Wednesday, May 11, 2011
IN PICTURES: Harakat al-Shabab in Somalia Hold Conference to Eulogize Usama bin Laden, Senior Leaders & American Member Omar Hammami Present
UPDATE (May 17, 2011): New "In Pictures" post with more photographs released by the insurgent movement from last week's conference eulogizing Usama bin Laden HERE.
The Somali Islamist-insurgent movement Harakat al-Shabab al-Mujahideen (Al-Shabaab; Movement of Warrior-Youth) recently held a conference on the killing of Usama bin Laden, the founder and late leader of Al-Qa'ida Central. The conference comes on the heels of a May 7 press conference by the movement's spokesman, 'Ali Mahamoud Rage ('Ali Dheere), during which he eulogized the late AQC leader, who has been an important ideological influence on the insurgent movement, though its actions have remained focused on regional (East Africa, Somalia) goals. The banner at the conference read, "We are all Usama."
At the most recent conference, which was attended by movement supporters and clan leaders, senior Harakat al-Shabab members were present including Muqtaar Robow (Mukhtar Robow "Abu Mansuur"), who has not appeared in the movement's media for some time, Fu'ad Muhammad Khalaf "Shongole," who recently held a press conference of his own to deny claims that he had been killed, and Hasan Dahir Aweys. Also present was American member Omar Hammami, who is known by the nom de guerre "Abu Mansur al-Amriki."
I am currently working on a piece for Al-Wasat blog and a second piece on Harakat al-Shabab's efforts at rudimentary state-building and reaction to Bin Laden's killing. Stay tuned.