Monday, April 20, 2009

U.S. Mulls Striking Al-Shabaab Terrorist Training Camps

The Obama administration is watching more than just pirates in Somalia. Officials have been tracking a Somali terrorist group and are weighing whether to strike some of its training camps. The fear is that the group, al-Shabab, could join forces with al-Qaida[?] and target the U.S

A senior government official tells NPR that because the U.S. military is worried about al-Shabab, all options are on the table — including a military strike. The official said the most likely scenario would be an attack from the air, not boots on the ground.

Until now, the group has concentrated its efforts in Somalia, but officials, including National Counterterrorism Center Director Michael Leiter, worry about al-Shabab's future intentions.

"As a general matter, the focus has remained in Somalia. But I am not in a business where I am willing to bet the farm that it will remain that way," Leiter said in a speech before the Aspen Institute earlier this month.
Al Shabaab intentions are to spread Taliban style Islamic law. They have already pledged allegiance to alQaeda and alQaeda warmly welcomed them.

Further in the article the author makes dangerous assumptions:
The State Department put al-Shabab on its list of terrorist organizations last year. Some critics say the listing ended up giving the group prestige it didn't deserve.

Al-Shabab means "The Youth" in Arabic, and in many ways, that describes the militia perfectly. The members are young and portray themselves as a kind of jihadi hip. The recruiters who try to convince new soldiers to come into the fold look like young men who have just barely entered their teens, and the group's recruitment videos are filled with hip-hop music.[One video so far]
Just young hip-hop teens out for fun...right. They behead, dismember, flag, stone women etc. The author also appears to worry about the missing Somali American youth:
That raises another problem for U.S. planners mulling a military strike: If American citizens are on the ground, could they carry out a military attack? Killing American teenagers from Minneapolis could be a political nightmare.
They are terrorists in training, not hip-hop teenagers looking for adventure.

h/t Weasel zippers

Crossposted at Jawa Report

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