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Al Shabaab Threatens Attacks on Israel

Posted: November 9, 2009

In response to recent standoffs between Israeli police and Palestinians at Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, Al Shabaab, a U.S.-designated terrorist group that seeks to overthrow the Somali government, has threatened to attack Israel.


Media reports indicate that in a recent sermon delivered after Friday prayers in Baidoa, Somalia, Al Shabaab commander Mukhtar Robow Abu Mansur urged his followers to attack Israel.  "The Jews started to destroy parts of the holy mosque of Al Aqsa and they routinely kill our Palestinian brothers, so we are committed to defend our Palestinian brothers," he said. 


In an effort to follow through with these proposed attacks, Al Shabaab announced the creation of a new military unit, Al Quds Brigade, a group which was specifically established to attack Israel and "free Islamic holy places."  The group, according to its new commander Abdifatah Aweys Abu Hamza, is prepared to "transfer and expand our fighting in the Middle East so we can defend Al Aqsa mosque from the Israelis."


In addition to threatening Israel, Al Shabaab warned of attacks on Jewish interests in Africa, declaring an "open battle with the oppressing Zionist entity as well as targeting its interests, especially in the Black Continent."


Al Shabaab held a rally on October 30, 2009 in Mohadishu, where crowds of people chanted anti-Israel slogans.  "It is time to go for open war against Israel in order to drive them from the holy cities," Sheikh Fuad Mohamed Shangole, a top Al Shabaab official said.


While this is the first time that Al Shabaab has specifically threatened to attack Israel, it is not the first time that the group has denounced the state of Israel.  In July 2009, Omar Hammami, a U.S. citizen who is currently fighting with the group under the name Abu Mansour al Amriki, criticized the U.S. in a video saying, "And how dare you send peace greetings to Muslims while you are supporting Israel, the most vicious evil nation of this modern era."

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