Thursday, July 15, 2010

Somalia's Harakat al-Shabab al-Mujahideen Claims Responsibility for Deadly Bombings in Kampala, Uganda

Still from Harakat al-Shabab al-Mujahideen's September 2009 video, "Labbayk Ya Usama" (We Heed Your Call, O' Usama).

UPDATE (July 17): The amir of Harakat al-Shabab, Mukhtar Abu al-Zubayr (al-Zubeyr) has congratulated the battalion within the movement responsible for the attack. It is named after Salah 'Ali Salah al-Nabhani, a senior Al-Qa'ida Central operative in East Africa who was killed by United States special forces in September 2009.

The large Somali jihadi-insurgent group Harakat al-Shabab al-Mujahideen (Movement of Warrior-Youth; Al-Shabaab) released a statement in English yesterday (July 14) via its media outlet, the Al-Kata'ib (Brigades) Media Foundation, claiming responsibility for last Sunday's (July 11) bombing of a cafe in Kampala, Uganda. At least 74 people were killed and another 70 wounded in the twin blasts, which appear to have been kamikaze attacks. A senior Harakat al-Shabab spokesman, 'Ali Muhammad Rage, claimed responsibility in the group's name a day after the attacks.

Approximately 5,000 soldiers from Uganda and Burundi are currently stationed in Somalia's war-torn capital city of Mogadishu as part of an African Union force that is essentially keeping the weak interim Somali government under President Shaykh Sharif Ahmed in power. Harakat al-Shabab leaders have warned the two nations to withdraw their troops or face the consequences. The group most recently issued a threat in its video The African Crusaders, which was released in late June, though it specifically warned that Ugandan and Burundian soldiers would continue "coming home in coffins" if the two nations did not withdraw their troops from Somalia.

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