Archive for the ‘Somalia’ category

Somalia: Jihadis forcing civilians to hand over young children for training

January 16, 2018

Somalia: Jihadis forcing civilians to hand over young children for training, Jihad Watch

Somalia’s Al-Qaeda linked Shabaab insurgents are increasingly threatening civilians to force them to hand over young children for “indoctrination and military training

That’s right, young children are being yanked away from their homes, parents, schools, loved ones and familiar surroundings to be trained for bloody jihad war. This includes being kept in chains as they are indoctrinated on launching future attacks on the West and on how to become jihad/martyrdom suicide bombers.

Meanwhile, most of the world’s leaders pretend to care about human rights as they remain silent in the face of the worst global atrocities committed by jihadists.

“Somalia’s Shabaab forcing civilians to hand over children: HRW”, The Citizen (thanks to The Religion of Peace), January 15, 2018:

Somalia’s Al-Qaeda linked Shabaab insurgents are increasingly threatening civilians to force them to hand over young children for “indoctrination and military training”, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said Monday.

The rights watchdog said an aggressive campaign to recruit children had begun in mid-2017, with the jihadists taking reprisals against communities who refuse to cooperate.

Hundreds of children have fled their homes to avoid this fate, often alone, it said in a statement.

“Al-Shabaab’s ruthless recruitment campaign is taking rural children from their parents so they can serve this militant armed group,” said Laetitia Bader, senior Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch.

The practice was revealed to be taking place in three districts largely under Shabaab control, in the southern Bay region.

According to HRW, Al-Shabaab has opened large Islamic religious schools since 2015 in areas under their control, bringing in younger children and pressuring teachers to teach the Shabaab curriculum in schools and avoid “foreign teachings”.

Village elders near Baidoa in southwestern Somalia told HRW that in September, Shabaab militants ordered them to hand over dozens of children between the ages of nine and 15.

“They said we needed to support their fight. They spoke to us in a very threatening manner. They also said they wanted the keys to our boreholes. They kept us for three days. We said we needed to consult with our community. They gave us 10 days,” one resident told HRW.

The community refused to hand over the children, and has since received threatening calls including death threats.

That same month residents of Burkhaba district said Shabaab fighters had forcible taken at least 50 boys and girls from two schools to a village called Bulo Fulay, reported to host a “number of religious schools and a major training facility”.

A large group of Shabaab militants returned two weeks later to another local school and threatened the teacher who refused to hand over the children, said HRW.

“They wanted 25 children ages eight to 15,” the teacher told HRW

“They didn’t say why, but we know that it’s because they want to indoctrinate them and then recruit them.”

In Berdale district — also in the Bay region — Shabaab has abducted elders who refuse to hand over children in at least four villages, said the statement.

According to HRW, hundreds of often unaccompanied children have fled their homes since the recruitment campaign began.

The watchdog said that while government had taken some steps to protect schools and students, it should work to identify recruitment drives, assist displaced children and ensure children “are not sent into harm’s way.”

The Shabaab has been fighting to overthrow successive internationally backed governments in Mogadishu since 2007….

Of Crudeness and Truth

January 14, 2018

Of Crudeness and Truth, City JournalAndrew Klavan, January 12, 2018

Enter President Donald Trump. He is a rude and crude person. He speaks like a Queens real estate guy on a construction site. And because he does not have good manners, he thoughtlessly breaks the rules with which the Left has sought to muzzle those who disagree with them. In this regard, I frequently compare Trump to Randle Patrick McMurphy, the loudmouthed, ill-mannered roustabout from Ken Kesey’s brilliant novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. McMurphy comes into an insane asylum controlled by a pleasant, smiling nightmare of a head nurse named Ratched. Nurse Ratched, while pretending to be the soul of motherly care, is actually a castrating, silencing tyrant. Her rules of good manners, supposedly fashioned for the benefit of all, are really a system of mental slavery. All of McMurphy’s salient character flaws suddenly become heroic in the context of her oppression. Only his belligerent ignorance of what constitutes good behavior can overturn the velvet strangulation of her rule.

For Nurse Ratched, read Hillary Clinton, CNN, the New York Times, Yale University, Twitter, and Google/YouTube—all the tender ministers of polite silence and enforced dishonesty. If Donald Trump’s boorishness crashes like a bull through the crystal madhouse of their leftism—well, good. It’s about time.

So, when it comes to the Great Shithole Controversy of 2018, my feeling is: I do not care, not even a little. I’m sorry that it takes someone like Trump to break the spell of silence the Left is forever weaving around us. I wish a man like Ronald Reagan would come along and accomplish the same thing with more wit and grace. But that was another culture. History deals the cards it deals; we just play them. Trump is what we’ve got.

For all the bad language, for all the loose talk, I would rather hear a man speak as a man without fear of the Nurse Ratcheds in the press and the academy than have him neutered and gagged by a system of good manners that has been misused as a form of oppression. Better impoliteness than silence. Better crudeness than lies.

We have seen the effect of uncontrolled immigration on Europe. It is very, very bad. The fact is: some countries are shitholes. I don’t want this to become one of them.

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Nothing scandalizes a leftist like the truth. Point out that women and men are different, that black Americans commit a disproportionate amount of violent crime, that most terrorist acts are committed by Muslims, and the Left leaps to its collective feet in openmouthed shock, like Margaret Dumont after a Groucho Marx wisecrack. This is racism! This is sexism! This is some sort of phobia! I’m shocked, shocked to find facts being spoken in polite company!

No one is really shocked, of course. This is simply a form of bullying. The Left has co-opted our good manners and our good will in order to silence our opposition to their bad policies. The idea is to make it seem impolite and immoral to mention the obvious.

The bullying is highly effective and very dangerous. In England, in the city of Rotherham, at least 1,400 non-Muslim girls, some as young as 11, were brutally raped by Muslim immigrants over a period of years in the 2000s. Police and other officials worked to keep the facts hidden because, according to multiple reports, they were afraid of being called racist. Think about that: police officers did not want to seem racist, so they stood by and let their city’s children be raped. The same thing goes on in other cities in England and throughout Europe. And in fact, some who have spoken out have had their careers curtailed by manufactured scandal. The message is clear: it’s just not nice to tell the truth. It’s just not done. Don’t do it.

Here in the states, the First Amendment has so far allowed old-fashioned American loudmouths to fight the system whenever they could find ways around our monolithic corporate media. But the Empire of Lies is quick to strike back. Google/YouTube now stands charged by multiple accusers of singling out conservative voices for censorship, “fact-checking,” and demonetization. Hidden-camera videos released by Project Veritas this week show Twitter employees conspiring to “shadow ban” conservatives on their system. On campus, intelligent conservative speakers of good will like Ben Shapiro, Charles Murray, and Cristina Hoff-Somers have faced violent protests meant to shut them up.

No person of importance on the right seeks to silence anyone on the left. The Left, on the other hand, is broadly committed to ostracizing, blacklisting, and even criminalizing right-wing speech.

Enter President Donald Trump. He is a rude and crude person. He speaks like a Queens real estate guy on a construction site. And because he does not have good manners, he thoughtlessly breaks the rules with which the Left has sought to muzzle those who disagree with them. In this regard, I frequently compare Trump to Randle Patrick McMurphy, the loudmouthed, ill-mannered roustabout from Ken Kesey’s brilliant novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. McMurphy comes into an insane asylum controlled by a pleasant, smiling nightmare of a head nurse named Ratched. Nurse Ratched, while pretending to be the soul of motherly care, is actually a castrating, silencing tyrant. Her rules of good manners, supposedly fashioned for the benefit of all, are really a system of mental slavery. All of McMurphy’s salient character flaws suddenly become heroic in the context of her oppression. Only his belligerent ignorance of what constitutes good behavior can overturn the velvet strangulation of her rule.

For Nurse Ratched, read Hillary Clinton, CNN, the New York Times, Yale University, Twitter, and Google/YouTube—all the tender ministers of polite silence and enforced dishonesty. If Donald Trump’s boorishness crashes like a bull through the crystal madhouse of their leftism—well, good. It’s about time.

I don’t know exactly what Trump said in a closed-door meeting with senators at the White House this week. Unnamed sources say that he referred to some African countries and Haiti as “shitholes.” Maybe so; sounds like him. In any case, when it comes to a chance to attack Trump, our journalists don’t waste time with fact-gathering or source-identifying. Like Madonna, they just strike a pose. Various media knuckleheads have reacted to the alleged comment by calling Trump “racist,” “Nazi,” “Evil,” and a “terrorist sympathizer.”

(Personally, my first thought on hearing about the remark was: “What squirrely little tattle-tale of a weasel went running to the press with that?” But never mind. That’s just me.)

Let’s state the obvious. Some countries are shitholes. To claim that this is racist is racist. They are not shitholes because of the color of the populace but because of bad ideas, corrupt governance, false religion, and broken culture. Further, most of the problems in these countries are generated at the top. Plenty of rank-and-file immigrants from such ruined venues ultimately make good Americans—witness those who came from 1840s potato-famine Ireland, a shithole if ever there was one! It takes caution and skill to separate the good from the bad.

For these very reasons, absurd immigration procedures like chain migration, lotteries, and unvetted entries are deeply destructive. They can lead to the sort of poor choices that create a Rotherham. Trump’s suggestions—to vet immigrants for pro-American ideas and skills that will help our country—are smart and reasonable and would clearly make the system better if implemented.

So, when it comes to the Great Shithole Controversy of 2018, my feeling is: I do not care, not even a little. I’m sorry that it takes someone like Trump to break the spell of silence the Left is forever weaving around us. I wish a man like Ronald Reagan would come along and accomplish the same thing with more wit and grace. But that was another culture. History deals the cards it deals; we just play them. Trump is what we’ve got.

For all the bad language, for all the loose talk, I would rather hear a man speak as a man without fear of the Nurse Ratcheds in the press and the academy than have him neutered and gagged by a system of good manners that has been misused as a form of oppression. Better impoliteness than silence. Better crudeness than lies.

We have seen the effect of uncontrolled immigration on Europe. It is very, very bad. The fact is: some countries are shitholes. I don’t want this to become one of them.

US military warns of Shabaab resurgence, strikes ‘command and logistics node’

June 11, 2017

US military warns of Shabaab resurgence, strikes ‘command and logistics node’, Long War Journal, , June 11, 2017

While announcing an airstrike that targeted a Shabaab “command and logistics node” in southern Somalia, the US military warned of al Qaeda’s resurgence in the country and said it has “taken advantage of safe haven.” The strike is the first announced by the US military since the Trump administration declared that it would expand operations against al Qaeda’s branch in Somalia.

US Africa Command, or AFRICOM, announced that it targeted a “command and logistics node at a camp located approximately 185 miles southwest of Mogadishu in a stronghold for the al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Shabaab organization” in an airstrike. AFRCOM assessed that eight Shabaab operatives were killed.

AFRICOM’s worrying assessment of Shabaab’s revival in Somalia is an admission that efforts by the US, African Union, and Somali government to contain and defeat the group over the past several years have failed. The US Department of Defense admitted as much in late March, when it announced that the Trump administration approved “additional precision fires” to target Shabaab throughout Somalia.

The Pentagon’s desire to actively target Shabaab reflects the growing concern that al Qaeda’s branch in East Africa is gaining strength despite the presence of both African Union and US forces, and it is plotting to attack the West. Shabaab used a sophisticated laptop bomb in an attempt to down a Somali airliner in 2016. This attack was cited by the US government as one of the reasons that electronics have been banned in the cabins of airplanes departing from 10 airports in the Middle East. [See What’s really behind Trump’s laptop ban.]

Today’s strike is part of an overarching effort to “degrade the al-Qaeda affiliate’s ability to recruit, train and plot external terror attacks throughout the region and in America.”

The AFRICOM statement also acknowledged that African Union and Somali forces have suffered significant losses at the hands of Shabaab:

In the last eight months, al-Shabaab has overrun three African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) Forward Operating Bases by amassing large numbers of fighters and attacking in overwhelming numbers. Al-Shabaab has also increased its combat capability by seizing heavy weaponry, armored vehicles, explosives, small arms, ammunition, and other miscellaneous supplies during its operations overrunning Burundian National Defense Forces FOB Leego, Ugandan People’s Defense Force FOB Janaale, and Kenyan Defense Force FOB Ceel Ad.

The terror organization has taken advantage of safe haven. The group has cemented its control [sic] southern and central Somalia, they have used this area to plot and direct terror attacks, steal humanitarian aid, and to shelter other radical terrorists.

Shabaab has successfully overrun Somali and African Union bases in the past and inflicted a large number of casualties on troops based there. In Jan. 2016, Shabaab fighters assaulted a base in Al Ade in the south and killed at least 100 Kenyan soldiers. In June 2015, Shabaab killed an estimated 60 Ethiopian soldiers in the south. That same month, Shabaab fighters killed more than 50 Burundi soldiers in Leego.

Shabaab has been resurgent in Somalia since losing ground to a combined African Union and Somali offensive in 2011. The jihadist group has slowly but methodically retaken several towns and villages that it lost, including the coastal town of Marka.

However, Shabaab’s efforts have not been confined to southern and central Somalia. Late last week, Shabaab fighters overran a base manned by Puntland forces in northern Somalia. Upwards of 60 troops were killed and Shabaab seized a large number of weapons and vehicles as well as a quantity of ammunition.

Today’s strike is the first reported by the US military against Shabaab since the Department of Defense announced that it would expand military operations. AFRICOM released a statement on April 17 to refute press reports that US forces launched airstrikes in southwestern Somalia.

Another Terrorist Attack in Africa. Ho Hum

June 27, 2016

Another Terrorist Attack in Africa. Ho Hum, Power LineJohn Hinderaker, June 27, 2016

Yesterday afternoon, Muslim terrorists associated with al-Shabaab attacked a hotel in Mogadishu, Somalia, killing at least 35:

The assault, the latest in a series by the Islamist group targeting ­hotels and restaurants, began when a suicide bomber detonated a car laden with explosives outside the building.

Somalia terror attack

Gunmen then stormed Mogadishu’s Naasa Hablood hotel and gunfire rang out for several hours, witnesses said, before the authorit­ies declared the attack over.

The car-bomb blast came at about 4.30 pm on Saturday local time and produced a large column of smoke over the hotel, which is frequented by politicians.

A cabinet minister was among those murdered.

Gunmen fought their way ­inside, and a witness said they began shooting randomly at hotel guests.

Blood was splattered on the hotel floor. …

It is the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, when extremists often step up attacks in this volatile country in the Horn of Africa.

Likewise, Christians launch terrorist attacks during Lent. Just kidding.

“They came shouting ‘Allahu Akbar!’ and fired bullets on every side,” said a hotel staffer who ­escaped through the back door.

Of course they did. They always do, to emphasize that their murders have nothing to do with Islam.

“They are devils who merely care for death and blood.”

“Devils” is a fair, well-considered characterization. I have nothing particular to say about this attack–one of many–except that I don’t think it should pass unnoticed. al-Shabaab is devoted to establishing sharia law in Somalia. Who knows, it might succeed. Certainly it won’t fail due to any intelligent action on the part of the Obama administration or other Western powers.

mogadishu-attack-685x320

22 Percent of Resettled Refugees in Minnesota Test Positive for Tuberculosis

May 17, 2016

22 Percent of Resettled Refugees in Minnesota Test Positive for Tuberculosis, BreitbartMichael Patrick Leahy, May 17, 2016

Somali-Minnesota-AP-640x480Jim Mone/AP

One of every five refugees resettled in Minnesota by the federal government tested positive for latent tuberculosis in 2014, according to the state’s Department of Health.

Only 4 percent of the general population in the United States tested positive for latent tuberculosis in the most recent report provided by the Centers for Disease Control.

The April 2016 edition of the Refugee Health Quarterly, published by the Minnesota Department of Health reports that:

Minnesota had 150 cases of TB in 2015, compared to 147 cases in 2014 (a 2 percent increase). The most common risk factor for TB cases in Minnesota is being from a country where TB is common.

TB screening is offered to all refugees during the domestic refugee health exam.

In 2014, 22 percent of refugees screened tested positive for LTBI (latent tuberculosis infection).

26 percent of all foreign born cases of tuberculosis in Minnesota were from people born in Somalia. Somalians almost exclusively enter the state through the refugee resettlement program.

More than 70,000 refugees have been resettled in the United States annually for the past three decades by the federal government. It’s not just tuberculosis being brought in by these resettled refugees. Measles, whooping cough, diptheria, and other diseases that were on their way to eradication are also coming in across the borders of the United States.

A recent outbreak of measles in Memphis, Tennessee, a center for refugee resettlement, began at a local mosque, as Breitbart News reported previously.

The alarming public health report from Minnesota comes on the heels of news from the Centers for Disease Control that in 2015, the incidence of tuberculosis in the United States increased.

“Data from 2015 show that the number of TB cases has increased (by 1.7 percent) nationally [in the United States] for the first time in 23 years, with a total of 9,563 TB cases reported,” the Minnesota Department of Health reports.

As the Star Tribune, Minnesota’s largest daily newspaper, reports:

The CDC is still trying to determine the reason for the uptick.

The goal set by the CDC, in 1989, of eliminating TB by 2010 — defined as less than one case in a million people — remains elusive. Even if the trend of declining cases had continued, the United States would not have eliminated TB by the end of this century, the CDC said.

“We are not yet certain why TB incidence has leveled off, but we do know it indicates the need for a new, expanded approach to TB elimination,” said Dr. Philip LoBue, director of the CDC’s Division of Tuberculosis Elimination, in an email.

A dual approach is needed: continue to find and treat cases of disease and evaluate their contacts, as well as identify and evaluate other high-risk persons for latent TB infection, he said.

There may be a positive correlation between the increase in the number of refugees resettled in the United States during this period and the sudden increase in the incidence of tuberculosis, a disease that many thought was on the path to eradication in the United States.

As the Centers for Disease Control report:

In 2014, a total of 66% of reported TB cases in the United States occurred among foreign-born persons. The case rate among foreign-born persons (15.4 cases per 100,000 persons) in 2014 was approximately 13 times higher than among U.S.-born persons (1.2 cases per 100,000 persons).

“Today four states – California, New York, Texas and Florida – have more than half the nation’s active TB cases, though they have only a third of the country’s population. The four states have the highest numbers of foreign-born residents,” according to the Star Tribune.

A person with latent tuberculosis is not infectious and does not have symptoms of the disease. A person with active tuberculosis is infectious and has symptoms of the disease.

Ten percent of those with latent tuberculosis develop active tuberculosis if not treated,according to the World Health Organization.

As the Star Tribune reports:

TB is an airborne infectious disease caused by bacteria that spreads through the air, person to person, when someone coughs or sneezes. One in three people worldwide have latent TB, according to the World Health Organization. In the United States, up to 13 million people have been exposed to TB and could develop the disease.

Every year, tuberculosis claims 1.5 million lives worldwide and 500 to 600 in this country.

“Tuberculosis (TB) has surpassed HIV as the leading cause of death from infectious disease worldwide,” the Minnesota Department of Health reports.

Tuberculosis is airborne and can be spread when a person active tuberculosis coughs, sneezes, or otherwise transmits the infection to a previously uninfected individual.

Treatment for tuberculosis is long and expensive. If caught early, it typically takes about nine months for a person with active tuberculosis to improve to latent tuberculosis. Not everyone diagnosed with active tuberculosis, however, improves. Mortality rates for those with active tuberculosis are much higher than health professionals would like, even in the United States.

According to the Star Tribune:

Treating TB patients is labor intensive. To ensure that TB patients complete the course of drugs that lasts six months or longer, Directly Observed Therapy programs require a health care worker – not a family member – to watch patients with active TB swallow every dose. If a patient cannot get to a clinic, a health care worker goes to the person’s home. The worker monitors patients for side effects and other problems.

Care also involves communication and cultural challenges. In Michigan, where the number of active TB cases rose from 105 in 2014 to 130 last year, the health department reaches out to Detroit’s large Arab and Bangladeshi populations. In other parts of the state, Burmese immigrants have different needs, said Peter Davidson, Michigan TB control manager.

“Some local health departments have strong partnerships with translation services. Some rely on a less formal mechanism – a private physician or someone on staff at the hospital who speaks the language,” Davidson said.

The cost of treating an active TB case that is susceptible or responsive to drugs averages $17,000, according to the CDC. Care of patients with drug-resistant TB, which can result from taking antibiotics prescribed before TB was properly diagnosed, costs many times more: $134,000 for a multidrug-resistant patient and $430,000 for an extensively drug-resistant one.

Minnesota public health officials point to the high treatment rate of those refugees diagnosed with latent tuberculosis as a reason for optimism.

“Eliminating TB in the U.S. will require increased attention to the diagnosis and treatment of latent TB infection (LTBI),” the April 2016 Refugee Health Quarterly reports.

“Minnesota’s LTBI treatment completion rate for refugees who start treatment is one of the highest in the nation at 86 percent in 2013,” the report adds.

An alternative public health policy–one that the United States used for decades in the latter part of the nineteenth century and early twentieth century–is to test immigrants and refugees for infectious disease before they are allowed into the country.

In that earlier era, those who tested positive were sent home. Today, however, many are welcomed in and pose a risk of infecting the rest of the American population.

(Note: Valley News Live in Fargo, North Dakota was the first broadcast outlet to report on the 22 percent incidence of latent tuberculosis among refugees in Minnesota.)

President Obama’s ‘successful’ counterterrorism strategy in Yemen in limbo

January 25, 2015

President Obama’s ‘successful’ counterterrorism strategy in Yemen in limbo, Long War Journal, Thomas Joscelyn & Bill Roggio, January 24, 2015

If this is what a successful counterterrorism strategy looks like, we’d hate to see failure.

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When announcing the US strategy to “degrade and ultimately destroy” the Islamic State in both Iraq and Syria, President Barack Obama said he would model it after America’s counterterrorism strategy in Somalia and Yemen, “one that we have successfully pursued…for years.”

Immediately after Obama’s speech, we at The Long War Journal questioned the wisdom of describing Somalia and Yemen as “successfully pursued” counterterrorism operations. Al Qaeda’s official branches, Shabaab in Somalia and al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in Yemen, remain entrenched in their respective countries, despite some setbacks here and there. AQAP’s core leadership cadre is intact. And both al Qaeda branches continue to control territory while working to conduct attacks outside of their countries. [For details, see LWJ report, US strategy against Islamic State to mirror counterterrorism efforts in Yemen, Somalia.]

In the four plus months since Obama described Yemen as a successful engagement, things have gone from bad to worse. The Iranian-backed Shiite Houthis have broken out from the northern provinces and overran the capital. Just this week, President Hadi, who was perhaps America’s greatest ally on the Arabian Peninsula as he actively endorsed and facilitated US counterterrorism operations, including controversial drone strikes against AQAP, was forced to step down. The prime minister has also resigned and the government has dissolved.

During this timeframe, the US drone program against AQAP has stalled. The last US drone strike in Yemen that has been confirmed by The Long War Journal took place on Nov. 12, 2014. This is especially remarkable given that AQAP has claimed credit for the assault on Charlie Hebdo’s offices in Paris, and the terrorists themselves said that AQAP sent them.

Unsurprisingly, US officials are now telling Reuters that counterterrorism operations in Yemen are “paralyzed” with the collapse of the Hadi government (the long gap in strikes in the face of the Charlie Hebdo attack is a clear indication that US CT operations are in limbo). Yemen’s military is also said to be in disarray.

If US officials expect the Houthis to be willing participants against AQAP, they are mistaken. The Houthis, while enemies of AQAP, are no friends of the US. While their movement was not created by Iran, they have adopted the Iranians’ motto: “Death to America.” Additionally, any action against AQAP only serves to strengthen the Houthis, and by extension, Iran.

Meanwhile, without a central government and effective military, Sunnis may be tempted to back AQAP against the Shiite Houthis, thereby increasing AQAP’s recruiting pool. There is already evidence that this is happening.

If this is what a successful counterterrorism strategy looks like, we’d hate to see failure.