Skip to comments.Hardline Cleric Takes Charge Of Somali Militiamen
Posted on 06/25/2006 6:42:22 PM PDT by blam
Hardline cleric takes charge of Somali militiamen
By Mike Pflanz, East Africa Correspondent
Islamic militia in control of much of southern Somalia yesterday appointed a hardline cleric on Washington's most wanted list as its supreme leader.
Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys was named as the head of the Islamic Courts Union's "consultation committee", replacing the more moderate Sheikh Sharif Ahmed. Mr Ahmed, a former teacher who led the alliance in taking control of Mogadishu earlier this month, is being given a lesser role.
Mr Aweys's elevation raises doubts about a deal negotiated last week with the interim government, based in the city of Baidoa. Mr Aweys has condemned the interim government in the past.
A spokesman said the group had changed its name from the Islamic Courts Union to the Somali Supreme Islamic Courts Council. It believes a government based on strict Islamic law is the only way for the country to emerge from 15 years of anarchy.
In a May report, the United Nations accused Mr Aweys of setting up military training camps for his militiamen in violation of a widely-flouted arms embargo in Somalia.
His appointment will further stoke fears, especially in Washington, that Somalia will become a "Talibanised" safe haven for al-Qa'eda, much as Afghanistan did in the 1990s.
US officials have accused the Islamists in Somalia of harbouring the terror network's leaders they hold responsible for the deadly 1998 bombings of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.
After the September 11 attacks, the US released a list of individuals and organisations accused of having ties to terrorism, and Mr Aweys and a conservative Somali group he founded called al-Itihaad al-Islaami were featured on it.
Hell, meet Handbasket. We're goin for a ride.
This should not be a suprise. It's exactly what happens when you listen to Dem ideas of Cut and Run. Now, it's coming home to roost. It looks like we have 'Aweys to go' before things are settled.
Ah crap. I was hoping that we wouldn't have to go back to Somalia.
Rev up the Buffs. We are going to do it right this time.
Nothing that a 500 lb. GPS guided bomb won't take care of.
We need to expand the program to resettle an even greater number of political refugees from Somalia. Based on what I've been reading in New Hampshire, I think Maine and Georgia will be happy to take still more.