February 1, 2010

A Somali Wedding

Four months ago al-Shabab leader Ahmed Abdi Godane proposed to Osama bin Laden by pledging his allegiance to al-Qaeda. Maybe bin Laden formally accepted, maybe he didn’t, but a wedding occurred today.

Around the same time President Obama was using part of his YouTube interview to zero in on al-Qaeda.

“I think it's important to understand that we are at war against a very specific group - al Qaeda and its extremist allies that have metastasized around the globe, that would attack us, attack our allies, attack bases and embassies around the world, and most sadly, attack innocent people regardless of their backgrounds, regardless of their religions.”

How does this work, a very specific group of allies around the globe? Is America’s fight with al-Qaeda, al-Shabab, or both? A statement by the group formally announced, “jihad of Horn of Africa must be combined with the international jihad led by the al-Qaeda network.”

Seems they’re one and the same now, so is America prepared to treat them that way?

This question could have near-term consequences. Al-Shabab appears to be purposefully attracting attention, possibly ordered by al-Qaeda to deflect US efforts from Yemen and Afghanistan. It’s as if they’re daring America to invade, knowing that it wants to but can’t.

The world is going to change in a very bad way if a Somali “refugee” explodes a US and European airplane and al-Shabab takes credit. Eventually an African state like Kenya, Ethiopia or Uganda will be targeted. al-Qaeda knows America has no government in Somalia to militarily operate with, unlike Pakistan and Yemen.

This wedding has trap written all over it.

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