January 10, 2007

Jungle Boogie

Hatched by Dafydd

Chalk up another victory in the "war against global jihadism," as the Bush administration now (more correctly) calls it.

In one of the recent airstrikes by United States forces in Somalia -- the AP article is not clear which one -- we managed to kill Fazul Abdullah Mohammed.

Don't recognize the name? CENTCOM believes him to have been the planner and moving force behind the terror-bombing of our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998... which was the third worst act of terrorism against the United States, in terms of the death toll (after the September 11th, 2001 attack and the 1983 Beirut barracks bombing, which killed 241 American military personnel, 58 French paratroopers, and one Lebanese custodian).

The 1998 American embassy bombings killed 224 people and wounded 4,000 (AP says 225 dead; I don't know where the discrepency lies... my number of 224 comes from a State Department press release about the criminal trial in 2001).

According to the AP story:

Mohammed, 32, allegedly planned the attacks on the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that killed 225 people.

He is also suspected of planning the car bombing of a beach resort in Kenya and the near simultaneous attempt to shoot down an Israeli airliner in 2002. Ten Kenyans and three Israelis were killed in the blast at the hotel, 12 miles north of Mombasa. The missiles missed the airliner.

Two other suspects in the embassy bombings, still considered to be at large in Somalia, are Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan and Abu Taha al-Sudan; I haven't seen any word that either of these has been captured or killed; but they're evidently in the thick of the fighting, so here's hoping.

A few more attacks we haven't heard much about:

U.S. attack helicopters also strafed suspected al-Qaida fighters in southern Somalia on Tuesday, witnesses said....

U.S. officials speaking on condition of anonymity because of its sensitive nature had said earlier that the strike in southern Somalia on Monday killed five to 10 people believed to be associated with al-Qaida....

Col. Shino Moalin Nur, a Somali military commander, told the AP by telephone late Tuesday that at least one U.S. AC-130 gunship attacked a suspected al-Qaida training camp Sunday on a remote island at the southern tip of Somalia next to Kenya.

Somali officials said they had reports of many deaths.

On Monday, witnesses and Nur said, more U.S. airstrikes were launched against Islamic extremists in Hayi, 30 miles from Afmadow. Nur said attacks continued Tuesday.

This appears to be a major -- and very effective -- ongoing operation that is making significant inroads in the Somalia al-Qaeda element, which bubbled to the surface during the short-lived coup of the Taliban-like Council of Islamic Courts, often called the Islamic Courts Union.

The Union was more or less founded in 1999-2000 by the merger of several sharia courts that had ruled much of (Sunni Moslem) Somalia since the Somali government collapsed in 1991. The ICU was allied with al-Qaeda from the start; in 2006, the Bush administration began funding a counter-terrorism group of secular warlords called the Alliance for the Restoration of Peace and Counter-Terrorism (which should make Jim Baker and Brent Scowcroft happy).

The ARPCT fought the ICU, but the Union initially had the better of the exchange: they captured Somalia's capital city of Mogadishu in June, controlled virtually all of Somalia by August -- and were then driven out of power by Ethiopian and national Somali troops (with American support) in December. The jihadis fled into the jungle (which AP now calls by the friendlier term "forest") in southern Somalia, up against the Kenyan border.

Back in 1993, two United States MH-60 Black Hawk helicopters were shot down in Mogadishu; 19 American servicemen were killed (one killed two days after the battle) and between 700 and 1,000 Somali militiamen. In 1999, Mark Bowden wrote the book Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War about the battle; the book was made into a movie by Ridley Scott in 2001.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, January 10, 2007, at the time of 5:33 AM

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The following hissed in response by: SalameBoloney

Because of the speed and efficiency with which the Ethiopian Army, a Christian army by the way, routed the mighty sons of Allah, and the fact that they did not run around glassy-eyed from khat wearing lady's gowns (a la the West Africans) but in fact behaved like a real Army, I figured that they must have been trained by the U.S. Army. I was right. After some Google searches, I found recent articles in Stars and Stripes magazine describing the training. This isn't being reported much, so go ahead Mr. Lizard, take it away.


The above hissed in response by: SalameBoloney [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 10, 2007 7:50 PM

The following hissed in response by: Big D

Today in Afghanistan - 150 militants killed with no U.S., Nato, of Afghan casualties. But see, we are losing the battle. Isan't it obvious? My favorite piece of "journalism" on was this:

Due to rising Taliban-linked violence, Afghanistan has plunged into the worst spate of bloodshed since Taliban regime was toppled down in 2001. More than 4,000 people, mostly Taliban militants, have been killed in this post-Taliban nation last year.

Source: Xinhua

Uh, not to be a butt-head, but if most of the people killed were Taliban, then plunging into bloodshed is a good thing, right?

The above hissed in response by: Big D [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 11, 2007 9:26 AM

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