcher their own, at least not yet. Give thanks that you and your children, your parents and grandparents were living in the best country in the worldduring the last sixty-three years and not in countries that got bombed like hell for years, for example, Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Give thanks that being American, you and yours never had to suffer invasion and bombing like Dominicans, Lebanese, Panamanians, Cubans, S and Grenadines – never had to watch in fear for your family as your government was overthrown in violence covertly initiated by a superpower, like the citizens of Greece, Guatemala, Iran, Chile, Haiti had to suffer.

That you never had to fear for your children being arrested and not heard from again like most Latin Americans under military dictatorships put in by a foreign government more awesomely powerful than the world has ever seen before.

Give thanks never to have witnessed a half million of your countrymen slaughtered in a few weeks as in Indonesia, ordered by an intelligence agency not of your own nation.

Give thanks that your folks were never cruelly enslaved and made to labor in chains – never had your land confiscated – that you are not Mexican forced to look for work in a land that once took half of your country.

Give thanks that your table is full of food while two billion of who you should consider your brothers and sisters, as they happily consider you to be theirs, struggle to put enough in their children’s mouths in order that they might live half as long as you will.

Give thanks that there are no drone aircraft armed with Hellfire and Predator missiles in the sky above as you wonder if there be someone or something frighteningly nearby being targeted by someone looking at a  screen of coordinates a half world away who you cannot assure you mean him no harm.

Give thanks that so far you have not been charged with being implicated in your government’s crimes against humanity for not seeing that all the above mentioned mayhem and mass murdering of millions was not done in your name, for there is a movement afoot to bring down the full force of the law on US crimes against humanity now. Its educational website features the words of famous Americans, the text of pertinent laws and a color-coded country-by-country history of US crimes. click here.

Jay Janson peoples historian activist, musician and writer, who has lived and worked on all the continents and whose articles on media have been published in China, Italy, England and the US, and now resides in New York City.