Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Somalia Hijacked

Somali terror group raps in English for recruits

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

WASHINGTON (AFP) - A propaganda video by Islamic extremists in Somalia features appeals to foreign recruits from an "American" fighter along with English rapping and songs, a US monitoring group said Tuesday.

The 31-minute video made public by the SITE Intelligence Group, which shows a purported ambush of Somali and Ethiopian troops in July 2008, has an on-camera narrator who is identified as "Abu Mansour the American."

Representing the militant Islamic group Shebab, Abu Mansour makes a pitch for new overseas recruits after praising one militant fighter killed in the apparent ambush.

"So, if you can encourage more of your children and more of your neighbors and anyone around to send people like him to this jihad (holy war), it would be a great asset for us," he says.

The light-skinned and bearded Abu Mansour speaks in a soft US accent, possibly from the northern United States, and wears a camouflage hat and combat fatigues. He looks to be in his late 20s or 30s.

Another fighter, darker skinned and with his face masked by a cloth, says in English: "So, inshallah (Allah willing), we are calling all the brothers overseas, all the shebab (youth), wherever they are, to come and live the life of a mujahed (holy warrior)."

The video was released after the Federal Bureau of Investigation warned this month that "radicalized clusters" of Somali-American youths as young as 12 were being recruited by Islamic terror groups.

"This is a priority for the FBI," Philip Mudd, an official with the bureau's national security branch, told a Senate committee hearing. "We are looking at individuals who are sending kids in the wrong direction."

Mudd identified the Shebab group as the driving force behind the recruitment effort, and said it has ties also to Osama bin Laden's Al-Qaeda network.

The Somali community in the United States numbers about 150,000 to 200,000, according to the FBI, centered largely on Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Mudd said one youth from Minneapolis had taken part in a suicide attack in northern Somalia last October, which he said was apparently the first suicide attack by an American anywhere.

That attack "only added to concern over the possibility that individuals may engage in terrorist activity upon their return to the United States," he said.

The new video shows Abu Mansour translating passages from the Koran into English for a circle of fighters, and is interspersed with rapping and singing. It concludes with a rhyming attack on former US president George W. Bush.

"The American dream has fallen, Bush is going down like Stalin, the economy is crawlin', the widows are bawlin', you dead you be haulin', while our takbeers (chants of Allah is Great) keep callin'."

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