Thursday, January 21, 2010
NAIROBI, Kenya (AFP) - Members of Somalia’s Islamist Shabab group yesterday released a song threatening to march on Nairobi in retaliation for a deadly Kenyan police crackdown on Muslims.
“We have reached the border, we will enter Kenya, Inshallah we will get to Nairobi. Inshallah we will get to Nairobi,” says the insistent six-minute piece of a capella singing, interspersed with speeches and the sound of gunfire.
“When we reach there, we will fight, we will kill, we have weapons, enough weapons. The army of faith is on the way, slowly we are advancing, Inshallah we will get there,” it goes on.
The tinny recording, with a melody modelled on the nasheed (Islamic songs of praise) often posted on the Internet by jihadi groups, also mentions Shabab leader Sheikh Mukhtar Abu Zubeyr, who recently proclaimed his allegiance to Al Qaeda supremo Osama bin Laden.
“Abu Zubeyr, let’s move foward, we will not retreat. Allah is with us. Abu Zubeyr we love you. Allah preserve you. Abu Zubeyr move on until we’re inside Rome,” says the song. The Shabab, who control large swathes of Somalia and have been engaged in a bruising insurgency against the internationally-backed transitional government, have repeatedly expressed their displeasure with Kenya’s stand on the conflict. Kenya, which shares a long and porous northeastern border with Somali and has offered assistance to government troops battling the insurgents, has frequently expressed fears that Shabab suicide bombers would strike in Kenya.
On January 15, Muslims outside Nairobi’s main mosque demonstrated to demand the release of a radical Jamaican imam detained by police and were confronted by security forces.
At least five people were killed in the ensuing riots.
Kenyan Interior Minister George Saitoti accused the Shabab of infiltrating the demonstration and ordered a security sweep among the large Somali community during which hundreds were arrested. An introduction to the song posted on a website close to the Shabab said the song was motivated by the arrest three weeks ago of Jamaican preacher Abdulla Al Faisal, who has served time in Britain for inciting racial hatred. Kenya then attempted and repeatedly failed to deport him. “The mujahedin in Somalia were angered by the deportation of a renowned religious person,” the text explains.
“After that incident took place, Muslims were displeased and took action. Then the non-Muslims massacred the angry Muslims,” it added.
The website, an unofficial mouthpiece of the Shabab movement, made it clear the song was performed by Shabab members but it was not accompanied by an official statement from the group.