THE EAST AFRICA BETWEEN OLD AL QAEDA SUPPORTERS
AND POTENTIAL RISE OF THE DAESH FANATICISM
It seems that Somalian book of sufferings has no end. Year by year, this country is facing up with new devastation, caused by nest of extremism and terrorism which became uncontrolled. Since 2004 when the Islamic Courts Union (ICU), the group of Islamist militant tribes that controlled southern and central Somalia formed its own military wing, under the ideological inspirational name Al Shabaab, what means “The Youth” in Arabic, the extremism colors the daily life of Somalia.
The purpose of the establishment of this organization, which later turned to be a malign, could have been seen in the attempts to break the transnational goverment formed in Somalia as well as its Ethiopian supporters. The ICU lost the political power in December of 2006, so the new settled goverment was a problem for the radical part of the ICU, what started clashes since May of 2009, with no mercy. The targets were mostly Somalian goverment officials as well as the members of Ethiopian military forces. However, the Al Shabaab didnt stop on domestic level but rather has also made border strikes and terrorist attack on international peace keepers and their representatives. That is one of the main reason why this group was labeled as a terrorist one and the final definition was after the Al Shabaab pledged to Al Qaeda in February 2012. The reason for it was the weak leadership of the militants and their incapability to reach wider range so the joining to the Al Qaeda umbrella of terrorism opened them the door into the bigger chaos and the terrorist goals.
The Al Shabaab Agenda is very aggressive terror group , despite not so long experience in the terrorism activities. After the US and the UK banned it as a nest of extremism, because of the radical ideology and violent program, it was observed that between 7.000 and 9.000 foreign fighters joined to the Youth, to help them beating up the local goverment as well as international agencies and neighboring countries. The vast majority of militants-helpers came from the Middle East, but also from the US and Europe.
In 2015, this terrorist organization made many massacres and one of the worst was committed in Kenya, at Garissa University, close to the border with Somalia. The gunmen attacked the Christian students and killed about 147 of them. The bloody act was also committed in Nairobi’s Westgate shopping center, back in 2013 when 68 people died. Their modus operandi was typical for them, because they would kill anyone who didn’t know to recite Noble Qur’an, so most of the victims were Christians again.
It is natural to expect that Kenya is fighting against those militants, sending the troops to Somalia to defeat them or working together with the African Union on destroying the regional threat of terrorism . However, the terrorists organized the recruiting center close to Mombasa, city with mostly Muslim population but as far as we could know, they do not have so much local support as they do have foreign fighters support.
Somalia hasn’t had the national constant goverment for the last 20 years and the whole country is some kind of the war zone. The civil war became regional and then ended up with total poverty, diseases, famine. In the meantime, the Al Shabaab offered to people some kind of safety and got a support but everything was destroyed at the moment when they refused the Western humanitarian aid in 2011 and pushed weak country in dying weakness. Since that time, this group is not anymore accepted by people and its own program is questioned as well as credibility. That was the advantage for the non-consolidated Somalian goverment to start removing Al Shabaab interest zone, to erase its local influence and to stop its border terrorist activity, through the inter border cooperation and help offered by experts from the African Union. They reduced its territorial possibilities and forced them out of the capital city of Mogadishu and also from Kismayo, the town that was very financially important for the terrorists, because of the controlling the charcoal trade.
Unfortunately, they are still able to commit the suicide bombing attacks everywhere because of their links with the terrorists points around the East Africa. It is very obvious that they ideologically were under some wave of aggressive Wahhabism so they proposed their own version of Shari’ah Law, which hasn’t been based on the Qur’an but on their interpretation of it. Abuse of religion leaded them to torture the people and accuse Somalian Muslims that they are Sufis instead of being real Islamic believers. There were also reports that the area under their control had to follow the Shari’ah Law and the rules they set up seemed to be hybridized Islamic rules and pagan tribal one. The targeted people who failed to fulfill the Shari’ah Law imagination of Al Shabaab were slaughtered.
This radicalism doesn’t surprise at all. They started like a defensive group and turned into the offensive and terrorist group, fighting only for blood and terror. It was an awakening of the monster, what slept for a while in the Somalian rain forest.
As the baby of Al Qaeda demonic cult, now they are more skilled to become real terrorists with the continental importance. The story about their relations with Boko Haram should be taken with deeper consideration.First of all, Al Shabaab is under Al Qaeda and Boko Haram is supporting ISIS. We all know that Al Qaeda and ISIS are not enemies but indeed they arent friends and for sure wont let to each others the more influence than they have.
Al Shabaab is still small to be involved in big African business with Boko Haram and potential rise of ISIS-DAESH but that doesnt mean they are not able to learn quick, do good recruiting job and one day, after they take enough experience from Al Qaeda network, to move to the higher level of terrorism, close to the Caliphate ideology. The only we should hope for is the death of the ISIS-Daesh phantom state as well as the death of its ideology so the rest of the snake body will die naturally.