Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Harakat al-Shabab al-Mujahideen in Somalia: April 27 Kamikaze Attack on African Union "Revenge" for "Martyrdom" of Islamic State of Iraq Leaders

The Somalia jihadi-insurgent group Harakat al-Shabab al-Mujahideen (Movement of Warrior-Youth; Al-Shabaab) claimed responsibility for the April 27 "martyrdom" (kamikaze) operation against an African Union (AU) military base in Mogadishu, Somalia's capital city, in the state of Banadir. The group described the AU contingent as "Crusader forces and said that the attack was carried out by the "martyrs' battalion". It also claimed that fifteen "Crusaders" had been killed, though Al-Jazeera English reports that the fourteen dead were civilians, according to witnesses.

In a press conference in Mogadishu, a spokesman for Harakat al-Shabab, Shaykh 'Ali Mahmoud Raji (Ragi, Rage), said that the "martyrdom" attack was launched to avenge "the blood of our two martyrs, our two heroes...the Shaykh-leader Abu 'Umar al-Baghdadi and his minister...Abu Hamza al-Muhajir." Al-Baghdadi and al-Muhajir (Abu Ayyub al-Masri) were the two senior leaders of the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), an umbrella organization for several of the most violent jihadi groups operating in that country. Background on both, as well as the ISI, can be found in my guest editorial, "The Death of a Caliph: Will the Reported Killings of the Islamic State of Iraq's Two Senior Leaders Spell Out the End of the Self-styled Jihadi State?", on Prof. Juan Cole's Informed Comment blog.

The leadership of Harakat al-Shabab also issued a statement on al-Baghdadi's and al-Muhajir's deaths, which is viewable HERE via another post.

"Presidential Palace"

Harakat al-Shabab's media outlet, the Al-Kata'ib (Brigades) Media Center, released photographs of the "martyrs", some them holding a typed sign stating, in Arabic, that their attack was, "Revenge for the Amir (leader) of the Islamic State of Iraq, Abu 'Umar al-Baghdadi, and the minister of war, Abu Hamza al-Muhajir."


Attack on African Union Base in Mogadishu April 27 (April 28)
Mogadishu Attack on African Union

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