Somalia Panel Discussion

gcw-logo.jpgGlobal Crisis Watch

December 20, 2006 | Episode #39

Midweek NatSec Panel – Somalia

Dahir Mirreh Jibril, Permanent Secretary in Charge of International Cooperation in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia, and Niagara University’s Dr. Abdiweli Ali join Nick Grace to dissect the situation on the ground inside Somalia.

Click the image to listen. 27.5 minutes | 12.5 Megs

Notable Quotes from the Podcast

“The free world cannot negotiate with al Qaeda and I don’t think that surrender is an option for the Transitional Federal Government. The Transitional Federal Government will fight as much as it can and I believe that the perception that negotiation can happen there is a gross and misleading proposition for the current situation.”

– Dahir Mirreh Jibril

“The Transitional Federal Government is in contact with United States officials both in Nairobi, Kenya, and in Addis Ababa. Also the TFG Foreign Minister has been here in Washington about 15 days ago and he has been in touch with the United States government… I believe the United States is the one country today that clearly understands what is at stake and what’s going to happen if al Qaeda is allowed to take over Somalia… The fact that John Abizaid came to Addis Ababa shows you the gravity of the situation in the area. I believe that John Abizaid did not come to Addis Ababa to appease al Qaeda in Somalia. And I believe the United States at least politically is now there as stated by Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Ms. Jendayi Frazer – there is no moderate in the situation now. The top layer (of the Islamic Courts Council) are terrorists. The top layer are people who want to destabilize the whole region and to fight a global jihadist war.”

– Dahir Mirreh Jibril

The TFG “captured one Oromo in Baidoa who was trying to – these kinds of operations are the kind that one person cannot execute. So the perception is that there are more in Baidoa or there are more who are probably coming and he was the lead agent. And also the same thing in Galkacyo and the police… did a good job and captured a few of those with the bomb making materials. So… what we found in Baidoa, the guy we captured in Baidoa and the group they captured in Galkacyo is the tip of the iceberg. The expectation is that we must be vigilant and the expectation is that there will be more.”

– Dr. Abdiweli Ali on the capture of suicide bombers last week in Baidoa and Galkacyo

“I want to dissect the fighting force that the ICU has now. Essentially there are two groups: a group of foreigners and a group of Somalis. The Somali group is called al-Shabaab (Youth)… They are offshoots of the old terrorist organization al-Ithaad al-Islami. We all know that. But they are more hardline than al-Ithaad al-Islami. The foreigners are composed of three groups. The global Islamic jihadists, which are essentially al Qaeda and al Qaeda-guided, the number is now between 2,500 and 3,000. And the other two groups who are also foreigners are Eritreans who are essentially looking to open a southern front against… Ethiopia. And the other group is the armed opposition groups that want to overthrow the Ethiopian government (Oromo Liberation Front and Ogaden National Liberation Front).”

– Dahir Mirreh Jibril

“We already know more than 300 suicide bombers who are already assigned to start bombing in the neighboring countries, the Ethiopian capitol, Addis Ababa, and Nairobi, the capitol of Kenya, and in Somalia, Baidoa, Galkacyo, Boosaaso, Hargeisa – the main population centers of Somalia.”

– Dahir Mirreh Jibril

“Close to 1000 (Somali) youngsters were transported for training to Syria and to Hezbollah areas and many went there during the fighting between Israel and Hezbollah. Some of them died there and we have the proof, the families who lost youngsters there. The number of Hezbollah who are physically there in Somalia is very difficult to know. What we know is that they all look alike, most of them are Arabs, and they are in Somalia and they are in the thousands.”

– Dahir Mirreh Jibril

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