Wednesday, February 27, 2013

American Shabaab fighter urges Muslims to join the 'fronts' of jihad

by Bill Roggio - February 27, 2013. -  LWJ

 A previously unidentified American who fights in the ranks of Shabaab, al Qaeda's affiliate in Somalia, appeared on a videotape and urged Muslims to join one of the numerous fronts of the global jihad.

The American, who is identified as Abu Ahmed al Amriki, is seen on a videotape that was produced by Shabaab's media arm and posted on jihadist Internet forums on Feb. 25. The video was obtained and translated by the SITE Intelligence Group.
Abu Ahmed speaks in both English and Arabic, and appears with two Kenyan jihadists, who are identified as Abu Seyf al Kenyi and Abu Khaled al Kenyi. Abu Ahmed's face is digitally blurred in the video. He is seen seated with a group of armed fighters; he is also holding a rifle as he speaks.
In his speech, Abu Ahmed implores Muslims to leave their lives of comfort and wage jihad in Somalia, Mali, Afghanistan, Iraq, or the "Islamic Maghreb" -- North Africa.
"Brothers and sisters, I won't take much of your time, but it's obligatory upon you to leave the lands of [disbelief] and [emigrate]. The fronts, they are all open, whether it's here in Somalia, whether it's in Mali, whether it's in Afghanistan, whether it's in Iraq, or whether it's in the Islamic Maghreb - it's all open," Abu Ahmed says, according to the transcript provided by the SITE Intelligence Group.
He urges Muslims who cannot "emigrate" to "fight the enemies of Allah where you find them ...."
Abu Ahmed claims that the West is losing the war against al Qaeda and its allies, and that a global caliphate will soon arise.
"Victory is coming. Your brothers are gaining strength after strength, victory after victory. The defeat of the [disbelievers] is near," he says.
"America is going down and the Caliphate is rising," he claims.
Abu Ahmed is one of the "Muhajireen" -- the emigrants or foreign fighters who wage jihad in Somalia alongside Shabaab.
Omar Hammami, the American who is better known as Abu Mansour al Amriki, is the most well-known foreign fighter in Somalia. He is feuding with Shabaab, and claims that foreigner fighters are at odds with Shabaab's leaders. Shabaab has disputed the claims, and has countered that Hammami is a narcissistic self-promoter who has taken advantage of his high-profile media presence to sow dissent between the Somali group and foreign fighters. Other than Hammami's claims, there is little evidence to support the assertion that there is a split between Shabaab and the Muhajireen.
Two other prominent Americans waging jihad in Somalia are Abu Abdullah al Muhajir, who is Ayman al Zawahiri's emissary to Shabaab, and Cabdulaahi Ahmed Faarax.
An estimated 50 Somali-Americans are thought to have been recruited in the US to train and fight with Shabaab. At least two Americans have carried out suicide attacks in Somalia, and Shabaab claimed that two other Americans have carried out such attacks.
For more information on Americans and foreigners who are fighting for Shabaab, see LWJ report, American Shabaab fighter and commander pictured together. For more information on Shabaab's links to al Qaeda, see LWJ reports, Somalia's Shabaab vows allegiance to new al Qaeda emir Zawahiri, and Al Qaeda leaders play significant role in Shabaab.

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Ansar al-Sharia returns to Benghazi

(AFP/Intel Center) Once forced out of Benghazi by public anger,
Ansar al-Sharia is now resuming security patrols
The radical militia suspected of carrying out the terrorist attack on the US consulate is now back in Benghazi, residents say.

Five months after Benghazi residents drove out extremist militias from the city centre, members of the Islamist Ansar al-Sharia brigade are now returning.

Patrolling hospitals and manning checkpoints, Ansar al-Sharia elements are back at their old posts. The Islamist militia was driven out of its main bases in eastern Libya' s main city last September following public outrage over the terror attack on the US consulate in Benghazi.

"Ansar al-Sharia elements are back to secure vital areas in Benghazi without being asked to," 36-year-old employee at Benghazi Medical Centre Marawan al-Jahani said.

"However, they are still not wanted in the streets of Libya. Truthfully, Libyan people are religiously moderate, open minded and don't accept any extremism," he added.
Some members of the extremist militia were also present during celebrations marking the February 17th revolution, securing vital areas in place of police.

The militia also resumed outreach programmes in an effort to win over a local populace wary of the continued presence of rogue revolutionaries.

According to The Globe and Mail, Ansar al-Sharia has picked up where the weak interim government left off, filling a security vacuum and providing local humanitarian services. But many Libyans remain sceptical of the Islamist aid.

24-year-old water company employee Ahmed Mansour called for serving the country and loving it warmly. "However, the fact that Ansar al-Sharia offers their services free of charge makes us wonder why Ansar al-Sharia in particular works with this spirit," he said.

"In my opinion, they have another purpose and are trying to proactively win people's trust. This group knows quite well that using direct force in Benghazi is not in its interest. Therefore, I believe that they have a hidden agenda that simple people can't see," Mansour continued.

"I don't want to cast doubts over their intentions, but it is still too early to praise anyone who wants to offer something to the nation and Benghazi without anything in return," he added.

Benghazi has been plagued by intermittent turmoil in recent months, with assassinations of security officials and sporadic bombings. While Ansar al-Sharia has denied culpability, Libyan authorities have been unable to curtail the violence or arrest those responsible for the attack on the US consulate.

The inaction over the Islamist violence comes despite intelligence and reconnaissance support from Libya's international partners. Drone over-flights are now a common occurrence in eastern Libya, where the aircraft provide information on the al-Qaeda threat for Libya and other countries.

Political scientist and former National Transitional Council member Fathi Baja told The Globe and Mail that "nobody" had authorised Ansar al-Sharia to resume operations or take up a security role.
"It's a tactic for returning to Benghazi. The government doesn't want a confrontation with them," he said.
 A specialised committee has been set up to monitor the various groups in charge of security in Benghazi, according to Mohammed al-Tayeb, the person in charge of the security file within the city's local council.
"We're only overseeing the process without interfering in the responsible entities' tasks," al-Tayeb told Magharebia.
Members of the Islamist Rafallah al-Sahati battalion are also reportedly returning to their old positions within Benghazi.
Faraj al-Mejbri, an employee in the administration of Rafallah al-Sahati, said his group never expected to be driven out of the city in the public rage over the consulate attack.
"We didn't imagine that we would be treated like al-Fadheel Bou Omar battalion was treated when the young people rose against it during the revolution and the obscene words used to describe us," al-Mejbri said.

"After that, there were many events and these Fridays never stopped. All of their demands were to remove the revolutionaries from the protection of state institutions although we are under state's legitimacy," he added.
He said that the militia was surprised by the reaction, saying they helped secure the congressional election.
"We're under the legitimacy of the defence ministry, unless the ministry itself doesn't have legitimacy in the first place," the Rafallah al-Sahati official added.
"Libyan army chief Youssef al-Mangoush is telling us that he can't form an army before three years, taking into consideration that the forces now on the ground are those of the revolutionaries," he added.

By Asmaa Elourfi for Magharebia in Benghazi – 26/02/13
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Swiss woman kidnapped by al-Qaida freed in Yemen

SANAA, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) -- A Swiss woman kidnapped by the al- Qaida wing in Yemen for one year was released on Wednesday, an official of the Yemeni Interior Ministry told Xinhua.

"Sylvia Abrahat, the Swiss teacher who worked in an English- language school in the western port city of al-Hodayda and was snatched by al-Qaida militants in March last year was freed Wednesday by a tribal mediation," the official told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

"Abrahat was handed over to the government authorities in the southeastern province of Shabwa, where the negotiations took place, " the official said, declining to clarify what were the demands of the al-Qaida.

Meanwhile, a specialist on al-Qaida issues confirmed the " successful negotiations" that led to the release of the Swiss woman.

"I was informed tonight from sources close to the tribal mediators and al-Qaida militants that the negotiations over the release of the Swiss hostage has ended successfully earlier Wednesday," Abdelrazak al-Jamal told Xinhua by phone.

"No information about the details of the agreed deal has yet been available," he said.

Foreigners are frequently kidnapped in Yemen by al-Qaida militants or tribesmen who asked for ransoms or the release of their jailed fellows. Most of the kidnapped have been freed unharmed.

The Yemen-based al-Qaida wing, the most active terrorist network in the Middle East, is also holding a Saudi diplomat captive for almost one year, as well as three Europeans, a Finnish couple and an Austrian, for nearly two months.

On Tuesday, Yemeni government officials said that tribal chiefs began mediation efforts to secure the release of three Europeans held hostage by the al-Qaida wing last December.

"The act came after President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi received a phone call from European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, during which the president promised to run mediation efforts on all levels to free the hostages," an official of the Presidential Palace told Xinhua on Tuesday.

Officials said they demanded a ransom of millions of euros during talks over the past month to release the Europeans, while al-Qaida stipulated the release of jailed women in Saudi Arabia in return for the release of the Saudi diplomat.

The Finnish couple and their Austrian friend, who studied Arabic language in a school in the old city of the capital Sanaa, were snatched on Dec. 21, 2012 from a busy street in central Sanaa.

2013-02-28 05:58:39
Editor: Mu Xuequan

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Afghan police officer drugs, kills 17 colleagues

An Afghan police officer drugged 17 colleagues and shot them dead on Wednesday with the aid of the Taliban, police said, the latest in a series of so-called "insider", or green-on-blue, attacks involving Afghan security forces and the Taliban.
The attacks have undermined trust between coalition and Afghan forces who are under mounting pressure to contain the Taliban insurgency before most NATO combat troops withdraw by the end of 2014.

The killings, the worst in a string of similar attacks in recent months, occurred at a remote Afghan Local Police (ALP) outpost in the eastern province of Ghazni.

"An infiltrated local policeman first drugged all 17 of his comrades, and then called the Taliban and they together shot them all," the chief police detective for Ghazni, Mohammad Hassan, told Reuters.

Seven of the dead were new recruits still undergoing training, officials said.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack in a text message by spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid.

The rapidly growing ALP program is an American-designed initiative designed to recruit local men as security officers for their area. - See more at:

Updated :   Wednesday  February  27 , 2013  7:17:39 PM

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Suicide blast rock capital Kabul, 8 injured

A heavy explosion rocked capital Kabul early Wednesday morning.

The incident took place in Kart-e-Seh area in west of Kabul city near Sara-e-Ghazni area.

Preliminary reports suggest the explosion took place as a result of a suicide bomb blas and the target of the bomber was a vehicle convoy of the Afghan army.

In the meantime Gen. Zahir Azimi, spokesman for the Afghan defense ministry said the incident took place after a vehicle carrying Afghan army officers was targeted.

He said only 6 Afghan army officers have reportedly been injured following the blast and there no are reports if army officers were also killed following the blast. He also did not disclose further information if the explosion took place due to a suicide bomb attack.

Afghan interior ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqi confirming the report said at least 8 people were injured following the blast.

Mr. Sediqi further added the suicide bomber detonated his explosives in the sixth district of capital Kabul city and he was looking to target the vehicle of the Afghan army officers.

He said at least 6 Afghan army officers were injured along with two other Afghan civilians.

By Mirwais Adeel - 27 Feb 2013, 8:31 am

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Seven Killed in Northern Mali Suicide Bombing

A suicide bombing has killed at least seven people in the northern Mali town of Kidal, near the scene of heavy fighting between French troops and Islamist militants.
The MNLA, a Tuareg separatist group now working with the French, says a bomber in a four-by-four vehicle blew himself up at one of its checkpoints late Tuesday. The MNLA says the attack killed seven of its fighters and wounded several others.

Other sources confirmed the attack but put the death toll at six.

Kidal is on the edge of the Ifoghas mountains, where Islamist militants retreated after a French-led offensive drove them out of northern Malian cities last month.

French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Drian reported heavy fighting in the mountains on Tuesday. He said France and its allies are targeting an area where "the most radical terrorist groups" have gone.

French troops entered Mali in January to push back militants moving toward the capital and have since been joined by African troops in backing the Malian army.

Le Drian said the operation has regained control of almost all of northern Mali but that the hardest portion of the fighting remains.

France has said it plans to begin withdrawing its ground forces and hand over military operations to the Malian army and a West African force.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

from VOA News
February 27, 2013

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In Several Joint Clearance Operations, Three Armed Taliban Killed (Feb.27.2013.)

Publish Date: Feb 27, 2013
In Several Joint Clearance Operations, Three Armed Taliban Killed

In past 24 hours, Afghan National Police conducted several joint clearance operations with the cooperation of Afghan National Army, NDS and Coalition Forces to clean some of the areas from terrorists and enemies of peace and stability of Afghanistan.

The operations were conducted in Kabul, Baghlan and Herat provinces, as a result three armed Taliban were killed and three other armed Taliban were arrested by Afghan National Security Forces.

Also, during these operations, Afghan National Police discovered and confiscated some amount of light and heavy rounds ammunitions.

During the same 24 hour period, Afghan National Police discovered and defused four anti-vehicle mines placed by enemies of Afghanistan for destructive activities in Faryab, Uruzgan, Khost and Helmand provinces.
Counter Crimes:
The 101 Kabul Zone National Police detained seven suspects accused of theft and using fake documents in the 5th, 8th and 11th Districts of Kabul-City.
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Feb. 27., 2013. - RC-East operational update

BAGRAM, Afghanistan - Afghan and coalition forces discovered one weapons cache and cleared two improvised explosive devices during operations in eastern Afghanistan throughout the past 24 hours, Feb. 26.

Parwan province
Coalition forces discovered a weapons cache during an operation in Bagram district. The cache contained 20 rockets and six cases of gunpowder.

Nangarhar province
Afghan National Security Forces found and safely cleared an IED in Bati Kot district.

Khowst province
Afghan National Security Forces found and safely cleared an IED in Nadir Shah Kot district.

Operations in RC-East are ongoing.

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