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September 25, 2013 0

Westgate Attack Underscores Al Shabaab’s Battle With Jews And Israel

In an inter­view with Al Jazeera on Mon­day, Al Shabaab spokesman Sheikh Abu­laziz Abu Mus­cab, said that in addi­tion to Kenya’s mil­i­tary involve­ment in Soma­lia, the ter­ror­ist group attacked the West­gate Mall in Nairobi because it is a place “where there are Jew­ish and Amer­i­can shops. So we have to attack them.”al-shabaab-symbol-al-qaeda

Al Shabaab, the Al Qaeda-linked ter­ror­ist group that claimed respon­si­bil­ity for attack­ing the West­gate mall on Sat­ur­day, has pre­vi­ously declared an “open bat­tle” against Israel, which it deems the “oppress­ing Zion­ist entity,” and Jew­ish inter­ests in Africa.

In 2012, Kenyan sup­port­ers of Al Shabaab pub­lished a pre­dom­i­nantly Swahili-language online ter­ror­ist mag­a­zine fea­turing English-language arti­cles that describe Jews as “the worst enemy of Islam.” The mag­a­zine, titled Gaidi Mtaani, roughly trans­lated as “Ter­ror­ism Street,” cast “the Zion­ist with their Amer­i­can part­ners” as the ben­e­fi­cia­ries of the “cru­sade” in Soma­lia and crit­i­cized the Kenyan pres­i­dent for trav­el­ing to Israel to secure Israeli coop­er­a­tion for coun­tert­er­ror­ism efforts. 

gaidi-mtaani-magazine kenya-shabaab-adl

Screen­shot from Gaidi Mtaani

The authors warned that they will not “dif­fer­en­ti­ate between civil­ians and com­bat­ants” and called on Kenya’s cit­i­zens to “reflect on the mag­ni­tude of what is yet to come,” cit­ing the 1998 bomb­ing of the U.S. embassy in Kenya that killed over 200 people.

Israeli inter­ests had pre­vi­ously been tar­geted by Al Qaeda in Kenya, includ­ing an attempt to shoot down an Israeli air­liner and an attack on an Israeli-owned resort in 2002.

In Novem­ber 2009, Al Shabaab announced the estab­lish­ment of Al Quds Brigade, a mil­i­tary unit specif­i­cally tasked with attack­ing Israel and free­ing “Islamic holy places” from the Israelis.

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

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August 10, 2012 0

Kenyan Al Qaeda Supporters’ Magazine Takes On Jews And Obama

A pre­dom­i­nantly Swahili-language online ter­ror­ist mag­a­zine, appar­ently writ­ten by Kenyan sup­port­ers of the Somali-based Al Qaeda affil­i­ate Al Shabaab, fea­tures English-language arti­cles that describe Jews as “the worst enemy of Islam,” as well as a “Wanted Dead or Alive” poster of Pres­i­dent Barak Obama.

Screen­shot from Gaidi Mtaani article

The mag­a­zine, titled Gaidi Mtaani, roughly trans­lated as “Ter­ror­ism Street,” is replete with the graph­ics and lay­out rem­i­nis­cent of Al Qaeda in the Ara­bian Penin­sula’s English-language ter­ror­ist mag­a­zine, Inspire. Two issues have been released since April 2012.

The Eng­lish arti­cles repeat­edly describe Kenya’s mil­i­tary incur­sion into Soma­lia to com­bat Al Shabaab as “a clear man­i­fes­ta­tion of hatred of Mus­lims” and part of “America’s global war on Islam.”  The mag­a­zine claims the objec­tive of this Amer­i­can proxy war is to “Crush Islam or Islamic Renaissance.”

The mag­a­zine casts “the Zion­ist with their Amer­i­can part­ners” as the ben­e­fi­cia­ries of the “cru­sade” in Soma­lia and crit­i­cizes the Kenyan pres­i­dent for trav­el­ing to Israel to secure Israeli coop­er­a­tion for coun­tert­er­ror­ism efforts.  Although the Eng­lish arti­cles do not directly threaten Israeli or Jews, Israeli inter­ests had pre­vi­ously been tar­geted by Al Qaeda in Kenya, includ­ing an attempt to shoot down an Israeli air­liner and an attack on an Israeli-owned resort in 2002.

The authors warn that they will not “dif­fer­en­ti­ate between civil­ians and com­bat­ants” and call on Kenya’s cit­i­zens to “reflect on the mag­ni­tude of what is yet to come,” cit­ing the 1998 bomb­ing of the U.S. embassy in Kenya that killed over 200 people.

Al Shabaab and its sup­port­ers have been blamed for repeated grenade and gun attacks in Kenya since Kenya began mil­i­tary oper­a­tions in Soma­lia last October.

The Mus­lim Youth Cen­ter, a Kenyan orga­ni­za­tion sup­port­ive of Al Shabaab, has pro­moted the mag­a­zine via its Twit­ter account and blog, which was taken down shortly after the mag­a­zine was advertised.

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