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Somalia President to PJM: Al-Shabaab Part of a ‘Global Phenomenon That Needs to be Addressed’

In exclusive remarks, Mohamud stresses that North African terror groups are not just a regional threat: "They are linked, they live for each other, they support each other and they are connected globally."

by
Bridget Johnson

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August 11, 2014 - 9:12 am
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WASHINGTON — The president of Somalia carried to Washington last week plans for economic development and the hopes of his people to recover from the scourge of terrorism, capped off with a crucial message for America: the threat of Al-Shabaab and other al-Qaeda affiliates in North Africa is not Somalia’s problem alone.

“Boko Haram, Al-Shabaab, all of them, these are terrorist organizations — they are linked, they live for each other, they support each other and they are connected globally,” President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud told PJM in an exclusive interview on Friday. “It’s not just an issue of one country or one region — it’s a global phenomenon that needs to be addressed globally.”

“That’s why at the regional and continental level the African Union is supporting Somalia and, globally, that’s why the United States is supporting the African Union to support Somalia and defeat these terrorists,” Mohamud added.

PJM asked the Somali leader about comments made by leaders in Washington compartmentalizing Al-Shabaab as a regional threat instead of a risk to the homeland in need of an urgent response.

For example, in a speech a year ago at Camp Pendleton President Obama said al-Qaeda has been “decimated” yet “from Yemen to Iraq, from Somalia to North Africa, the threat today is more diffuse.”

“And while we are vigilant for signs that these groups may pose a transnational threat, most are focused on operating in the countries and regions where they are based,” Obama said.

Mohamud reiterated to PJM that “it’s a global phenomenon.”

“And the risk is always there, everywhere,” he said. “…We want to see the United States increase its support given to Somalia in terms of economic development so that the grievances that Al-Shabaab is utilizing right now are not there.”

Mohamud told a Brookings Institution event that the 24,000 African Union soldiers — mostly from  Ethiopia, Burundi, Uganda, and Kenya — in his country are making headway against Al-Shabaab’s control of districts.

But driving the terrorists out of one region drives them somewhere else, and Somalis born at the start of the country’s long civil war are ripe targets for recruitment as they’ve grown up with little education and no civil institutions. Sixty-three percent of Somalia’s population is under 25 years old.

Mohamud said governing the country now carries the challenge of “building state institutions on one hand and fighting and winning the war on extremists on the other hand.”

“Al-Shabaab is a group based on an ideology, and we all know that ideologies have no citizenship and have no boundaries,” he said.

“Al-Shabaab is Somali for one reason only — they operate in Somalia, they have their base in Somalia, they have training camps in Somalia.” And, he added, they ably use Somalia as a transit hub for terrorists, linking Asia and Africa — “the terrorists move here and there.”

“And these organizations, although they have different names, they’re all linked in some way or another.”

The president stressed to the crowd the concern of Al-Shabaab and Nigeria’s Boko Haram training together even though they’re physically a continent apart.

“There are more non-Somalis than Somalis at the highest level” of Al-Shabaab now, he said. “We have people from North America, people from Europe, people from Asia, the Gulf… we have all kinds of people in place but still Somalia has the name associated with Al-Shabaab.”

The country’s instability left the nation “a vacuum for a long time,” Mohamud acknowledged. “This has been a breeding ground for them.”

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All Comments   (5)
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A few years ago President Obama let in 70,000 Somalia without proper vetting, I don't think that Obama even knew that was where al-Quida recruited and trained, he was just hot to get a bunch of blacks in the country to match the browns he was importing illegally from Mexico. “Al-Shabaab is a group based on an ideology, and we all know that ideologies have no citizenship and have no boundaries, Al-Shabaab is Somali for one reason only — they operate in Somalia, they have their base in Somalia, they have training camps in Somalia," said the president of Somalia.

I could never find out where those 70,000 went to in our country but where ever it is they are exporting terrorist to other countries by now. You keep hearing that its only about 10% of the Moslems that are radical Islamists head choppers but that 10% equates to 140,000,000 when you figure that the total Moslem population is 1.4 Billion.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment

Western civilization can spend the next decade ( if we last that long )
Trying to contain and defeat the Jihadist forces of Islam.
We can keep struggling in the quest for the Democratization of Islamic states which we already did and failed at after investing billions in money and blood.
We can try to strengthen the so-called 'moderate branches of Islam, if there is one. They're either being cowed Into silence or winking and nodding to their Islamist brothers.
We can continue to use drones and special forces and police actions but so far That hasn't been effective. The violent Jihadists reproduce faster than we can neutralize them.
We can try making nice with the organizations of 'Soft-Jihadists' who advance Sharia and Jihad through usually peaceful and legal
Means (like the Muslim Brotherhood Obama's been backing for
The last six years) but that backfired.
The problem of violent Islamic Jihad is more widespread and virulent today than it was even at the height of its glory days when Hordes of Jihadists Advanced on Spain and other parts of Europe, something happening again even at this moment. For Over 1400 years of Jihadist violence, of murder and enslavement, forced conversions, and abuse Of women and children ...and yet still In this modern day and age Islam remains more a retro-sixth century ideology of bloody conquest than anything resembling a religion of peace and harmony.
The world can't wait for this backward cult of Muhammad to somehow 'reform' itself.
Not when nuclear and chemical weapons of Jihad very soon will be within the reach Of religious psychopaths and end-of-days fanatics who yearn for martyrdom.
When a beehive is burnt the surviving bees are disoriented
And dispersed. Certainly there are many angry bees initially but then they lose their ability to sting and just Disappear and scatter into the countryside and soon die.
There's a lesson in this. The hive is in Mecca. It's called the
Kaaba. Or we can continue getting stung for the rest of history!


Yoelarry
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
Can we switch presidents? Though to be fair, inflicting Dear Liar on any other nation would violate the Geneva Convention.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
Good reporting. I wonder if he is one of the better leaders on that difficult continent.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
"They are linked, they live for each other, they support each other and they are connected globally."

Golly, I wonder what religion they might all share that would bind them so closely and give them such common goals?

Let me think now. Don't anyone tell me now. It will come to me (scratches head).

Mirror, mirror on the bloody wall, who is the most like Mohammad of them all?
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
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