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Extremists attack hotel in Nairobi; al-Shabab claims role

January 15, 2019

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Extremists launched a deadly attack on a luxury hotel in Kenya’s capital Tuesday, sending people fleeing in panic as explosions and heavy gunfire reverberated through the complex. A witness said he saw five bodies at the hotel entrance alone.

Al-Shabab — the Somalia-based Islamic extremist group that carried out the 2013 Westgate Mall attack in Nairobi that left 67 people dead — claimed responsibility. “It is terrible. What I have seen is terrible,” said Charles Njenga, who ran from the bloody, glass-strewn scene.

The coordinated assault began with an explosion that targeted three vehicles outside a bank, and a suicide bombing in the hotel lobby that severely wounded a number of guests, said Kenya’s national police chief, Joseph Boinnet.

Authorities sent special forces into the hotel to flush out the gunmen believed holed up inside. Well after nightfall, more than five hours after the attack began, Boinnet said the counter-operation was still going on.

It was not clear how many attackers laid siege to the complex, which includes the DusitD2 hotel, along with bars, restaurants, banks and offices and is in a well-to-do neighborhood with large numbers of American, European and Indian expatriates.

Boinnet did not disclose the number of dead. However, a Kenyan police officer who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media said that bodies were seen in restaurants downstairs and in offices upstairs, but “there was no time to count the dead.”

Also, a witness who gave his name only as Ken said he saw five bodies at the entrance. He said that other people were shouting for help and “when we rushed back to try to rescue them, gunshots started coming from upstairs, and we had to duck because they were targeting us and we could see two guys shooting.”

Kenyan hospitals appealed for blood donations even as the number of wounded remained unclear. Associated Press video from inside the hotel showed Kenyan security officers anxiously searching the building and scared workers emerging from hiding while gunfire could still be heard. Some women climbed out of windows. One man got up from the floor where he appeared to be trying to hide under a piece of wood paneling, then showed his ID badge.

As officers searched luxury fashion displays, wounded people were carried away on stretchers. Like al-Shabab’s Westgate Mall attack, this one appeared aimed at wealthy Kenyans and foreigners living in the country. It came a day after a magistrate ruled that three men must stand trial in connection with the Westgate Mall siege. A fourth suspect was freed for lack of evidence.

Al-Shabab has vowed retribution against Kenya for sending troops to Somalia since 2011. The al-Qaida-linked group has killed hundreds of people in Kenya, which has been targeted more than any other of the six countries providing troops to an African Union force in Somalia.

In the Westgate Mall massacre, al-Shabab extremists burst into the luxury shopping center, hurling grenades and starting a dayslong siege. In 2015, al-Shabab claimed responsibility for an attack on Kenya’s Garissa University that killed 147 people, mostly students. Tuesday’s violence also came three years to the day after al-Shabab extremists attacked a Kenyan military base in Somalia, killing scores of people.

Gunfire could be heard for hours after Tuesday’s attack began. Several vehicles burned, sending black smoke rising over the complex. Some people ducked behind cars, screaming, while others took cover behind fountains and other features at the lush complex.

Ambulances, security forces and firefighters converged along with a bomb disposal unit, and vehicles were cordoned off for fear they contained explosives. Police said they blew up a car that had explosives inside. An unexploded grenade was also seen in a hallway at the complex.

Security forces hurried out a large group of women, one of them still in curlers. Dozens of others were rushed to safety as plainclothes officers went shop to shop in the complex. Some people held up their hands to show they were unarmed.

A Kenyan intelligence official said the country had been on high alert since November, with information about potential attacks on high-profile targets in Nairobi. The official was not authorized to talk to the media and spoke on condition of anonymity.

A Somali diplomat who likewise spoke on condition of anonymity said Somali officials were in the hotel for meetings at the time of the attack and several were feared to still be inside. Despite the years of bloodshed, the Kenya-Somalia border remains porous, with al-Shabab extremists able to easily bribe their way across, according to a U.N. panel of experts.

The hotel complex in Nairobi’s Westlands neighborhood is about a mile (2 kilometers) from Westgate Mall on a relatively quiet, tree-lined road in what is considered one of the most secure parts of the city. The hotel’s website says it is “cocooned away from the hustle and bustle in a secure and peaceful haven.”

On Monday, the hotel promoted its spa by tweeting: “Is your new year off to a rough start?”

Associated Press writer Abdi Guled in Nairobi contributed.

Al-Shabab denies kidnapping Briton

Wed Sep 14, 2011

Somalia’s anti-government al-Shabab group has denied any involvement in the abduction of a British woman from a luxury beach resort in Kenya, Press TV reports.

A senior al-Shabab official in Kismayo, 200 km (120 miles) north of the Kenyan border, told Press TV on Wednesday that the Briton, 56-year-old Judith Tebbutt, had been brought to the Somali port city. He also dismissed reports that al-Shabab had any links with her kidnapping.

“We have credible information that the (British) woman is held in Kismayo but we are not responsible,” the al-Shabab official said on condition of anonymity.

“Hopefully we will find out who is responsible and issue official statement on the matter,” he added.

Unidentified gunmen raided the remote Kiwayu Safari Village, Kenya, in the early hours of Sunday, shooting dead publishing executive David Tebbutt, 58, and taking hostage his wife Judith before escaping by boat.

British Prime Minister David Cameron told parliament on Wednesday that he had chaired a crisis meeting on the kidnapping.

“We are doing everything we possibly can on this desperately tragic case,” he said on Wednesday.

“The Foreign Secretary (William Hague) has met with the family today. I think on some of these cases it is not right to air all of these issues in public but I can reassure … the Tebbutt family (that) we will do everything possible to help, ” Cameron added.

Concern has been growing for Judith Tebbutt, who is believed to be deaf and wear a double hearing aid.

Police in Kenya say they have arrested a man suspected of aiding the gunmen. He is believed to have information about the person, who organized the kidnapping.

Source: PressTV.
Link: http://www.presstv.com/detail/199134.html.

Somalia’s al-Shabab joins al-Qaeda

Fri Feb 10, 2012

Al-Qaeda’s chief Ayman al-Zawahiri has announced in a video message that the Somali militant group al-Shabab has joined ranks with the global terrorist organization, Press TV reports.

Zawahiri gave “glad tidings” that al-Shabab had formally joined al-Qaeda in a 15-minute video released by Al-Qaeda’s media arm As-Sahab on Thursday.

“I will break the good news …, which will please the believers and disturb the disbelievers, and it is that al-Shabab movement in Somalia has joined al-Qaeda,” Zawahiri said.

In the first part of the video, al-Shabab’s leader Ahmed Abdi Godane, also known as Mukhtar Abu Zubair, addressed Zawahiri, saying: “We will move along with you as faithful soldiers.”

“In the name of my mujahedeen brothers, leaders and soldiers… I pledge obedience,” Zubair said.

Somalia has been without an effective central government and descended into chaos since 1991, when warlords overthrew former junta chief Mohamed Siad Barre.

The weak Western-backed transition government in Mogadishu has been battling al-Shabab fighters for the past five years, and is propped up by a 10,000-strong African Union force from Uganda, Burundi and Djibouti.

Somalia is one of the countries generating the highest number of refugees and internally displaced people in the world.

Source: PressTV.
Link: http://edition.presstv.ir/detail/225979.html.

Al Shabab warns Djibouti not to send troops to Somalia

Monday, May, 16 2011

Djibouti on Saturday announced that it will send two battalions of troops to the war-torn Somalia to join the African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia (AMSIOM).

Mogadishu (Sunatimes) Al-Shabab militias have warned the government of Djibouti no to send troops in Somalia.

The spokesman for Al Shabab, Sheikh Ali Mohamud Rage, held a press conference in Mogadishu, and warned the government of Djibouti against sending any forces to Somalia as part of the African Union Peacekeeping mission in Somalia.

He says that if Djibouti troops are sent to Somalia, they should expect the same reception given to the Ugandan and Burundian soldiers.

Rage asserts that Al Shabab is already angered by the support the Djibouti government is offering to the transitional federal government of Somalia and the western countries.

Djibouti on Saturday announced that it will send two battalions of troops to the war-torn Somalia to join the African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia (AMSIOM).

However, Mr. Yusuf said that their troops will not participate in any confrontation between the Somali government forces and the opposing militias. He said the Djibouti troops will mainly participate in providing technical support to the other peacekeepers.

By Rooble Dirir

Source: Suna Times.
Link: http://www.sunatimes.com/view.php?id=1032.

Graduation Ceremony at the Abdullah Azzam Training Center for Islamic Propagation in the Islamic Province of Banadir (Mogadishu)

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.

All praise be to Allah, the Lord of all that exists, and may peace and blessings be upon the Leader of the Mujahideen and True Monotheists, Muhammad, and upon all his Family and Companions. To proceed:

The Islamic Propagation Office of the Mujahideen Youth Movement (Al-Shabaab) organized a graduation ceremony for 209 preachers who graduated from the Abdullah Azzam Training Center for Dawah on Friday, 16/5/1431 (30/4/2010) at Nasruddeen Masjid in Mogadishu, the capital of the Islamic Province of Banadir.

A noble group of the leadership of the Mujahideen Youth Movement participated in the ceremony, from them Sheikh Ali Muhammad Raghi, the Official Spokesman for the Movement, and Sheikh Ali Jabal, the Governor of the Islamic Province of Banadir and a number of other notables and scholars of the capital. This Islamic Propagation course which took place over the course of 4 months focused on studying and memorizing the following books:

The Quran and its Sciences

1- The Explanation of the Juz Amma and Tabaarak, and Surah Al-Tawbah and Al-Anfal -تفسير جزء عم وتبارك وسورتي التوبة والأنفال

2- Hidaayat-ul-Mustafeed – هداية المستفيد

3- Tuhfat Al-Atfal – تحفة الأطفال

4- Al-Jazariyyah – متن الجزرية

Tawheed

1- Usool Al-Thalaathah – الأصول الثلاثة

2- Kashf Al-Shubuhat – كشف الشبهات

3- Al-Aqeedah Al-Wasitiyyah – العقيدة الواسطية

4- Al-Walaa wal-Baraa by Dr. Ayman Al-Zawahiri – الولاء والبراء للدكتور أيمن الظواهري

5- Millat Ibraheem by Abu Muhammad Al-Maqdisi – ملة إبراهيم لأبي محمد المقدسي.

Hadeeth and its Sciences

1- Jami Al-Uloomi wal-Hikam – جامع العلوم والحكم

2- Islah Al-Mujtama – إصلاح المجتمع

3- Riyadh Al-Saliheen – رياض الصالحين

4- Buloogh Al-Maram – بلوغ المرام

5- Mustalah Al-Hadeeth by Sheikh ibn Uthaimeen – مصطلح الحديث لابن عثيمين

6- Tayseer Mustalah Al-Hadeeth by Mahmoud Al-Tahhaan – تيسير مصطلح الحديث لمحمود طحان

Fiqh and its Sciences

1- Al-Tahdheeb fi Matn Al-Ghayah wal-Taqreeb – التذهيب في متن الغاية والتقريب.

2- Nadhm al-Waraqaat by Imam Al-Juwaini – نظم الورقات للإمام الجويني.

Arabic Language

1- Mandhoumah Al-Akhlaq wal-Adab by Abu Is’haq Al-Biri – منظومة الأخلاق والآداب لأبي إسحاق الألبيري

2- Tahseen Al-Khar Al-Arabi/ Al-Naskh al-Ruq’ah – تحسين الخط العربي / النسخ والرقعة

3- Al-Aajurumiyyah – الآجرومية

4- Qawa’id Al-Sarf – قواعد الصرف

Biography of the Prophet (saws)

1- Khulasah Noor Al-Yaqeen – خلاصة نور اليقين.

2- Mukhtasar Seerat al-Rasool – مختصر سيرة الرسول صلى الله عليه و سلم.

Some preaching and propagation skills were taught, and certificates and prizes were awarded to the Islamic Propagators. Some of the prizes included valuable books, such as Fat’h Al-Bari, Sharh Muslim, Awn Al-Ma’bood and other such books.

This course succeeded another one and was held due to the need of the Muslim people of understand the Shariah and their religion, and to rejuvenate the field of Islamic Propagation in Somalia, for religion is upheld with the Guidance of the Quran and the Victory of the Sword. Allah is Sufficient of a Guide and Aid.

Source: Theunjustmedia.

Link: http://www.theunjustmedia.com/Islamic%20Perspectives/May10/Graduation%20Ceremony%20at%20the%20Abdullah%20Azzam%20Training%20Center%20for%20Islamic%20Propagation%20in%20the%20Islamic%20Province%20of%20Banadir%20(Mogadishu).htm.

Somali militia group seizes pirate hub

Dozens of fighters from a Somali militia group have seized the port town and major pirate hub of Harardhere in northern Somalia, residents said.

The Hizbul Islam militia group’s control over the city has raised concerns for three international ships and 60 crew held there.

It is expected that the group will try to gain a foothold in Haradhere before the rival militant group al-Shabab.

The combination of pirate trade and the more dangerous insurgency could have perilous consequences for more than 300 foreign hostages that are being held by the Somali pirates.

“Around 200 heavily armed militants with 14 vehicles mounted with guns moved into our town early this morning and took up strategic positions, such as the police station and some former government premises,” resident Aden Jim’ale told the Associated Press by telephone on Sunday.

Mohamed Abdi Aros, Hizbul Islam’s head of operations, has confirmed the news.

Source: PressTV.

Link: http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=125271&sectionid=351020501.

Somali troops defect to join al-Shabab

A US-backed plan to train a police force for combat against al-Shabab is crumbling as a host of Somali government troops defect and join the militants.

Somali Defense Minister, Yusuf Mohamed Siyad aka Indha’ade, confirmed to Associated Press that some trainees joined al-Shabab after the men’s $100 monthly wages were stolen by their commanders.

“The US promised to pay the salaries of 1,800 soldiers, while other donor countries pledged to pay for some 3,300 soldiers. This is part of plans to fund the upkeep of 10,000 soldiers that would help the government retain the security,” he said.

The Somali minister added that the soldiers did not receive their wages for nearly a year.

About half of the Somali troops, trained in neighboring Djibouti, have deserted with their uniforms and weapons after realizing that they are not going to receive their salaries.

“Some gave up the army and returned to their ordinary life and others joined the militants,” Somali army Col. Ahmed Aden Dhayow told AP.

International efforts to help train soldiers have been patchy so far. African Union instructors in the main Somali government camp, Camp al-Jazira, are desperately short of equipment and sporadic international training outside the Horn of Africa nation has been uncoordinated.

It is believed militia leaders fear that a national army could weaken their clan-based forces. They also want the payments to go to their own fighters instead.

The international community has, on occasions, tried to rebuild the Somali army since the central government collapsed nearly two decades ago and the army dissolved into feuding militias.

Source: PressTV.

Link: http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=125019&sectionid=351020501.

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