Category Archives: Ethiopia

Jihad Threat Continues in New Theaters as Well as Old

by Christopher W. Holton

The UAE publication “The National” has published an article on 2019’s deadliest terrorist groups. It seems rather odd that it took so long to publish such an article about 2019, but perhaps the Wuhan virus pandemic is responsible. The article ranks terrorist groups by the number of reported deaths they caused during 2019.

Body count is a poor metric for measuring the activity of Jihadists because body count can be largely a matter of chance. A bomb detonating just an hour after rush hour somewhere might kill just a few victims, whereas the same bomb in the same place detonated an hour earlier could kill scores or even hundreds. Nevertheless the National article does illustrate one important thing: As we have been reporting for several years, Africa has become the primary theater of operations in the global Jihadist insurgency.

2 of the 4 most deadly Jihadist groups in the world operate exclusively in Africa. A 3rd, ISIS, also has major operations in Africa, particularly in Mozambique.

Boko Haram, notorious for kidnapping hundreds of Christian schoolgirls in 2014 (nearly half of whom were never recovered), operates in Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger and Burkina Faso.

Al Shabaab operates mainly in Somalia and Kenya but has also carried out operations in Uganda and Ethiopia. Al Shabaab has a support network in the U.S., particularly in the Minneapolis region among the Somali expatriate community there. There have been multiple convictions of Somalis on material support for terrorism charges in the U.S. and they have threatened the U.S. in the past.

Another Jihadist group not mentioned in this article is Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). They have been active in Algeria, Mali, Libya, Niger and Mauritania. AQIM recently named a new emir, Abu Ubaidah Yusef al-Annabi. Al-Annabi replaced Abdelmalek Droukdel (Abu Musab Abdel Wadoud), who was killed in June in Mali by French military operators under the Commandement des Opérations Spéciales.

We ignore what is happening in Africa at our peril. As the now deceased leader of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) Anwar al-Awlaki said: “Jihad is global. Jihad is not a local phenomenon, jihad is global and is not stopped by borders or barriers.”

That is why we point out that we are on the receiving end of a global Jihadist insurgency.

Boko Haram is based in northern Nigeria, yet clearly they are funded by oil-rich Muslims in regions over 3000 air miles away–supporters who probably have never been to Nigeria and probably never will go to Nigeria.

Al Shabaab is based in Somalia, yet they have received support from Minnesota, more than 8,000 miles away:

https://terrortrendsbulletin.com/2016/01/02/the-enemy-within-al-shabaab-makes-video-of-american-jihadis-killed-in-somalia/

Historically, when Jihadists are allowed a safe haven, they simply use it as a base of operations to spread jihad elsewhere. The example of the Taliban in the National article is instructive.

It is generally–and falsely–assumed that the Taliban were strictly local to Afghanistan and have no interest in global jihad. This has never been the case. First of all, the Taliban weren’t even formed in Afghanistan, they were established by the Pakistani ISI (Pakistan’s intelligence organization) in neighboring Pakistan out of students in madrassas (Islamic schools). (Taliban translated into English actually means “student.”) When the Taliban subsequently seized power, long after the Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan, they invited foreign fighters who had fought the Soviets in the 1980s to come back to Afghanistan to make it a “launching pad for global jihad.” It’s no accident that 9/11 was hatched from Afghanistan.

We are now seeing much of an entire continent engulfed in violent jihad. This never seems to end well.

Brutal year: 2019’s deadliest terror groups

Al Shabaab Expands into Ethiopia

posted by Christopher W. Holton

The world seems to have mostly forgotten about the global jihadist insurgency. That’s unfortunate because jihadis are still active around the globe. It seems that attention in the US is focused on the partisan battle raging between President Trump and the Democrats in the House of Representatives.

As we have detailed for some time over the years, Africa continues to be a place that is being targeted by jihadis. One of the most dangerous groups in Africa is Al Shabaab, which originated in Somalia but has conducted operations elsewhere in east Africa, notably Kenya.

Now, there are reports that Al Shabaab has expanded into Ethiopia as well…this merits watching since there are numerous supporters of Al Shabaab here in the USA…

Is al-Shabab looking to Ethiopia?

https://www.dw.com/en/is-al-shabab-looking-to-ethiopia/a-50854924

An Update on Al Shabaab

By Christopher W. Holton

Al Shabaab of Somalia and the entire horn of Africa is one of the deadliest Jihadist organizations in the world. They do not get as much scrutiny as they should because of the primary location of their operations, but it should be noted that Al Shabaab members have been arrested and convicted in Maine, Minnesota and California over the years.

They are perhaps most infamous for their bloody massacre of shoppers at a mall in Nairobi, Kenya a few years ago.

Terror Trends Bulletin has covered Al Shabaab for several years now. Here is our archive of Al Shabaab articles dating back to 2010:

https://terrortrendsbulletin.com/category/al-shabaab/

Al Shabaab made the news today by issuing a new warning when they called on their followers to carry out attacks on Israel and Jews around the world. Here is the primary message of the communique:

You are justified to spill their blood & take wealth of every Jew, they will find no safety, they are all targets whether armed or not.

This warning comes as Jihadists have apparently stepped up violence in Gaza and the West Bank in Israel with everything from a rash of knife attacks to rock and bottle throwing–so far.

Al Shabaab also reportedly captured a high-level Somali military leader in an operation earlier today:

https://www.enca.com/africa/top-somali-millitary-commander-kidnapped-al-shabaab

While African countries in the region have stepped up operations against Al Shabaab in recent months, the Jihadist group remains a persistent and dangerous threat as reported by the excellent Long War Journal:

Shabaab continues to remain a persistent threat despite being pushed out of its major urban strongholds of Mogadishu, Kismayo, and other large cities and towns in southern and central Somalia. It still controls large rural areas in southern Somalia, and uses these safe havens to launch large-scale assaults in the country, even with a major African Union mission present. Shabaab has also increasingly been able to mount attacks across the border into neighboring Kenya.

http://www.matthewaid.com/post/130807153691/al-shabaab-remains-a-persistent-threat-in-somalia

Here is a graphical depiction of Al Shabaab attacks in Somalia, showing just how active the Jihadist group has been. Note the attacks in neighboring Ethiopia, Kenya and Djibouti:

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Readers may recall from our article on David Cameron last week that the UK is sending 70 British army advisers to Somalia to battle against Jihad there. Al Shabaab is well aware of the plan and has threatened to behead any captured British troops.

We wish the British troops happy hunting and know that Somali Jihadi barbarians are no match for them on the battlefield:

https://themuslimissue.wordpress.com/2015/10/08/al-shabaab-british-soldiers-will-be-beheaded-and-paraded-over-the-internet/comment-page-1/

US embassy: Al Shabaab plot to attack Ethiopian capital

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Jihad is inherently expansionist and aggressive. Apologists in the West who try to sell the bill of goods like “the Taliban are only interested in Afghanistan,” or “HAMAS only wants ‘their’ land…or Al Shabaab is only targeting Somalia, simply have no idea what they’re talking about.

Al Shabaab, for instance, has targeted Kenya and Uganda in the past and now they are evidently targeting Ethiopia:

Somali Islamist insurgents are plotting to attack an upmarket area of Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, the US embassy has warned, in a notice to citizens to avoid crowded areas.

The exact target is not known but the embassy said the “potential imminent terrorist attack” threatened the busy Bole district, which includes the capital’s international airport and several diplomatic missions. “The embassy has received threat reports of Al Shabaab’s intent to target the Bole area,” said the notice to citizens released Tuesday.

“Restaurants, hotels, bars, places of worship, supermarkets, and shopping malls in the Bole area should be avoided until further notice, because they are possible targets.”

http://puntlandi.com/homenews-news-al-shabaab-plot-to-attack-ethiopian-capital-us-says/

 

 

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