Somalia's Second Suicide Bombing


Islamic Courts attack a checkpoint outside Baidoa; al-Fajr releases "Apostate Hell in Somalia," praise Osama bin Laden

Aftermath of November 30 suicide attack in Baidoa. Click image to view.

BAGHDAD, IRAQ: Last Thursday, the Islamic Courts conducted its second suicide bombing attack against the Transitional Federal Government. Nine were killed after a car suicide bomb detonated at a checkpoint outside of Baidoa. Mohamed Sidi SomaliNet's Baidoa correspondent, reported from the scene. There appears to have been two suicide bombers. "The police told me that both of them were man and woman, who were the suicide bombers," said Sidi.

Two members of the Islamic Courts, one anonymous, stated the ICU was indeed responsible for the attack. "Mohamed Ibrahim Said Bilal, commander for the Islamists in Al Bayan in the Bay region where Baidoa is located, said it was the work of 'Islamic suicide bombers,'" reports the Globe and Mail. Police arrested 8 suspects. Hassan Dahir Aweys, the leader of the Islamic Courts, encouraged further suicide strikes. "It's a good thing if the people of the region do blow up bombs  to remove the enemy of Allah from their land," said Aweys.

The ICU conducted its first suicide strike in Baidoa against President Yusuf in September, killing six, including Yusuf's brother.

As the Islamic Courts conducted the suicide attack, the Al-Fajr Information Center released a videotape called "Apostate Hell in Somalia." The SITE Institute notes that in the video, "Mujahideen are observed carrying the flag of the ICU. The propaganda film also shows the training of the fighters, glorification of the Emir of al Qaeda, Usama bin Laden..." Al-Fajr regularly produces and releases al Qaeda propaganda videos. Sheikh Yusuf Indohaadde, a senior ICU leader, was seen on a video with "foreign fighters." The video included "Arabic anthems and poetry... urging Muslims to join the global holy war to advance Islam and defeat its enemies," as well as Arab fighters and al Qaeda's black flag, the al-rayah.

Al-Qaeda's involvement in Somalia and backing of the Islamic Courts is not a new development. Osama bin Laden encouraged the Islamic Courts to continue its fight in June of 2006. "We will continue, God willing, to fight you and your allies everywhere, in Iraq and Afghanistan and in Somalia and Sudan until we waste all your money and kill your men and you will return to your country in defeat as we defeated you before in Somalia," said bin Laden. ICU leaders have openly admitted foreign fighters are in their ranks, and a UN report indicates there are "roughly 1,000 foreign jihadists with combat experience or volunteers with training in bomb-making and assassination." Aweys himself is an al Qaeda operative, and the ICU is sheltering three wanted terrorists involved in the 1998 Kenya and Tanzania suicide attacks on the U.S. Embassies.

Elsewhere in Somalia, the Islamic Courts captured the town of Diinsoor, which was previously run by the TFG. The Islamic Courts are attempting to surround and cut off the Ethiopian supply lines to Baidoa, and trap the Ethiopian forces stations there. In late November, the Islamic Courts attacked Ethiopian convoys heading towards Baidoa. In both attacks, the ICU employed roadside bombs to begin the ambush, and followed with small arms and RPG fire. Three Ethiopian armored vehicles were destroyed in the attack.



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READER COMMENTS: "Somalia's Second Suicide Bombing"

Posted by Miriam LeGare at December 7, 2006 6:17 PM ET:

Bill, Thanks so much for reporting about how the soldiers see the media role. We've been following floppingaces'exposing AP for the mosque and people-burning stories. I'm sending your blogsite to two relatives who wanted to know how Lisa and I knew some of the good stuff.

So glad you are fine, and thank you for your reports.

Miriam

Posted by Casey at December 26, 2006 12:22 PM ET:

I am impressed on how the CIA has orchestrated this event. The best aspects:

1. The US has artfully ensured that newspapers and media report the Baidoa expatriate Somalis are referred to as "the interim government" even though they are expats and have never been a government whatsoever.

2. The real government of Somalia, which is the Islamic Courts, are referred to as an "Islamic movement" or "Islamic insurgents" even though they control nearly the entire country of Somalia

3. Ethiopia is invading on behalf of the US so that the US doesn't draw the international condemnation it deserves

4. The US provides logistic support of Baidoa with unmarked C-130 planes to keep its presence secret

5. Paul Wolfowitz and the World Bank arranged for $1.8 billion in funds to be paid to Ethiopia

6. Just before he was forced to resign, John Bolton pushed through the UN measure to permit Ethiopians to enter Somalia with arms, but preventing arms from being imported to the Islamic Courts. This was actually historic because John Bolton for the first time arranged for peace keepers to enter a country without the consent of one of the warring parties, in this case the most powerful party. Now, in hindsight, we see that it was only to allow Ethiopians to build up a presence for their current invasion.