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September 23, 2013 0

Al Shabaab Claims Americans Took Part In Mall Attack In Kenya

Al Shabaab, the Al Qaeda-linked ter­ror­ist group that has claimed respon­si­bil­ity for attack­ing Nairobi’s West­gate mall on Sat­ur­day, has indi­cated via its Twit­ter account that three Amer­i­cans took part in the assault that has killed over 60 peo­ple and injured over 150 oth­ers thus far.al-shabaab-recruits

Al Shabaab pro­vided the names of the Amer­i­cans on its Twit­ter account; Ahmed Mohamed Isse of St. Paul, Min­nesota, Abd­i­fa­tah Osman Keenadiid of Min­neapo­lis, and Gen Mustafe Noorudiin of Kansas City, Missouri.

Since 2007, dozens of Amer­i­cans have trav­elled to Soma­lia to fight with Al Shabaab. Many of these Amer­i­cans have received weapons train­ing along­side recruits from other coun­tries, and have used the train­ing to fight against the Tran­si­tional Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment of Soma­lia and the inter­na­tional forces that have backed it. At least three of these Amer­i­can recruits have engaged in sui­cide bomb­ings in Somalia.

One such recruit from Min­neapo­lis, 22-year-old Abid­salan Hus­sein Ali, was one of two sui­cide bombers who attacked African Union troops in Octo­ber 2011. The first Amer­i­can Al Shabaab sui­cide bomber, Shirwa Ahmed, car­ried out a sui­cide bomb­ing at the Ethiopian Con­sulate and the pres­i­den­tial palace in Hargeisa in Octo­ber 2009. The sec­ond, Farah Mohamad Beledi, car­ried out a sui­cide bomb­ing in May 2011, tar­get­ing a mil­i­tary base out­side Mogadishu, the Somali capital.

Most of the Amer­i­can men that have trained with Al Shabaab are believed to have been rad­i­cal­ized in the U.S., and have been recruited by Al Shabaab both on the Inter­net and in per­son. Omar Ham­mami, an Amer­i­can cit­i­zen from Alabama, is per­haps the most well-known Amer­i­can recruiter for Al Shabaab. The group dis­sem­i­nated online pro­pa­ganda videos fea­tur­ing Ham­mami to recruit young Amer­i­can men to join its insurgency.omar-hammami-twitter

Ham­mami was report­edly exe­cuted in Soma­lia last week by his for­mer asso­ciates. Ham­mami appar­ently split with Al Shabaab over his belief that it was inter­ested only in local pol­i­tics and the fight in Soma­lia, rather than the cause of a global ”jiahd of the entire Ummah [Mus­lim nation].”

Although most of Al Shabaab’s vio­lent acts have occurred within Somalia’s bor­ders, it has expressed a will­ing­ness to attack out­side tar­gets. In July 2010 it com­mit­ted twin bomb­ings against tar­gets in Uganda that killed more than 70 peo­ple, includ­ing an Amer­i­can aid worker. Dan­ish intel­li­gence offi­cials have alleged that an attempt to kill a Dan­ish car­toon­ist who printed con­tro­ver­sial car­toons depict­ing the Prophet Muham­mad in 2005 by a Somali national six months before the Uganda is linked to Al Shabaab as well.

The group has also declared an “open bat­tle” against Israel, which it deems the “oppress­ing Zion­ist entity,” and Jew­ish inter­ests in Africa. Israelis owned stores in the West­gate mall and the attack under­scores Al Shabaab’s bat­tle with Jews and Israel.

See ADL’s Report: Al Shabaab’s Amer­i­can Recruits

 

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