British al-Shabaab jihadist Thomas Evans ‘killed in battle’ in Kenya

A young British man was among those killed in a botched raid by al-Shabaab fighters on a Kenyan army base at the weekend.

Thomas Evans, a 25-year-old from the Buckinghamshire town of High Wycombe who went by the name of Abdul Hakim after converting to Islam, was among the dead fighters judging by photographic evidence, said Colonel David Obonyo, a spokesman for the Kenyan military.

Up to 100 al-Shabaab fighters are thought to have walked across the border into Kenya, but the pre-dawn raid on the army base at Baure, in Lamu county, encountered unexpectedly fierce resistance.

Evans – one of around 50 British jihadists who are believed to have travelled to Somalia to fight for al-Shabaab – is thought to be among three Western men who featured in a March 2015 video by the militants showing the preparations for the offensive on Mpeketoni last year and the attack itself. Eyewitnesses at the time reported seeing a white man in command speaking fluent English and some Arabic.

Dutch Somali Woman Among Those Arrested for Funding Al-Shabaab

July 23, 2014

A Dutch Somali woman is facing extradition to the United States on charges of helping to finance Al-Shabaab. The Dutch public prosecution says the woman has been arrested by U.S. authorities, and two other women were also arrested in the United States. The woman of Dutch nationality, born in Somalia, will appear in court to determine whether she will be extradited to the United States.

The arrested women face charges of providing support to al-Shabaab, which a United States Department of Justice statement identifies as conducting an insurgency campaign in Somalia. The statement said the women referred to the money they sent overseas in small amounts as “living expenses”, using terms such as “orphans” to refer to fighters.

If convicted the women face up to 15 years in jail.

Moving in the right direction on Somalia

David Cameron, speaking to the BBC Breakfast show, described the reason for sending aid to countries like Somalia, was essentially to keep Somalis out of Britain. By investing, the Prime Minister claimed, “we can stop them ending up on our shores”.

However as the author critiques the prime minister he highlights that there are many better reasons for investing in Somalia than preventing immigration. We might start in 2010, when the failure of rains, coming on top of two decades of absent government, lead to a famine that over the next two years would kill 258,000 people, roughly 5 per cent of the population. Or you might instead emphasise the need to build security and quell Islamic jihadist group Al-Shabaab, who have issued threats against Britain in the past. Then again, though Mr Cameron would be loath to admit it, you could argue that the main reason we invest in Somalia is in fact to fund Islamic extremism. It was revealed this weekend that £500,000 worth of supplies from the Department for International Development has been stolen by Al-Shabaab. We’ve been here before. In 1993, so much aid was ending up in the hands of Somali militants that it contributed to the US-led ‘humanitarian intervention’ in the country, a disastrous failure which ended after Black Hawk Down.

That DfID have owned up to this latest loss, albeit quietly, is a fine thing. They must learn from it. Mo Farah (a Somali-born distance runner for great Britain recently took the 5,000m and 10,000m world title in Moscow – and is seen by some as the greatest British athlete of all time) is currently campaigning to stop Barclays shutting down its money-transfer services to Somalia, a service upon which 40 per cent of the country is said to rely and through which £100m is sent from Britain every year. Since the UK government is not perfect at helping Somalia, closing a route through which Somalis can help themselves seems crazy. Farah’s campaign should be backed to the hilt.

Two extremist groups including Nigeria-based Boko Haram face UK membership and support ban

The two extremist groups – UK-based Minbar Ansar Deen and Nigeria-based Boko Haram – are to be proscribed in the UK under terrorism laws, making membership and support for them a criminal offence. Home Secretary Theresa May is to lay an order which, if approved by Parliament, will ban both of the radical Islamist organisations from operating in the UK from midnight on Friday morning. Minbar Ansar Deen – also known as Ansar al-Sharia UK – promotes terrorism by distributing content through its online forum, which encourages individuals to travel overseas to engage in extremist activity, specifically fighting, the Home Office said. The Government said banning Boko Haram, which aspires to establish Islamic law in Nigeria, will prevent the group from operating in the UK and give the police powers to tackle any UK-based support for the group. Decisions to proscribe the organisations are understood to be unrelated to the murder of soldier Drummer Lee Rigby near Woolwich barracks in south-east London in May. The penalties for proscription offences can be a maximum of 10 years in prison or a £5,000 fine. Under the Terrorism Act 2000, the Home Secretary can proscribe an organisation if it is believed to be concerned in terrorism. If approved by Parliament, it will be a criminal offence to belong to or back Minbar Ansar Deen or Boko Haram, as well arrange meetings or wear clothing in support of them. Other proscribed groups include al-Qa’ida, Al Shabaab and Islam4UK, which before it was banned was led by Anjem Choudary.

 

Islamists Suspected in Woolwich Attack

23 May 2013

 

A shocking machete attack on Lee Rigby, a military drummer and veteran of Cyprus and Afghanistan, was perpetrated in the Woolwich area of South East London Wednesday afternoon. One of the two suspected attackers, Michael Olumide Adebolajo, is a native of London and a convert to Islam, leading some to characterize the attack as an act of Islamist terrorism. The second attacker has been identified as Michael Adebowale, a native of Greenwich. The Daily Telegraph is calling the attack, “the first terrorist murder on the British mainland since the 7/7 suicide bombings of 2005.”

 

Accounts differ as to the nature of the attack, but witnesses claim that Adebolajo and Adebowale first struck Drummer Rigby with a vehicle, then attempted to decapitate him with a machete. Witnesses report hearing one of the attackers shout “Allahu akbar” (God is great) as they attacked Drummer Rigby. A group of women reportedly came to the aid of Drummer Rigby, covering his body and attempting to protect him.

 

The brazen nature of the murder, carried out around 14:00 GMT, suggests that the assailants wanted their actions to be witnessed. A video taken of Mr. Adebolajo shortly after the attack shows him justifying the murder by saying: “We swear by almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you until you leave us alone. Your people will never be safe. The only reason we have done this is because Muslims are dying by British soldiers every day.”

 

Instead of fleeing the scene, the attackers, one of whom may have been armed with a handgun, waited for armed police response unites to arrive, apparently hoping for a confrontation. Unconfirmed reports indicate that approximately 15-20 minutes elapsed between the attack and the arrival of authorities and that once on the scene, armed police were charged by the attackers. A female officer confirmed that both men were shot by police.

 

Reports on Thursday suggested that officials in MI5, the domestic security service, were aware of both men alleged to have carried out the attack. Officials insist that there was no evidence that either of the men were planning this attack, but one of the men was apparently prevented from traveling to Somalia to join the Islamist group Al-Shabaab last year. The Independent is reporting that at least one of the attackers was inspired by sermons delivered by the banned Islamic cleric Omar Bakri Mohammed, who established Hizbut-Tahrir in the UK and now lives in Lebanon. The Guardian is reporting that Mr. Bakri Mohammed claims to have tutored Mr. Adebolajo after he converted to Islam in 2003. The BBC has obtained footage apparently showing Mr. Adebolajo standing next to Anjem Choudary, leader of the banned al-Muhajiroun group, at an Islamist rally in 2007. Mr. Choudary appeared on Newsnight on Thursday, claiming Adebolajo “went his own way” in 2010 and that he was surprised by the attack.

 

Mr. Adebolajo and Mr. Adebowale are being treated in separate hospitals and both are too injured to be questioned by authorities.

 

U of T graduate’s arrest on terror charges alarms Toronto Somalis

News Agencies – March 31, 2011

25-year-old Mohamed Hersi who was born in Somalia but moved to Canada as a child, was trying to turn his life around. Despite having a science degree and a job as a security guard, Hersi had grown frustrated with life. He was tired of living in a dilapidated public housing unit near Markham Rd. and Eglinton Ave. E. and of watching his mother, a widow who had raised four children alone, struggling to make ends meet. Hersi wanted to go to Egypt to “get the morals I’ve lost.”
Police arrested Hersi without incident Tuesday night at Pearson airport before boarding a plane for London, where he was to catch a connecting flight to the Cairo airport. He had a one-way ticket. His final destination would have been Somalia where Hersi allegedly planned to join Al Shabaab, the Al Qaeda-inspired movement designated as a terrorist group in the U.S. and Canada.
Hersi’s arrest has sparked fears within the local Somali community that Al Shabaab, an Islamist youth militia, is still recruiting young men. In 2009, six Somali-Canadian men disappeared from the Toronto area and were believed to have joined the group. One died in battle about a year ago.

UK extremists are travelling to Somalia to train, says MI5 chief

17 September 2010

British Muslim extremists are increasingly switching from Pakistan to Somalia to receive training in militant camps with the aim of carrying out attacks in this country, according to the head of MI5.

Jonathan Evans said yesterday there was deep concern that “it is only a matter of time before we see terrorism on our streets inspired by those who are today fighting alongside Al Shabaab, an Islamist militia in Somalia.”

While it has been known for some time that members of the Somali diaspora in the UK had been back to their homelands to join insurgents, others including those of Pakistani, Bangladeshi and North African extraction are now taking the same route. Some have been killed in the fighting there, but others have returned to Britain following lessons from the Al Shabaab group which is believed to have links with Osama bin Laden.

Minister approves dialogue with extremist Muslims

Representatives from the secret intelligence service (PET) have participated in a conference with Somali imams, which moderate Somalis are accusing of sympathizing with Al-Shabaab. Members of Danish People’s Party have questioned whether the secret service should engage with extremist Muslims. Minister of Justice, Lars Barfod, approves that the Secret Intelligence Service (PET) is in dialogue with extremist groups. He says that one of the secret service’s tasks is to prevent radicalization and that this is attained by talking with groups which have ‘controversial points of views’. Barfod says: “I’m confident that the secret service is able to make sure that the dialogue with different persons and groups doesn’t legitimize certain religious or political points of view”.

Rotterdam court requests more information in extradition of Somali man

A district court in Rotterdam is requesting additional information from the US authorities as it requests the extradition of a Somali man arrested at a refugee center in Dronten, Flevoland in November 2009. The man is alleged to have helped extremists travel to Somalia in connection with the Islamic movement Al Shabaab.
Mohamud Said Omar’s lawyers claim that the alleged offences relate to a time before Al Shabaab was considered organization. AP reports that the court in Rotterdam has asked the US to provide more information on the country’s definition of a terror group and whether the US viewed Al Shabaab as a terrorist organization before March 2008.

Al-Shabab tries to recruit young Muslims in mosques, Danish Muslims angry

A number of leaders in the Danish and Swedish Somali community are angry that al-Shabab allegedly tries to recruit young Muslims in mosques in Copenhagen, Aarhus, Odense and Göteborg. Muslim parents have temporarily stopped allowing their children to attend Qur’an classes, fearing someone will try to recruit them, a Muslim parent says.

The 28-year old Somali man who tried to kill cartoonist Kurt Westergaard three weeks ago and the Danish-Somali man who killed 23 people and himself in a suicide attack in Mogadishu in December 2009 were allegedly both affiliated with al-Shabab.