The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Mogadishu (AFP) – The Nairobi mall carnage in which several foreigners were killed by Islamist fighters was a “message to Westerners” who supported Kenya, Somalia’s Shebab chief said in an audio message Wednesday.

Reclusive rebel supremo Ahmed Abdi Godane said the four-day bloodbath was a warning to Westerners who “backed Kenya’s invasion (of Somalia) that has spilled the blood of the Muslims for the interest of their oil companies”, in a message posted on an Islamist website.

Kenya invaded southern Somalia to attack Shebab bases two years ago, joining forces with a Somali militia warlord and wresting the key port of Kismayo from the extremists.

The troops later joined the 17,700-strong African Union force (AMISOM) deployed in Somalia.

Godane, who called the killing of at least 67 people including children a “historic operation,” threatened “more bloodshed” if Kenya did not withdraw its troops from Somalia.

Reportedly trained in Afghanistan with the Taliban, Godane — often known by the name Abu Zubayr — took over the leadership of the Shebab in 2008 after then leader Adan Hashi Ayro was killed by a US missile attack.

The U.S. State Department lists Godane as one of the world’s eight top terror fugitives, and has offered a $7 million bounty for him.

The Al-Qaeda linked group he co-founded has already claimed responsibility for the shocking assault on the sprawling complex, but it is the first time Godane has issued a public statement.

“The Kenyan people, you went to a war that is not yours and which is against your interests,” he said, in a speech peppered with the traditional verses of Somali martial poetry he is known to love.

“You have squandered your peace and prosperity and lost your boys. You elected your politicians, you pay the tax to arm the forces of Uhuru that are massacring the Muslims, you supported the decision to go to war,” he added.

In one of the worst attacks in Kenya’s history, the militants marched into the four-storey mall at midday Saturday, spraying shoppers with automatic weapons fire and tossing grenades.

“Make your choice: pull your forces out of Muslim lands or face more bloodshed on your soil,” Godane added.

Godane also accused Kenya’s president, who faces trial at The Hague-based International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity for violence after elections in 2007, of wanting to hold onto power at all costs.

“Don’t expect a solution from Uhuru, because he only wants to retain power. He spilled the blood of Kenyans during elections, and he is ready today to spill the blood of thousands of your boys inside and outside your country, to keep his seat by pleasing Western powers,” the broadcast said.

Godane added that Kenya was not ready for the violence he claimed his fighters could unleash.

“You cannot stand a long war inside Somalia and you will not survive deadly attacks at home too,” he said.

Advertising

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Donald Trump

Image via Twitter

A year after former President Donald Trump left the White House and Joe Biden was sworn in as president of the United States, Trump continues to have considerable influence in the Republican Party. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a former Trump critic turned Trump sycophant, recently told Fox News that having a “working relationship” with Trump must be a litmus test for anyone in a GOP leadership role in Congress. But an NBC News poll, conducted in January 14-18, 2022, finds that many Republican voters identify as Republicans first and Trump supporters second.

Analyzing that poll in the New York Times on January 21, reporters Leah Askarinam and Blake Hounshell, explain, “Buried in a new survey published today is a fascinating nugget that suggests the Republican Party may not be as devoted to Trump as we’ve long assumed. Roughly every month for the last several years, pollsters for NBC News have asked: ‘Do you consider yourself to be more of a supporter of Donald Trump or more of a supporter of the Republican Party?’ Over most of that time, Republicans have replied that they saw themselves as Trump supporters first.”

Keep reading... Show less

Ivanka Trump, right

Image via @Huffington Post

As House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s select committee on the January 6, 2021 insurrection moves along, it is examining Ivanka Trump’s actions that day — especially the former White House senior adviser urging her father, then- President Donald Trump, to call off his supporters when the U.S. Capitol Building was under attack. This week, Ivanka Trump’s importance to the committee is examined in a column by liberal Washington Post opinion writer Greg Sargent and an article by blogger Marcy Wheeler.

Sargent notes that the committee’s “new focus on Ivanka Trump” shows that it “is developing an unexpectedly comprehensive picture of how inextricably linked the violence was to a genuine plot to thwart a legitimately elected government from taking power.”

Keep reading... Show less
x
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}