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August 10, 2012

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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February 16, 2012

Al Shabaab Formally Joins Al Qaeda against “Crusader Zionist Campaign”

Al Qaeda and Al Shabaab, a terrorist group seeking to establish an Islamic state in Somalia, have issued a joint communique announcing the formal merger of their groups.

While Al Shabaab had previously announced its alignment with Al Qaeda in 2010, and its leaders had repeatedly sworn allegiance to Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, it is the first time Zawahiri has commented on the “joining of the Mujahideen Al Shabaab Movement in Somalia to Al Qaeda in support of the gathering jihad against the Crusader Zionist campaign.”
Al Shabaab’s Kenyan affiliate, the Muslim Youth Center, which has claimed responsibility for several grenade attacks in Kenya, also announced on its blog that it had joined Al Qaeda to form the core of a newly reconstituted Al Qaeda in East Africa.
Approximately 40 Americans have traveled to Somalia to fight with Al Shabaab since 2007, including at least three American suicide bombers. Omar Hammami, an American citizen from Alabama, has become a key online propagandist for the group.

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