torsdag, februari 09, 2012

al-Shabaab nu del av al-Qaida

Idag kom en kungörelse från Ayman al-Zawahiri och Mukhtar Abu al-Zubayr som meddelade att al-Shabaab nu är en del av al-Qaida. Eftersom Sverige är ett av al-Shabaabs starkaste fästen kommer det att få stora konsekvenser.

Ett utsnitt ur en artikel från den tyska forskaren Dirk Baehr kan tjäna som illustration. Hans text The Somali Shabaab Militias and Their Jihadist Networks in the West publicerades i augusti, och Sverige utgör en stor del.

Shabaab in Sweden 
Swedish security services believe there are around 200 jihadists living in Sweden. Of these, the majority have some kind of link to jihadist movements that are either close to al-Qaeda or which work in cooperation with other movements that are active in other countries. Swedish jihadists seem to be particularly interested in what is going on in Iraq and Somalia, for it is there that they have the most contacts. According to the verdict of the Gothenburg court on December 8, 2010 against two Swedish jihadists there are many people living in Sweden who have contacts to the Shabaab militias. The two accused were sentenced to four years in prison because they had planned to carry out suicide bomb attacks in Somalia and were members of a terrorist organisation. During the trial, evidence showed that the two accused had had telephone conversations with Yassin Ismail Ahmed in Somalia. Ahmed within Shabaab has been responsible for recruiting for several years. In 2007 Ahmed still lived in Sweden and held seminars for young Muslims in a youth centre in Rinkeby known as “Kreativhuset”. There he indoctrinated many young Muslims with jihadist ideology and encouraged them to go to Somalia to join the armed struggle. He even organised the travel to Somalia for some of the young Muslims. Through his activities in Sweden he was apparently still in contact with the two accused, to whom he had given instructions on how they could come to Somalia. Ahmed is also considered to be one of the driving forces behind the spread of jihadist ideology via the Internet.

The main contact points for jihadists in Sweden were apparently mosques and the “Kreativhuset” in Rinkeby. It was here that Sheikh Mohamed Fuad Qalaf built a Shabaab network at the end of the 1990s that still appears to be active today, even though Qalaf has not lived in Sweden for a long time. Qalaf is better known by his pseudonym Fuad Shangole. It is believed that he recruited several Muslims to the Islamist movement in Somalia at the mosque in Rinkeby. When the authorities became aware of his activities in Sweden he fled to Somalia. Shabaab jihadist Internet propaganda suggests that he is now a leading member of the Shabaab militias in Somalia. Shangole is currently the head of the Shabaab in Puntland. He is also a leading player in the militias’ propaganda machine and it is here that the contacts that he still maintains with groups in Sweden are of major importance. One of the most important Shabaab websites was registered and run by the Swedish convert Abdu-Raouf Wadman (also known by his pseudonym Usama el-Swede). The Al-Qimmah web forum is one of the most important virtual platforms for Somali jihadist propaganda. Since 2007 Shabaab video messages and press releases have been published on the site in numerous languages. One of the administrators is called Musa Said Yusuf Godir, who lived in Great Britain for a long time. In 2008 he was arrested in London together with other Somali online jihadists. Strangely his case never came to court, so Godir was able to leave for Somalia, where he now produces propaganda for the Shabaab on the Internet. Most Shabaab Internet sites are registered in Sweden and Wadman appears to have also started up other extremist websites for them. However the sites themselves are run by propaganda experts like Shongole.

Another key player for the Shabaab militias is 31 year-old Sheikh Hassan Hussein. He lives in Kenya and runs an information centre for the Shabaab that is directly attached to the Masjid-ul-Axmar mosque in Nairobi. The centre is used not only for propaganda activities and recruitment but also for fundraising. Hussein’s main job is to disseminate propaganda about the Shabaab’s jihadist ideology. From a Western view point it seems strange that such a prominent Shabaab leader should be invited to Sweden by the leaders of a Gothenburg mosque, especially when he is clearly of the militant jihadist persuasion. But Hussein did indeed visit a conference organised by the Bellevue mosque in Gothenburg in July 2009. The leaders of the mosque felt under no obligation to cancel his invitation, even though many Somali migrants protested against his potential presence at the conference. So all the indicators seem to suggest that there are active Somali Shabaab militia networks in Sweden, whose activities include trying to entice young Muslims to travel to Somalia.
Uppdatering 10/2:

Budskapet om sammangåendet sprids förstås på svenska (ägt av göteborgaren Ralf Lennart Wadman) som väl från och med nu får betraktas som al-Qaidas svenska propagandaavdelning.