Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Somalia's Harakat al-Shabab Announce the 'Martyrdom' of AQC Operative Salah 'Ali Salah al-Nabhani


*SEE THE END OF THIS POST FOR 2 UPDATES*

**SEE A RELATED POST ON HARAKAT AL-SHABAB'S MEDIA EVOLUTION**

On Monday (September 14), the U.S. military carried out a pinpoint precision ground operation that resulted in the death of Salah 'Ali Salah al-Nabhan (sometimes transliterated as "Saleh Ali Saleh al-Nabhani"***), along with five others, believed to have been fighters in a Somali jihadi group that is currently battling the weak interim central government led by Sheikh Sharif Ahmed in the capital city of Mogadishu. Born in April 1979, al-Nabhani is also known as "Abu Yusuf Salah 'Ali Salah al-Nabhani," the name used in the official statement from the Somali jihadi group Harakat al-Shabab al-Mujahideen announcing his "martyrdom." He was a long-wanted al-Qa'ida "Central" (AQC) operative and the reported liaison between AQC and the Somali group, whose name in Arabic translates to "Movement of the Warrior-Youth". Some reports have claimed that al-Nabhan was also a Harakat al-Shabab commander in its military wing, the Jaysh al-'Usrah (roughly, the "Army of Hardship," perhaps a reference to the backgrounds of its members, and really all Somalis for the past several decades).

***As Yemen expert Gregory Johnsen notes at his Waq al-Waq blog (highly recommended for news and analysis on all things Yemen), the final "ye" in Arabic is often dropped from Anglicized transliteration of the former AQC operative's surname (see the Arabic press release from Harakat al-Shabab below). [Oct. 30]

"Harakat al-Shabab al-Mujahideen: Jaysh al-'Usrah in Somalia"

Al-Nabhani, who was long wanted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, is believed to have been involved in the planning of several high profile attacks, including the 1998 coordinated kamikaze bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, the 2002 bombing of an Israeli-owned hotel in Mombasa, Kenya, and the failed attempt to shoot down an Israeli charter plane carrying tourists with surface-to-air missiles. The history of the strategic cooperation between radical Islamist groups in Somalia, and East Africa more generally, are aptly covered in The African Jihad: Bin Laden's Quest for the Horn of Africa, a study by Gregory Alonso Pirio, a specialist in East African studies with a Ph.D. in African history from the University of California-Los Angeles.

The U.S. government attempted, but failed, to assassinate al-Nabhani in a March 2008 missile strike on a southern Somali town where the AQC operative was believed to be. The U.S. successfully assassinated Aden Hashi Farah Ayro, a senior Harakat al-Shabab commander and a member of the Salafi wing of the Union of Islamic Courts, in May 2008.


Harakat al-Shabab's military successes against the fledgling, United Nations and U.S.-backed interim Somali government has alarmed analysts in both. Heavy fighting in the capital city of Mogadishu and the assassination of Somali government officials, including the late minister of security, Omar Hashi, have shown that the group has the potential to topple President Sharif Ahmed's government. Ahmed, though an Islamist (Muslim who believes that Islam can play a role in politics), is a moderate and a former leader of the Sufi faction of the Union of Islamic Courts (traditional Somali Islam follows Sufi, "mystical," and not Salafi trends, and the Sufi Somali clans oppose the group's destruction of shrines).

Harakat al-Shabab already controls approximately one-third of the country.

President Sharif Ahmed, "Welcome, to the Karzai of Somalia"

On September 15, Harakat al-Shabab released an official statement announcing the "martyrdom" of al-Nabhani, through the Global Islamic Media Front (GIMF), one of the most important transnational jihadi media outlets:



بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

نزف إلى أمة الإسلام بشرى استشهاد الشيخ القائد أبي يوسف صالح علي صالح النبهاني و ثلة من رفاقه تقبلهم الله.

الحمدُ لله ربّ العالمين والصّلاة والسّلام على نبيّنا محمّد و على آله وصحبه أجمعين أما بعد:

قال الله تعالى :{هَٰذَا بَيَانٌ لِّلنَّاسِ وَهُدًى وَمَوْعِظَةٌ لِّلْمُتَّقِينَ ﴿١٣٨﴾ وَلَا تَهِنُوا وَلَا تَحْزَنُوا وَأَنتُمُ الْأَعْلَوْنَ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ ﴿١٣٩﴾ إِن يَمْسَسْكُمْ قَرْحٌ فَقَدْ مَسَّ الْقَوْمَ قَرْحٌ مِّثْلُهُ ۚ وَتِلْكَ الْأَيَّامُ نُدَاوِلُهَا بَيْنَ النَّاسِ وَلِيَعْلَمَ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَيَتَّخِذَ مِنكُمْ شُهَدَاءَ ۗ وَاللَّهُ لَا يُحِبُّ الظَّالِمِينَ ﴿١٤٠﴾} [سورة آل عمران].

نزف إلى أمة الإسلام بشرى استشهاد الشيخ القائد أبي يوسف صالح علي صالح النبهاني هو و ثلة من إخوانه في ضحى يوم الاثنين بتاريخ 24 رمضان 1430هـ الموافق لـ:14-09-2009 ، حيث قام الطيران الحربي الصليبي بمعاونة من أساطيله الحربية قبالة سواحل الصومال المسلم باستهداف الشيخ القائد صالح علي صالح النبهاني المشهور بأبي يوسف مع بعض رفقائه -رحمهم الله - أثناء تنقلهم في مناطق تابعة لولاية شبيلى السفلى الإسلامية فقام العدو الصليبي بعملية تحليق و إغارة على السيارة التي كانت تقل القائد أبا يوسف و إخوانه تقبلهم الله.

شارك في الهجوم ست طائرات هيلوكبتر بدأت بإطلاق نار كثيفة و بصورة مركزة مستهدفة سيارة الإخوة حيث قامت طائرتان منها بعملية إنزال سريع ظنا منهم أنهم أوقعوا بالإخوة و لكن الأسود مع قلة عددهم و بأسلحتهم البسيطة استطاعوا-بفضل الله- أن يردوا على العدو و يقاوموا حيث دار هناك اشتباك دام مدة ساعة تقريبا ، إلى أن تدخلت أربع طائرات أخرى لإمداد الفوج الأول من العدو و كان من قدر الله أن يسقط الشيخ القائد أبو يوسف شهيدا مع ثلة من رفقائه ، فهرع العدو إلى المكان آخذا أجساد الإخوة ، و لا نعرف حجم الخسائر التي لحقت بالعدو أثناء الاشتباك.

و نحن نطمئن أمتنا المسلمة الغراء و أبناءها المجاهدين و نبشرهم أننا في صميم معركة مصيرية مع التحالف الصهيوصليبي، و الحرب سجال إلا أن قتلانا في الجنة و قتلاهم في النار، و نقول لئن كان حبيبنا و أخونا الشيخ القائد صالح علي صالح النبهاني ممن كتب الله له الشهادة في الحادثة فهي عين ما نهئنى به أهله و أمته ونفسُ ما اشتاقت له روحه وحنت إليه نفسه مهاجرًا إلى الله هاربًا بدينه وعقيدته منذ عقدين تقريبا، قال الله تعالى: { وَمَن يُهَاجِرْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ يَجِدْ فِي الْأَرْضِ مُرَاغَمًا كَثِيرًا وَسَعَةً ۚ وَمَن يَخْرُجْ مِن بَيْتِهِ مُهَاجِرًا إِلَى اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ ثُمَّ يُدْرِكْهُ الْمَوْتُ فَقَدْ وَقَعَ أَجْرُهُ عَلَى اللَّهِ ۗ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ غَفُورًا رَّحِيمًا ﴿١٠٠﴾} [سورة النساء].

و لقد خيّب الله مسعى أعدائنا الأغبياء بتوهمهم أن شعلة الجهاد في الأراضي المسلمة و الصحوة الجهادية المزلزلة لعروش الكفر والمرتدين قد تنطفئ بإيقاع قادة المجاهدين، كلا إنه دين الله العزيز و جنده الغالب و المسلمون يكنون لكم يا أعداء الله ما سيذهلكم فواصلوا الزرع واستمروا في الاعتداء فإن ثمار ما تزرعون حتما بالله ستحصدونه وما جنيتم إلا على أنفسكم و ستكتشفون ذلك عما قريب فلن تذهب دماء القائد و رفاقه تقبلهم الله هدرا وسيعلم الكفار لمن عقبى الدار.



اللهم منزل الكتاب مجري السحاب هازم الأحزاب، اهزم الصليبيين ومن حالفهم من المرتدين.
اللهم اجعلهم وعتادهم غنيمة للمسلمين.
اللهم دمّرهم و زلزلهم.
اللهم أنت عضدنا وأنت نصيرنا،اللهم بك نصول وبك نجول وبك نقاتل.

والله أكبر

{وَلِلَّهِ الْعِزَّةُ وَلِرَسُولِهِ وَلِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَلَكِنَّ الْمُنَافِقِينَ لا يَعْلَمُونَ}

القسم الإعلامي لحَرَكَة الشَّبَابِ المُجَاهدِين
(( جيشُ العُسْرَة فِي الصُّومَال ))

الثلاثاء 25 رمضان 1430 هـ
15/09/2009


المصدر :
(مركز صدى الجهاد للإعلام)

الجبهة الإعلامية الإسلامية العالمية
رَصدٌ لأخبَار المُجَاهدِين وَ تَحرِيضٌ للمُؤمِنين

________________

The U.S. forces are referred to as "Crusaders," and the Somali government as "apostate."

Today, an official English-language translation was released, also by the GIMF:


بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم


We bring to the Ummah glad tidings of the martyrdom of
Commander Sheikh Abu Yusif, Salih Ali Salih al-Nabhani
and a group of his companions - May Allâh accept them

الحمدُ لله ربّ العالمين والصّلاة والسّلام على نبيّنا محمّد و على آله وصحبه أجمعين

For Allâh the Almighty says: {If a wound (and killing) has touched you, be sure a similar wound (and killing) has touched the others. And so are the days (good and not so good), We give to men by turns, that Allâh may test those who believe, and that He may take martyrs from among you. And Allâh likes not the Zâlimûn (polytheists and wrong-doers).}{al-Imran 140}

We bring the Islamic Ummah the glad tidings of the martyrdom of the Commander Sheikh Abu Yusif Salih Ali Salih al-Nabhani, alongside a group of his brothers. This took place late Monday morning, the 24th of Ramadhan 1430, corresponding to September 14, 2009. A crusader war plane with assistance from the military fleets off the coast of Muslim Somalia targeted the Commander Sheikh Salih Ali Salih al-Nabhani, also known as Abu Yusif, as well as some of his companions - may Allâh have mercy on them - as they were traveling through areas of the Islamic Region of Lower Shabelle. The crusader enemies hovered and then raided the car that was carrying the Commander Abu Yusif and his brothers - may Allâh accept them.

Six helicopters participated in the attack, which began with heavy shooting in a focused manner, targeting the brothers' car. Two of the helicopters then began a quick descent thinking that they had subdued the brothers. But the Lions, despite their small numbers and their simple weapons, were able - by the grace of Allâh - to respond to the enemy and resist them. The engagement there lasted for nearly one hour, until the four other planes intervened to reinforce the first batch of the enemy. It was by the will of Allâh that the Commander Sheikh Abu Yusif became a martyr with a group of his companions. The enemy rushed to the scene to seize the bodies of the brothers, and we do not yet know the extent of the losses suffered by the enemy during the confrontation.

We reassure the entirety of the Muslim Ummah and her sons the Mujahidiin, and give them the glad tidings that we stand in the midst of a decisive battle with the zionist-crusader alliance. The battles go back and forth, with some wins and some losses, but our fighters are in Paradise and their fighters are in Hell. This is what we say of our beloved brother Commander Sheikh Salih Ali Salih al-Nibhani for whom Allâh decreed martyrdom in this incident. And it is for precisely this reason that we congratulate his family and his Ummah. Martyrdom is what his heart craved. His soul strove for nearly two decades to immigrate to Allâh and escape through his religion and his aqeedah.

For Allah the Almighty says: {He who emigrates (from his home) in the Cause of Allâh, will find on earth many dwelling places and plenty to live by. And whosoever leaves his home as an emigrant unto Allâh and His Messenger, and death overtakes him, his reward is then surely incumbent upon Allâh. And Allâh is Ever Oft¬Forgiving, Most Merciful.}{an-Nisa 100}

Allah disappointed the aspirations of our dim-witted enemies with the delusion that the fall of the Commander of the Mujahidiin will extinguish both the flame of jihad in the Muslim lands and the jihadi awakening that shakes the thrones of the infidels and the apostates. O enemies of Allâh, the religion is from Allâh the Almighty and His soldiers and Muslims conceal from you what will astonish you in the end. They continue cultivation and maintain their hostility, and so we swear by Allâh that you will reap what you sow. As you will soon discover, the only harvest will be your lives. The blood of the Commander and his companions - may Allah accept them - will not be shed in vain, ad the infidels will become acquainted with the consequences of their actions.
...

O God, Revealer of the book, Disperser of the clouds, Defeater of the parties, defeat the Crusaders, and their apostate allies!

O God, make them and their equipment easy booty for Muslims!

O God, destroy them and shake them!

O God, You are the one who helps us and the one who assists us, with Your power we move and by Your power we fight!


God is Great!

But honor belongs to Allah, and thus to His Messenger, and to the Believers; but of this the hypocrites are not aware
(Partial Koranic verse; Al-Munafiqun 63:8)



The Media Section of the Mujahidin Youth Movement
Al-Usra Army in Somalia
September 15, 2009

Source: Sada al-Jihad Media Center
Global Islamic Media Front
____________

It is interesting to note that the translation denotes that the closing Qur'anic quote is only a partial quote of the referenced verse. Oftentimes this is not noted in Arabic versions of such statements or multimedia releases.

Cyber mural showing Somali president Sharif Ahmed (right) engulfed in flames, representing the fires of Hell, while Harakat al-Shabab members are shown on the march. One of the group's senior leaders, Shaykh Mukhtar Robow, also known as Abu Mansur, is shown at left.

Following the U.S. military strike, Harakat al-Shabab leaders vowed revenge, and a call was made for jihadis from abroad to come to Somalia in order to aid the group by a senior commander, Shaykh Mahad 'Abd al-Karim (Abdikarim):

"We call for all Muslim fighters in the world to come to Somalia...If Burundians and Ugandans, who are not Muslims, are allowed to stay in Somalia, who can refuse our Muslim brothers to join us in the struggle?....Anybody who believes that America has a veto ... is an infidel with no faith. We must prepare to liberate Afghanistan, Palestine and the al-Aqsa mosque..."


Watch an Al-Jazeera TV report on Harakat al-Shabab, which includes an interview with one of the group's senior leaders, Shaykh Mukhtar Robow.

The article (hyper-linked above) reports claims that Harakat al-Shabab is an AQC "proxy" in Somalia. This is not completely accurate. The group has "allied" itself, verbally, to AQC, but remains a movement that thus far has concerned itself with the ongoing insurgency in Somalia. This is not to say that AQC, or some of its allies and affiliates, have not aided the group. The vast improvement in Harakat al-Shabab's media releases is one sign of possible assistance from outside the country. The group is more like an AQC affiliate, not a proxy.

An unknown number of foreigners, many of them Somali immigrants or the children of immigrants from the United States and Europe, have traveled to Somalia and joined the group. Estimates of the number of Americans who have gone are around 20 or 30. A handful of Americans have been killed fighting for it, the latest being 28-year-old Troy Kastigar from Minnesota, a convert to Islam. Unlike the majority of other Americans believed to have joined Harakat al-Shabab, he is not Somali.

Troy Kastigar (Hennepin County Sheriff's Office, Minnesota)

Several American fighters were shown at the end of the response to U.S. president Barack Obama's June speech in Cairo by Harakat al-Shabab commander, and another American (now believed to be Omar Hammami). Hammami, an American Muslim, stopped contact with his parents several years ago. He is a citizen of Alabama and former computer science major at the University of South Alabama (note that Abu Mansur, like the majority of jihadi leaders, is not a specialist in religious studies, but one of the hard sciences, as is AQC's chief ideologue, Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, who is a surgeon by training) Abu Mansur al-Amriki ("Abu Mansoor al-Amriki" or "al-Ameriki").

_________________

*SEE A RELATED POST, "Portraits of Jihad, Part II: Somalia"

UPDATE (5:44 P.M., September 17): Dual kamikaze truck bombings today killed at least 16 people at the African Union's base in the Somali capital city of Mogadishu. The two vehicles bore United Nations' logos. Harakat al-Shabab al-Mujahideen spokesmen said that the attack was in retaliation for the killing of Salah 'Ali Salah al-Nabhani.

UPDATE (1:51 A.M., Oct. 30): Gregory Johnsen, a doctoral student at Princeton University's Near Eastern Studies program and Yemen expert, has interesting analysis on the written euology of al-Nabhani [see note after first paragraph of this post for details on the spelling of his surname] by the amir (leader) of al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), Abu Basir Nasir al-Wuhayshi. Read his post HERE.

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