Posts Tagged Al Shabaab

Al Qaeda: Boko Haram, Al Shabaab And AQIM Are Linking Up

“It’s one of the main depots of the Malian army,” a security source told AFP, adding that it had been built in case of “a long and difficult war.”A regional security source confirmed the seizure, saying the vast cache of weapons will “really boost AQIM’s striking power”, and adding: “It is really impressive what AQIM has found in the underground depot.”The source said the group “is today more armed than the combined armies of Mali and Burkina Faso”, Mali’s neighbour to the east.

This to me is fascinating and startling at the same time. Look at how fast these Islamist groups are spreading in Africa? They are taking advantage of the leadership vacuum caused by the Arab Spring, or making their moves in really poor and poorly governed countries. Where there is darkness on the continent, they are moving in to set up shop.

They are also capturing some pretty significant weapons and using this stuff to gain ground throughout the region. From the stuff in Libya that was ‘liberated’ during that fighting, to weapons depots in Mali that were taken by force.

And what gets me here is that I still haven’t heard what exactly Ansar Dine was able to get out of this weapon depot in Gao, Mali. Apparently they are now ‘more armed than the combined armies of Mali and Burkina Faso’, says the quote up top. So these non-state actors are now more armed than several countries combined? Yikes, and that is quite the accomplishment….It also makes you wonder about places like Syria, where that country is imploding and weapons depots–to include chemical and bio, could potentially be compromised.

Not only that, but now that the Muslim Brotherhood is in control of Egypt, whose to say that some of their weapons wouldn’t slip out into the world and find their way into Islamist’ hands? Or directly given to Islamists by a government that openly supports them. pfffftt.

We will see how it goes and somehow I don’t think this fire in the Middle East or Africa is going out any time soon. –Matt

 

Captured armored vehicle in Mali.

 

African extremist groups linking up: U.S. general
June 25, 2012
By Lauren French
Three of Africa’s largest extremist groups are sharing funds and swapping explosives in what could signal a dangerous escalation of security threats on the continent, the commander of the U.S. military’s Africa Command said on Monday.
General Carter Ham said there are indications that Boko Haram, al Shabaab and Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb – groups that he labeled as the continent’s most violent – are sharing money and explosive materials while training fighters together.
“Each of those three organizations is by itself a dangerous and worrisome threat,” Ham said at an African Center for Strategic Studies seminar for senior military and civilian officials from Africa, the United States and Europe.
“What really concerns me is the indications that the three organizations are seeking to coordinate and synchronize their efforts,” Ham said. “That is a real problem for us and for African security in general.”
The United States classified three of the alleged leaders of the Islamist sect Boko Haram, based in remote northeast Nigeria, as “foreign terrorist,” on June 20. But it declined to blacklist the entire organization to avoid elevating the group’s profile internationally. Police in Nigeria said members of the group seized a prison there Sunday and freed 40 inmates.

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Bounties: US Offers Millions In Bounties For Top Al Shabaab Leaders

This is good news, because it puts some attention on Al Shabaab leaders. And you never know, Somali’s might jump all over these bounties and start providing tons of tips about the whereabouts of these guys. Which is great. Although I still think we should be opening up the field when it comes to bounties and in lawless countries like Somalia, bounty hunters or companies should be allowed to do their thing.

If they are willing to take a risk operating there, then they should have every right to qualify for and receive a bounty for capturing these guys. Or at least finding them and turning over that information in return for a bounty. In other words, fire up an offense industry to get these guys.

And along those lines, these pirate groups we are currently going after on the high seas, might just look at these bounties as another way to make a buck. So will we pay pirates, if they submit a tip that leads to the capture of one of these guys? lol If so, that would be pretty funny. –Matt

Rewards for Justice website here.

 

US offers millions in bounty for top Somali militants
07 June 2012
The United States is offering rewards of up to US$7 million for information leading to the location of seven key leaders of Somalia’s al Shabaab, seeking for the first time to target top echelons of the al Qaeda-linked militant group.
U.S. officials said the rewards, to be announced on the State Department’s “Rewards for Justice” website today, opened a new front in the battle against al Shabaab and signaled Washington’s determination to press the fight against terrorism across Africa.
“This is the first time we’ve had key leaders of al Shabaab as part of the Rewards for Justice program,” said Robert Hartung, an assistant director at the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security, which administers the program.
“Every time we add someone to the Rewards for Justice site, that is a signal that the U.S. government is sending that it takes the fight against terrorism very seriously,” Hartung said.

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