Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

AFP - Comoros: Foreign troops land on the island of Mohéli (Leaflets say U.S. Army response to 9/11)
AFP via Babelfish ^ | Wednesday December 19, 2001 - 4h43 GMT

Posted on 12/18/2001 7:58:10 PM PST by HAL9000

The Comoros: foreign troops unload on the island of Mohéli

MORONI, 19 déc (AFP) - foreign troops unloaded Wednesday morning on the island comorienne of Mohéli, and took control of the army, the gendarmerie and the police force, according to testimonys' on the spot, of which that of a former minister, contacted on the telephone.

The attackers launched leaflets affirming that they were "the army of the United States" and that their intervention was related to the fight against terrorism, according to inhabitants' of the capital, Fomboni, of which the former minister Mohamed Hassanari.

Military formation, of almost a hundred men, among whom "of the white, of which some masked", unloaded towards 5h30 local (2h30 GMT), according to these testimonys. It took the control of the army, the gendarmerie, the police force and the post office, according to these sources, which do not specify if the unloading gave place to engagements, and if there were victims.

The leaflets which the soldiers distributed explain in substance why this quota is "the army of the United States", and that its intervention is a response to the "attacks from September 11" in New York and Washington.

"Your president collaborates with the terrorists, we are there to protect you", still indicate the leaflets, which invite the population to return the weapons it would have.



TOPICS: Breaking News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 199709; 1998; 2001; 200112; 20011218; 20011219; ahmedabdallah; anjouan; assoumani; azaliassoumani; azalyassoumani; bobdenard; colonelassoumani; comores; comoroislands; comoros; comorosislands; coupplot; coups; denard; famohammed; fazil; fazulamohammed; fazulmohammed; fomboni; grandcomore; grandecomore; harouna; harounfazil; hassanharouna; islamicviolence; lesaffreux; michaeldobbs; mohamedhassanari; mohammed; moheli; oau; terribleones; usembassyplots; zkosazanadlaminizuma; zuma
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-58 next last

1 posted on 12/18/2001 7:58:10 PM PST by HAL9000
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: HAL9000
Don't foreign troops take over the Comoros every few months or so? That French mercenary was once in charge if I remember, Detard or something like that. Last I heard the Foreign Legion had troops based there.
2 posted on 12/18/2001 8:00:20 PM PST by Mr.Clark
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: HAL9000
Locator map - Comoros Islands - between Mozambique and Madagascar off the east coast of the African continent.
3 posted on 12/18/2001 8:02:08 PM PST by HAL9000
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: HAL9000
From CIA Factbook
4 posted on 12/18/2001 8:02:22 PM PST by OrioleFan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Mr.Clark
Don't foreign troops take over the Comoros every few months or so?

Yes, but it would be unusual for "the army of the United States" to do so.

5 posted on 12/18/2001 8:03:14 PM PST by HAL9000
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: HAL9000
Hmmm... interesting.... If it's real... It's prbably one of two things: A.) A group of mercs launching a Coup attempt (a group of them tried that in the Seychelles Islands a long time ago, but failed) or B.) A group of Rebels/Terrorists...

But I could be wrong... ;0)

6 posted on 12/18/2001 8:04:07 PM PST by Chad Fairbanks
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: HAL9000
AFP has changed the original link - http://www.afp.com/ext/francais/compuserve/der/011219045927.e94tbkx9.html
7 posted on 12/18/2001 8:07:10 PM PST by HAL9000
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: HAL9000,Islamic_violence,harpseal,sabertooth
Interesting.

The Comoros Islands are located between the north tip of Madagascar and northern Mozambique.

They are comprised of 4 major islands with a total land area of 719 square miles.

The population is 300,000 and the main languages are Arabic, French and Swahili.

The major religion is Islam.

8 posted on 12/18/2001 8:07:37 PM PST by Travis McGee
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: HAL9000; Travis McGee, sneakypete
BUMP
9 posted on 12/18/2001 8:09:03 PM PST by Have Ruck - Will Travel
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: HAL9000
Hum, maybe BL (or Omar) has a villa there?
10 posted on 12/18/2001 8:11:31 PM PST by John Jamieson
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: HAL9000
Hmmm .... if there are any airfields on the island and we took it over .... wonder if the fighters and bombers would have the range to strike Mugabe and friends from there.
11 posted on 12/18/2001 8:12:13 PM PST by Centurion2000
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Mr.Clark
I could be wrong, but I think mercenaries would be insane to attempt a coup saying they were United States armed forces, especially these days.

The fact that they are 98% Sunni Moslem, speak Arabic, and are unstable and poor make me wonder if maybe the "Army of the United States" couldn't be on to something down there. Will be interesting to get more info.
12 posted on 12/18/2001 8:12:38 PM PST by Arkinsaw
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Chad Fairbanks
Or c. The Knights of Malta making a late fourth quarter comeback with a deep Hail Mary pass.(Well, we can always hope for happy endings, at least).
13 posted on 12/18/2001 8:13:01 PM PST by mathurine
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: HAL9000
I've been searching like everybody else, but can't figure out what we want with this little island.

Anybody got any ideas?

14 posted on 12/18/2001 8:13:31 PM PST by Tex-Con-Man
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Chad Fairbanks
Germany sent ships with 1,800 sailors to patrol the East African coast several weeks ago. Further north off Somalia.
15 posted on 12/18/2001 8:14:08 PM PST by LarryLied
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: mathurine
LOL!
16 posted on 12/18/2001 8:14:19 PM PST by Chad Fairbanks
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: HAL9000
New York Times - September 18, 2001 -

NEW YORK - Federal authorities charged on Thursday that the bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Kenya last month was orchestrated by an Islamic extremist from the island nation of Comoros who reported directly to Osama bin Laden , the Saudi exile who is the focus of the worldwide inquiry.

[snip]

Broadening the case against bin Laden 's organization, the government offered a $2 million reward for information leading to the arrest of Haroun Fazil, who has been eluding authorities since a warrant was issued for his arrest late last month.

[snip]

Schiliro would not say where the authorities believe Fazil has fled, or how he may have left the Comoros islands, which are in the Indian Ocean southeast of Tanzania and Kenya. Earlier this month, the FBI and the Comoros police raided two homes in the Comoros capital city of Moroni, looking for Fazil, and also questioned his wife.

The authorities described Fazil as an explosives expert in his mid-20s who speaks fluent French, Swahili, Arabic and English, and is adept with computers.

Although the federal complaint did not describe precisely Fazil's rank in bin Laden 's organization, it suggested that his role in the Nairobi attack was more significant than any of the three other defendants who have been arrested and are being held in Manhattan.

The federal complaint said that Fazil's duties in the terrorist organization included the preparation of various reports for bin Laden and his top lieutenants. In the Kenyan bombing, Fazil was accused of renting the room in the Hilltop Hotel in Nairobi where investigators believe that the bomb was constructed, and of hiring two people to clean the room after the attack.

On the day of the attack, the government said, Fazil drove a white pickup that led another vehicle, which was carrying the bomb, to the embassy site in Nairobi.

Link to full article

17 posted on 12/18/2001 8:24:08 PM PST by HAL9000
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: LarryLied
I thought that Germany does not depoy troops outside of Germany ???? I think it's even in their constitution... I could be wrong, but I thought that was the case...
18 posted on 12/18/2001 8:25:28 PM PST by Chad Fairbanks
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: HAL9000
CORRECTION - The original publication date of that New York Times article is Published on Sept. 18, 1998, and it was reprinted in the Houston Chronicle on September 20, 2001.
19 posted on 12/18/2001 8:25:54 PM PST by HAL9000
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Mr.Clark
Bob Denard landed in the Comoros Islands in the early eighties to overthrow an absolute thug that the populace simply could not stand. Denard was a merc of longstanding, having commanded the Six Commando during the Katanga War of 1964 (Five Commando was led by "Mad Mike" Hoare and consisted, for the most part, of ex-Parachute Regiment types and a few holdovers from the Wehrmacht and the SS). Having nothing better to do with his time, Denard looked around for something to do and found the Comoros and an absolutely marvelous thug.

The population actually welcomed him and his ex-Legion mercs who stayed and ran the place for several years until the UN and the OAU finally got annoyed.

Anyhoo, I wouldn't be surprised if we're using the Comoros as a recon base to prevent Binnie or any Al Qaeda from getting into East Africa.

Be Seeing You,

Chris

20 posted on 12/18/2001 8:28:38 PM PST by section9
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: HAL9000
Update - http://www.afp.com/ext/francais/compuserve/der/011219052142.0yksoycw.html -

The Comoros: foreign troops unload on the island of Mohéli

Wednesday December 19, 2001 - 5h21 GMT

MORONI, 19 déc (AFP) - foreign troops unloaded Wednesday morning on the island comorienne of Mohéli, and took control of the army, the gendarmerie and the police force, according to testimonys' on the spot, of which that of a former Prime Minister (well Prime Minister), contacted on the telephone.

The attackers launched leaflets affirming that they were "the army of the United States" and that their intervention was related to the fight against terrorism, according to inhabitants' of the capital, Fomboni, of which the former Prime Minister Mohamed Hassanari, contacted on the telephone at the beginning of morning. The communications with Mohéli were then cut.

Military formation, of almost a hundred men, among whom "of the white, of which some masked", unloaded towards 5h30 local (2h30 GMT), according to these testimonys. It took the control of the army, the gendarmerie, the police force and the post office, according to these sources, which do not specify if the unloading gave place to engagements, and if there were victims.

The identity of the troops which unloaded in Mohéli remains dubious, but leaflets of local origin were distributed here two or three weeks to Moroni, the capital of the Comoros, showing the head of the State, colonel Azali Assoumani, to be related to terrorism.

The leaflets which the soldiers distributed explain in substance why this quota is "the army of the United States", and that its intervention is a response to the "attacks from September 11" in New York and Washington.

"Your president collaborates with the terrorists, we are there to protect you", still indicate the leaflets, which invite the population to return the weapons it would have.

The island of Mohéli forms with Large Comore and Anjouan the Islamic federal Republic of the Comoros (RFIC). Anjouan proclaimed its independence unilaterally in 1997.

This military unloading intervenes at one week of the constitutional referendum envisaged in the Comoros on December 23, 2001, with a little more than three months of the presidential election, fixed at March 31, and the shortly after a visit in the archipelago of the secretary-general of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), the Man from the Ivory Coast Amara Essy.

The referendum must submit to Comoriens a project of constitution, envisaging a framework of the federalistic type granting a very broad autonomy the three islands.

The visit of Mr. Essy, who also went to Mohéli and Anjouan, aimed at "encouraging the comoriennes parts to persevere in their efforts for the implementation of the Outline agreement of Fomboni and, therefore, to put a term at the double separatist crisis (Anjouan) and institutional", specifies the text.

The Outline agreement of Fomboni is an agreement of reconciliation which was signed in February 2001 by the three islands of this archipelago of the Indian Ocean.

The election of the future president of the Republic of the Comoros is fixed at next 31 March, according to the calendar established by the Committee of follow-up in charge of the implementation of the Outline agreement of national reconciliation comorienne and which closed its work last Friday.

The OAU must soon deploy a military mission of observation in the Comoros to supervise the collection of the weapons there on the separatist island of Anjouan.


21 posted on 12/18/2001 8:30:24 PM PST by HAL9000
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: HAL9000
Perhaps Delta or others are in the Comoros to "snatch" Fasil and others? They are only islands, so if a terrorist thought he was living quietly off US radar, he'd have few options if the Delta boys showed up suddenly.

And it sounds like this boy Fasil knows a LOT about OBL and Al Qaida.

22 posted on 12/18/2001 8:30:36 PM PST by Travis McGee
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: Chad Fairbanks
Germany has had troops in the Former Yugoslavia for years now.

It's Japan with all the Constitutional restrictions now.

23 posted on 12/18/2001 8:30:39 PM PST by John H K
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: Chad Fairbanks
German Navy To Be Deployed Off Somalian Coast

A joint effort with the USA, blocking terrorists from getting out of Somalia.Perhaps Das Kriegsmarine took a detour a little south.

24 posted on 12/18/2001 8:31:46 PM PST by LarryLied
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: HAL9000
From BBC News -

Wednesday, 19 December, 2001, 05:30 GMT

Armed men take Comoros island

Reports from the Comoros islands off the east coast of Africa say a group of unidentified armed men has landed on one of the islands and seized control.

Journalists contacted by telephone say that the men took over the smallest island in the chain, Moheli, disarming the local police force.

Reports suggested that at least some of the attackers were white and wore masks.

Details of casualties are not known.

The Comoros islands have been politically unstable for several years.

Moheli, together with the island of Anjouan, both declared independence from the rest of the island chain in 1997.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service


25 posted on 12/18/2001 8:41:19 PM PST by HAL9000
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: HAL9000
With Freeper fire and manpower, I would bet anything that we would be able to the Comoros islands. Places like that are such a joke...

I bet the weather there is pretty nice. What are you guys doing this weekend?
26 posted on 12/18/2001 8:45:12 PM PST by July 4th
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Mr.Clark
That French mercenary was once in charge if I remember

I think his name was Bob Denard.

27 posted on 12/18/2001 8:45:56 PM PST by xm177e2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: July 4th
6,000 people. Hum we've got many? On a good day? I'm ready....
28 posted on 12/18/2001 8:48:44 PM PST by John Jamieson
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: John Jamieson
if true this sould be a good trivia question in a few..the second country we attacked in the war in terrorism was...... Comoros!
29 posted on 12/18/2001 9:00:25 PM PST by newsperson999
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: Tex-Con-Man
There was a person from Comorro implicated in one of the terrorist attacks. Not 9/11, as far as I can recall, but it would appear that there is a terrorist cell either known or suspected on the island.

The approach seems unorthodox, but given the vagaries of babelfish and the unorthodox nature of the fight, anything is possible--maybe civilians from the CIA?

Then again, it may be just some of that famous "fog of war."

30 posted on 12/18/2001 9:08:19 PM PST by hinckley buzzard
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: HAL9000
A question I have is, if we were moving in to take out a terrorist supporting leader, why would we move into the smallest island in the chain rather than moving on the island with the capital city?
31 posted on 12/18/2001 9:08:21 PM PST by Arkinsaw
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: HAL9000

Unidentified troops take control of Comoros

MORONI ( AFP ) -- Troops claiming to be US soldiers landed on the Comoran isle of Moheli early Wednesday, seizing control of the security forces on the island, a former prime minister said by phone.

The invaders announced themselves as "the army of the United States" and said their intervention was linked to the fight against terrorism, said residents of the capital Fomboni, including ex-prime minister Mohamed Hassanari.

Telephone links with the island were cut shortly afterwards.

Around 100 armed men described as "white, some of them masked," disembarked at 5:30 a.m. (0230 GMT). They quickly took control of the army and police services on the island, the sources reported, without saying whether any fighting took place.

The troops distributed tracts saying they were a US army force and that their intervention was linked to the September 11 attacks in New York and Washington. "Your president is collaborating with terrorists, we are here to protect you," the statements read, calling on the local population to surrender their arms.

The identity of the troops remained unclear but a few weeks back locally-produced leaflets were distributed in the Comoran capital Moroni accusing head of state, Colonel Azali Assoumani of having terrorist links.

Moheli is the smallest of the islands in the Comoro archipelago.

A key referendum has been scheduled for December 23 in the Indian Ocean state as part of a reconciliation plan for the islands, which have long been riven by splits and coup attempts.

In the referendum, Comorans will be asked to approve or reject a constitution that gives the country's three islands -- Grande Comore, Anjouan and Moheli -- a greater degree of autonomy.

Anjouan unilaterally declared its independence in 1997.

Between the referendum and a presidential election due in March, a transitional regime is set to govern, to organise a donor conference and to finalise the devolution of powers to the islands.


32 posted on 12/18/2001 9:34:51 PM PST by HAL9000
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: HAL9000
bump
33 posted on 12/18/2001 9:50:33 PM PST by d4now
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: HAL9000

The head of the armed group which controls Mohéli "speaks French without accent"

Wednesday December 19, 2001 - 6h39 GMT

MORONI, 19 déc (AFP) - a man presenting himself as the head of the group of armed men which took control Wednesday morning of the island comorienne of Mohéli speaks French without accent, announced with the AFP a sure source which discussed on the telephone with him since Moroni.

The man contacted with the seat of the gendarmerie of Fomboni, the "capital" of the island of Mohéli, "was presented in the form of a head of the group and speaks French without accent", ensured this source, under cover of anonymity.

"Of the armed men unloaded this morning on Mohéli", confirmed with the AFP an officer of the army of the Comoros, from which all the men early had in the morning to gain the great military base of Kandani, to six km in the north of the capital.

The government requisitioned a plane of the private company the Comoros Aviation to take along troops on Mohéli, one learned near the company.

Armed, white and black men, of which some carrying of the hoods, early unloaded Wednesday morning on Mohéli and took the control of the buildings of the army, of the gendarmerie and of the police force, to the AFP inhabitants contacted on the telephone indicated, including one former Prime Minister, Mohamed Hassanari.

The attackers launched leaflets affirming that they were "the army of the United States" and that their intervention was related to the fight against terrorism, according to inhabitants' of Fomboni. The communications with Mohéli were then cut.

The man who presents himself as the head of the group is satisfied to read this leaflet with his interlocutor before hanging up again, specified the source.


34 posted on 12/18/2001 10:00:39 PM PST by HAL9000
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: HAL9000

A hundred armed men take the control of the island of Mohéli

Wednesday December 19, 2001 - 7h15 GMT

MORONI, 19 déc (AFP) - a hundred men armed directed by French man speaking without accent unloaded Wednesday morning on the island comorienne of Mohéli and took the control of the army, of the gendarmerie and of the police force, indicated to the AFP concordant sources.

A sure source with Moroni affirmed with the AFP to have discussed on the telephone with a man who is presented in the form of a head of the armed men, contacted with the seat of the gendarmerie of Fomboni, the "capital" of the island of Mohéli. "It speaks French without accent", ensured this source, under cover of anonymity.

"Of the armed men unloaded this morning on Mohéli", confirmed an officer of the army of the Comoros, from which all the men early had in the morning to gain the great military base of Kandani, to six km in the north of the capital.

The government requisitioned a plane of the private company the Comoros Aviation to take along troops on Mohéli, one learned near the company.

A hundred men armed, white and black men, of which some carrying of the hoods, early unloaded Wednesday morning on Mohéli and took the control of the buildings of the army, of the gendarmerie and of the police force, to the AFP inhabitants contacted on the telephone indicated, including one former Prime Minister, Mohamed Hassanari.

The attackers launched leaflets affirming that they were "the army of the United States" and that their intervention was related to the fight against terrorism, according to inhabitants', information that a spokesman of the Pentagon in Washington refused to comment on.

"Your president collaborates with the terrorists, we are there to protect you", indicates the leaflets, inviting the population to return the weapons, specified these inhabitants. The communications with Mohéli were then cut.

The Comoros became independent of France in 1975. The fourth island of the archipelago, Mayotte, remained French.

The forces of safety in Mohéli count only one small man hundred, divided between the army, the gendarmerie and the police force. The island does not count that only one military base, in Fomboni. Mohéli smallest and is populated of the three islands of the Islamic Federal Republic of the Comoros (RFIC), which also counts Large Comore and Anjouan.

The identity of the troops which unloaded in Mohéli remains dubious, but leaflets of local origin were distributed here two or three weeks to Moroni, the capital of the Comoros, showing the head of the State, colonel Azali Assoumani, to be related to terrorism.


35 posted on 12/18/2001 10:41:28 PM PST by HAL9000
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: HAL9000
Federal Islamic Republic of the Comoros  and Mayotte
Federal Islamic Republic of the Comoros and Mayotte

The Comoros has a lovely tropical climate, rich soil covering over one-third of the islands for producing every varitey of tropical fruit, vanilla, nutmeg and flora of every description. It has sparkling sandy beaches and-- thanks to being under the heel of Islamists-- is a third world s***hole despite having blessed by nature. Its neighboring island of Mayotte, claimed by Comoros, voted to become an overseas territory of France which has administered it for the past 30 years. Mayotte is everything that Comoros could be without the Islamists to keep it perpetually in dunghill status. (Click on the map to learn more)

36 posted on 12/18/2001 11:11:14 PM PST by Vigilanteman
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: HAL9000
Fox news has someone up at this hour reporting from the Pentagon, but still not a peep about this. If it were the US doing this, it makes me wonder what point it serves to be quiet about it still.

Demmit, I'm going to have to turn over to see if CNN is reporting anything. This is a travesty.

37 posted on 12/19/2001 1:06:02 AM PST by Harp
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: all
WORTH NOTING, AFP UPDATES ITS STORY:

"As the Comoran army prepared to fly troops by commercial jet to Moheli, the smallest of the islands making up the Indian Ocean chain, the US embassy in Nairobi and the Pentagon both said they had no knowledge of the incident early Wednesday."

38 posted on 12/19/2001 1:30:50 AM PST by Harp
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Harp
BBC now reporting four killed in "fierce fighting".
39 posted on 12/19/2001 2:14:44 AM PST by Arkle
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: HAL9000
Reminds me of a book I read long ago – "The Dogs of War".
40 posted on 12/19/2001 2:53:09 AM PST by R. Scott
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Travis McGee
So far this does not look like a US Military op but time will tell.

Stay well - Stay safe - Stay armed - Yorktown

41 posted on 12/19/2001 4:58:54 AM PST by harpseal
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: HAL9000
Just heard on Fox News that senior Pentagon officials had been up all night. No mention of any connection, but maybe worth noting.
42 posted on 12/19/2001 5:02:47 AM PST by BOBTHENAILER
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Arkle
Latest from the BBC

Comoros invasion 'repelled'

Comoros invasion 'repelled'
Comoros has suffered instability since independence

Armed men who had attacked the Comoros island of Moheli have been defeated, says the government. "The army has liberated the infiltrated zone," Communications Minister Ali Toihir said on national radio.

At least five people were killed in the fighting, reports the French news agency AFP.

Some reports said the men who landed on Moheli on Wednesday morning claimed to be part of the United States army fighting terrorism but other reports say they spoke French "without an accent".

A US embassy spokesman in Nairobi has denied that US forces were involved.

The government on the main island of Grande Comore responded by flying around 30 soldiers to Moheli, while more were on their way by boat said AFP, quoting a government source.

Still going

A delegation from the Southern African Development Community has said that it will continue with a planned visit to the main island of Grande Comore on Wednesday, despite the unrest.

The delegation is headed by South African Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and is due to observe a constitutional referendum, scheduled for 23 December.

For me, the Comoros page has been turned Bob Denard French mercenary The BBC's Southern Africa correspondent, Barnaby Phillips, says the referendum is expected to approve a new constitution, designed to end recent political instability.

The special envoy of the organisation of African unity in Comoros, Francisco Madeira told the BBC that he feared the attack was an attempt to disrupt next week's referendum.

Those killed were two civilians and three of the armed men, reports AFP.

Continued instability Diplomats said the raiders had been distributing leaflets linking Comoran military strongman Colonel Azaly Assoumani with Osama Bin Laden's al-Qaeda network.

Assoumani denies any links to Bin Laden Comoros, with an overwhelmingly Muslim population, has experienced more than 20 coups since independence from France in 1975, several of them involving French mercenaries, such as the notorious Bob Denard.

On Wednesday, Mr Denard told AFP that he had nothing to do with the attack, which he described as "more bizarre than usual" . "For me, the Comoros page has been turned," he said.

One of the archipelago's three islands, Anjouan, declared independence from the Comoros Federation in 1997.

This triggered a new round of unrest on the islands. Colonel Assoumani seized power in April 1999 in a coup in the capital, Moroni.

43 posted on 12/19/2001 5:12:13 AM PST by csvset
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: BOBTHENAILER
From Ananova:

Five die in Comoros island invasion

More than a dozen mysterious hooded men who invaded the smallest island in the Comoros archipelago appear to have been mercenaries.

Comorian troops have killed five of the insurgents.

A senior Comorian defence official said the men appeared intent on destabilising the tiny Indian Ocean islands ahead of a crucial referendum this weekend.

Earlier reports suggested the armed men, who claimed to be FBI agents and cut telephone links to the outside world, could have been hunting al-Qaida operatives, or even Osama bin Laden himself.

A Comorian - Fazul Abdullah Mohammed - has been indicted for his alleged role in the 1998 Nairobi embassy bombing which killed 12 Americans.

He is a fugitive, and was named as one of 22 most wanted terrorists by President George Bush.

Comorian troops killed five of the insurgents on Moheli island, said Mahamout Soilih, secretary-general for defence.

"Five bodies have been brought to Moroni. They are mercenaries, and one could be a Romanian," he said, adding that one government soldier was wounded.

Speaking in Moroni, the capital of the Comoros Islands, Soilih said it is not clear who was behind the pre-dawn incursion by between 15 and 30 hooded men.

"Whoever it was, they were intent on destabilising the Comoros just when we are trying to find a peaceful solution to our problems," he said.

The three island archipelago off the coast of Mozambique is holding a constitutional referendum on Sunday that, if approved, would allow greater autonomy to the three islands and end military rule in Moroni.

44 posted on 12/19/2001 5:15:00 AM PST by Arkle
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

To: HAL9000
it has been alledged that Joseph Smith, while making up the Book of Mormon, borrowed the names Comoros and Moroni from these islands - the former becoming the name of the hill he "found" the golden plates in, the latter being the angel that instructed him on what to do with them.
45 posted on 12/19/2001 5:31:15 AM PST by ghost of nixon
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: HAL9000
From S.J. Mercury News:

Bin Laden name puts spotlight on tiny Comoros

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Osama bin Laden may be thousands of miles away in central Asia, but the world's most wanted man cast a long shadow over a coup attempt on Wednesday on a distant Indian Ocean island.

Diplomats said unidentified gunmen trying to take over Moheli island on the coup-prone Comoros archipelago distributed leaflets in English linking Comoran military strongman Colonel Azaly Assoumani with bin Laden's al Qaeda network.

The reference to the Saudi-born tycoon and his reputation as an alleged terrorist mastermind added a new twist to a staple of politics in the Comoros -- the attempted military takeover.

The move sparked rumors that the gunmen could be U.S. soldiers hunting for an al Qaeda cell on Moheli, ensuring a rare moment of world attention for the trigger-happy political elite of the Muslim country of 700,000.

Diplomats played down any link to Washington's war on terrorism and said the incident was probably linked to the islands' rough-and-tumble local politics -- an opinion echoed by government officials who rapidly sent troops to Moheli to try to quell the revolt.

``It is not very clear what these people stand for,'' said Francisco Madeira, special envoy to the Comoros of the Organization of African Unity.

``They passed themselves off as American soldiers looking for Islamic fundamentalists on Comoros, and one or two of them spoke English, but eventually it was established they spoke perfect French.''

But the gunmen's reference to the top suspect in the September 11 attacks may have been an astute move to mask their true intentions, as the name of at least one Comoros islander has cropped up repeatedly in Washington's research into bin Laden's followers.

Fazul Abdullah Mohammed is one of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's 22 most wanted men for his alleged role in the 1998 bombing of the U.S. embassy in Kenya.

Said to be an explosives expert, Mohammed has been indicted and accused of being the linchpin of the Kenya bombing. Simultaneous attacks on the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania killed 224 people and wounded over 4,000.

FBI Wanted posters circulating for the last three years describe Fazul as ``very good with computers'' and say he wears baseball caps and dresses casually. Fazul is believed to have trained with bin Laden in Afghanistan and speak five languages.

Four followers of bin Laden, put on trial in a U.S. court, were sentenced to life imprisonment in October for the attacks.

Also noteworthy on Wednesday was the presence of whites among the gunmen. This was a sign, diplomats said, that the plotters may have revived an ailing tradition among the political barons of the former French colony of hiring European or white South African mercenaries to topple rivals.

There have been more than 20 attempted coups on the Comoros since independence from France in 1975, but the last involving white people was five years ago.

The country's few brief months of post-independence stability ended abruptly when French mercenary ``Colonel'' Bob Denard, leading a group of white mercenaries known as Les Affreux (The Terrible Ones), overthrew the first president, Ahmed Abdallah.

The coup set the tone for the next 2-1/2 decades of political volatility in the islands, which lie just off the east coat of Africa.

There have been a number of coup attempts this year alone in the run-up to a referendum planned for next Sunday to approve a new constitution aimed at ending the long-running secessionist crisis on the islands.

46 posted on 12/19/2001 5:59:12 AM PST by DKM
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: July 4th
I'm in!
47 posted on 12/19/2001 6:10:21 AM PST by mikhailovich
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: July 4th
"What are you guys doing this weekend"

I have a 9.5 horse Johnson thats kind of noisy and smokes a lot, but I bet we could shut her down and paddle in from about 200 yards out.

48 posted on 12/19/2001 6:14:11 AM PST by mikhailovich
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: HAL9000
Five die in Comoros island invasion

More than a dozen mysterious hooded men who invaded the smallest island in the Comoros archipelago appear to have been mercenaries.

Comorian troops have killed five of the insurgents.

A senior Comorian defence official said the men appeared intent on destabilising the tiny Indian Ocean islands ahead of a crucial referendum this weekend.

Earlier reports suggested the armed men, who claimed to be FBI agents and cut telephone links to the outside world, could have been hunting al-Qaida operatives, or even Osama bin Laden himself.

A Comorian - Fazul Abdullah Mohammed - has been indicted for his alleged role in the 1998 Nairobi embassy bombing which killed 12 Americans.

He is a fugitive, and was named as one of 22 most wanted terrorists by President George Bush. Comorian troops killed five of the insurgents on Moheli island, said Mahamout Soilih, secretary-general for defence.

"Five bodies have been brought to Moroni. They are mercenaries, and one could be a Romanian," he said, adding that one government soldier was wounded.

Speaking in Moroni, the capital of the Comoros Islands, Soilih said it is not clear who was behind the pre-dawn incursion by between 15 and 30 hooded men.

"Whoever it was, they were intent on destabilising the Comoros just when we are trying to find a peaceful solution to our problems," he said.

The three island archipelago off the coast of Mozambique is holding a constitutional referendum on Sunday that, if approved, would allow greater autonomy to the three islands and end military rule in Moroni.

Story filed: 14:03 Wednesday 19th December 2001

49 posted on 12/19/2001 6:17:35 AM PST by blam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Tex-Con-Man
Staging point to invade Somalia.
50 posted on 12/19/2001 8:08:49 AM PST by weikel
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-58 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson