The largest anti-government insurgent group in Somalia, Harakat al-Shabab al-Mujahideen (Al-Shabaab; "Movement of Warrior-Youth"), is current engaged in a fierce campaign against the weak interim Somali federal government led by President Shaykh Sharif Ahmed and his chief military allies, the African Union (AU) forces currently in the country. The weak military forces of the interim government and the AU are besieged even in the capital city of Mogadishu, where Harakat al-Shabab has shelled the parliament building and the presidential palace.
Harakat al-Shabab's media outlet, the Al-Kata'ib (Brigades) Media Foundation, released a video entitled "The African Crusaders" yesterday in which the AU's forces are labeled agents of the United States, which seeks to persecute Muslims in Somalia and across the globe. Battle footage shows fierce fighting between Harakat al-Shabab militiamen and AU forces, particularly Uganda Army soldiers. Ugandan "crusaders" were discussed in Harakat al-Shabab's groundbreaking September 2009 video "Labbayk Ya Usama" (We Heed Your Call, O' Usama), which I wrote about at some length HERE.
Citizens of the African nations contributing soldiers to the AU mission in Somalia, namely Uganda and Burundi, are asked to consider whether they wish to sacrifice their sons to a failed mission in Somalia to support a weak, failing government, that led by President Shaykh Sharif Ahmed. The video's narrator asks Ugandans to consider whether their soldiers would have been better employed defending them from the insurgents of the Lord's Resistance Army led by Joseph Kony in northern Uganda.
In one part, audio of the late Harakat al-Shabab leader Aden (Adan, Adam) Hashi Ayro (he was killed in a U.S. missile strike in March 2008) is used and a current commander, Husayn Fidow, is shown speaking. The group also recently released photographs of its fighters burning captured AU vehicles.
The jihadi-insurgent group controls much of southern Somalia and has benefited from an influx of an unknown number of foreign fighters, many of them from Somali immigrant families, from the United States and Europe, including Britain and Scandinavia. Al-Qa'ida Central (AQC) is also believed to have dispatched operatives to support the group. One of AQC's senior leaders in East Africa, Salah 'Ali Salah al-Nabhani (often transliterated incorrectly as "al-Nabhan"), was killed in a U.S. military raid on September 14, 2009.