Recent

Report: UK citizens make up a quarter of Al-Shabaab’s foreign fighters

‘Britons are thought to make up about 25 per cent of the 200 or so foreign fighters that the Al-Shabaab group in Somalia currently fields’, a report by the London-based Royal UnitedBritish Samantha Lewthwaite is wanted for alleged bomb plot Services Institute (RUSI) said.

The report added that ‘most of these individuals appear to be only informally networked, making the most of personal links through Kenya or South Africa’.

According to the report, ‘young British men, and some women, go to fight in Somalia, Yemen and the border areas of Pakistan. So, too, do an increasing trickle of disaffected American men, some of whom have already served in the US Army’.

The report also claimed a link between Somalia Al-Shabaab and the infamous Nigerian extremist Boko Haram, saying that:

In Nigeria, the Boko Haram attacks in Kano on 20 January provide a good example of the jihadist evolution. The organisation is undoubtedly partcaliphatist

and linked both to Al Qa’ida in the Maghreb and Al-Shabaab in Somalia. But it is also an ethnic/religious guerrilla group, originating from Borno in northeast Nigeria.

Here is the relevant section of the UK Terrorism Analysis: Counter-Terrorism in an Olympic Year, Feb. 2012 report:

Separatism in different parts of the world is also both a symptom and a cause of ‘ungoverned space’. More areas fall increasingly into this category, where legal governance does not exist and control is exercised by tribes, warlords or merely criminal gangs. The importance of this in current terrorist evolution is that whereas Al-Qa’ida and related groups operated known training sites in Afghanistan and along the border with Pakistan, the insurgencies and wars now on-going in the Horn of Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, in West Africa, the north Caucasus, and in south Asia, have increasingly become the training grounds for individuals who would become terrorists. The growing number of lone wolves who are radicalised and then indulge in some ‘terrorist tourism’ are not normally part of a well-organised pipeline of guerrilla fighters going to the jihad. More usually, they are personally connected to family or friends who have already gone to a conflict zone.

Britons are thought to make up about 25 per cent of the 200 or so foreign fighters that the Al-Shabaab group in Somalia currently fields, and who are engaging in a deepening war on neighbouring Kenya and its tourist trade. Most of these individuals appear to be only informally networked, making the most of personal links through Kenya or South Africa.

Young British men, and some women, go to fight in Somalia, Yemen and the border areas of Pakistan. So, too, do an increasing trickle of disaffected American men, some of whom have already served in the US Army. Those who survive tend to return in a matter of months or perhaps a year, and it is only a question of time before their commitment to the cause, and their newly-acquired expertise, are likely to be seen on British streets.

In Nigeria, the Boko Haram attacks in Kano on 20 January provide a good example of the jihadist evolution. The organisation is undoubtedly partcaliphatist

and linked both to Al Qa’ida in the Maghreb and Al-Shabaab in Somalia. But it is also an ethnic/religious guerrilla group, originating from Borno in northeast Nigeria.

Britons with alleged Al-Shabaab linksBritish Jermaine Grant sentenced three years for illegally entering Kenya and of a bomb plot by Al-Shabaab

It is to be recalled that a Kenyan court issued a warrant of arrest for a British woman, Natalie Faye Webb, last January, on alleged links with the Al-Quaeda affiliated terror group Al-Shabaab.

Another British citizen, Jermaine Grant is on trial in Kenya in connection with a bomb plot by Al-Shabaab.

News reports also indicated that Kenyan police wants another British woman, Samantha Lewthwaite, in connection with the same alleged bomb plot for which Jermaine Grant is now on trial.

According to a director general of MI5, a British spy agency, ‘there are a "significant number" of UK residents training with al-Shabab. None of Al-Shabab's Twitter feed announces the death of a British fighter by drone attack early in 2012this means that any young Briton who goes to East Africa is an incognito jihadist. But it’s clear there are those who are’.

An recent article on BBC claimed that:

One of the first was a 21-year-old British man who blew himself up in an attack at an Ethiopian army checkpoint five years ago. The man, whose identity has never been publicly confirmed, recorded his martyrdom video in clear English.’

According to BBC, a former teaching assistant from east London, Shabaaz Hussain, was recently jailed for five years for donating £9,000 for terrorism in Somalia. The 28-year-old provided cash to three of his friends who had left the UK to allegedly fight in the east African country.

Al-Shabaab’s twitter account indicated that a British man, Bilal Berjawi (Abu Hafsa), was killed by drone strike earlier this year, according a screen-shot of Alshabaab’s twitter account, HSM Press Office, published by BBC.

*********

* You can download the UK Terrorism Analysis: Counter-Terrorism in an Olympic Year, Feb. 2012 report – (here).

Check the terrorism archive or the Somalia archive for news reports and in-depth analyses of Al-Shabaab.

Source: HornAffairs.com

About Daniel Berhane (817 Articles)
Daniel Berhane

Comments

  1. [...] Related: Report: UK citizens make up a quarter of Al-Shabaab’s foreign fighetrs [...]

  2. [...] Kenya on hunt for a German terror suspect Report: UK citizens make up a quarter of Al-Shabaab’s foreign fighters Kenya: British terror suspect on trial, as 29 Ugandans detained Kenya: Hunt for a British terror [...]

  3. [...] Kenya on hunt for a German terror suspect Report: UK citizens make up a quarter of Al-Shabaab’s foreign fighters Kenya: British terror suspect on trial, as 29 Ugandans detained Kenya: Hunt for a British terror [...]