Somali Muslim Cleric Hate

British extremist preacher linked to Lee Rigby killer emerges as head of Islamic State in Somalia

Colin Freeman, chief foreign correspondent

29 APRIL 2016

British extremist preacher linked to the killers of Drummer Lee Rigby has surfaced in an Islamic State propaganda video as the head of its new franchise in Somalia.

Sheiky Abdulqadir Mumin, who preached at mosques in London, fled to Somalia after being investigated by M15 for radicalising young men with his fiery sermons.

The henna-bearded militant, who burned his British passport on arrival in Somalia, has now re-emerged in a video shot in northern Somalia in which he leads a faction pledging allegiance to Isil's Iraqi leader, Abubakr al-Baghdadi.

In the 15-minute broadcast, he presides over a group of heavily-armed fighters as they raise the black Islamic State flag and perform military drills in a remote mountain area.

Mumin's presence in Somalia is likely alarm British security chiefs, given his alleged record as a recruiter of young Muslim radicals for the cause of violent jihad in Somalia and elsewhere.

The cleric was a visiting speaker at  a mosque in London around the time it was attended by Michael Adebolajo, one of the two men jailed for the meat-cleaver murder of Drummer Lee Rigby at Woolwich Arsenal in 2013.

Mohammed Emwazi, the militant better known as Jihadi John, is understood to have occasionally attended the same mosque.

Somali-born Mumin, who arrived in Britain around ten years ago, is also believed to have done "outreach" work on the streets of south-east London, reaching out to troubled youngsters like Adebolajo.

He is understood to have tried to recruit at local "mafrishes" - meeting places where members of the area's Somali community would gather to chew the narcotic qhat leaf.

Both Adebolajo and Emwazi made failed attempts to join extremist groups in Somalia, where Mumin retained strong contacts with radical groups. 

In 2010, Mumin also took part in a press conference alongside the ex-Guantanamo Bay prisoner Moazzam Begg for the charity CagePrisoners, which was launching a report criticising Western anti-terror tactics in East Africa.

CagePrisoners's research director, Asim Qureshi, was criticised last year after describing Emwazi as "a beautiful young man" who had been radicalised because of mistreatment by the security services.

In similar fashion, Mumin left Britain for good a few months after his appearance with CagePrisoners, complaining of harrassment by M15.

He then re-appeared in territory controlled by the al-Qaeda allied al-Shabaab group, where he was seen burning his British passport in a crowd of supporters in a mosque and dedicating his life to jihad.

A talented speaker who is considered to have an impressive grasp of Islamist theology, Mumin initially allied himself to al-Shabaab, which has fought an nine-year-long insurgency against the Somali government, as well as the 2013 Westgate shopping mall attack in Nairobi, which killed 67 people.

After the US killing of Osama bin Laden in 2011, he declared: “We will continue our holy war until we taste death like our brother Osama, or until we are victorious and rule the entire world."

Mumin is understood to have switched allegiance last year to the Islamic State, which has been making efforts to co-opt other jihadist movements around the world, including Boko Haram in Nigeria and the Taliban in Afghanistan.

While al-Shabaab remains powerful in Somalia, it has come under heavy pressure from US drone strikes and Western-backed African Union troops.

Dr Cedric Barnes, Horn of Africa Project Director at the International Crisis Group, told The Telegraph: "Isil's success has grabbed people's imaginations, and I thik with Mumin, switching allegiance to Isil may be a case of personal ambition, a chance to challenge al-Shabaab's dominance.

"Unlike a lot of radical scholars, he is also said to be well-educated - he is the real deal as a preacher and that makes him a bit of a catch."

Mumin is now thought to be holed up in the Galgala hills, a desolate area of keel-shaped mountains and thorny frankincense trees in northern Somalia Puntland region.

Also notorious as a haven for Somali a pirates, its caves are a favourite hiding place for armed groups and hostages.

While he is believed to have no more than a few hundred fighters at most at present, his faction is said to be offering monthly salaries of up to $400, according to the intelligence website IHS Global Insight.

That makes it the highest paying groups in Somalia - an important factor in a land where many fight for pay rather than principle.

According to Somali intelligence sources, he also has some powerful co-defectors from al-Shabaab, including Mohamed Dulyadin, a Kenyan militant believed to have been responsible for last year's attack on Kenya's Garissa University that left 148 dead.

His first broadcast in support of Islamic State was made last October, but was a low-key event via audio tape. By contrast, his new video broadcast appears to have been released by the al-Furat Media Foundation, a well-known outlet for Isil propaganda.

His main worry, now, however, will not just be avoiding US drone attacks. Al-Shabaab still sees itself as a loyal affiliate of al-Qaeda, and has been unleashing its feared secret police, known as the Amniyat, on anyone suspected of defecting to Isil.

This month set up jihad 'market'

Somali man tells residents God ordered them to kill

09 March 2016

(ANSA) - Campobasso, March 9 - A 22-year-old Somali imam and asylum seeker arrested Wednesday told fellow residents of a migrant reception centre in Campobasso that they had to organise a "market" for jihad and God had ordered them to kill, police said according to transcripts of his preaching.

"This month the jihad market is being organised, and the Prophet prepares soldiers this month against idolaters and fights against the enemies of God," he reportedly said. "So profit from this month, rush to be the first. God ordered you to kill his enemies and wage jihad in his name, preach religion and the sharia and punish the sinner". Having taken on the role of spiritual guide, police said, at the end of the ritual teaching he prayed for ISIS and fighters who kill themselves for the cause.

Muslim cleric says govt will flop

March 6, 2006

Mogadishu: A hardline Somali cleric with big influence in Mogadishu has said Muslims will oppose the Horn of Africa's fledgling government because it is based on anti-Islamic principles.

"A government that does not rule by the book of God does not deserve support," Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweis, has said.

Aweis, who is on an American list of most wanted terrorists and runs one of Mogadishu's powerful sharia courts, said the new interim administration formed in Kenya in 2004 could not be supported because it was organised on secular lines. That would clash with the Islamic sharia law that suits the largely Muslim nation of 10 million people, he argued.

"Such a government will only bring losses because people will clash, hate and disobey it, and so it will not have authority over them."

The government, led by President Abdullahi Yusuf, relocated to Somalia last year but has been unable to impose authority and remains based in the provincial town of Jowhar because of fears over security in the capital, Mogadishu.

It is unclear how much popular support it can command.

Somalia has been without proper central government since warlords toppled former dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991.

Aweis said Islamists would not oppose the government with violence, but doubted it would have any success.

Aweis resurfaced in 2004 after vanishing amid heightened American scrutiny after the September 11 2001 attacks. Western security services see Somalia as a potential safe haven for terrorists.

He runs the Ifka Halanka Islamic court in northern Mogadishu. The courts are the only source of organised justice for the city's nearly one million people.

A former soldier, Aweis started preaching in the late 1970s and has a burning desire to see Somalia under sharia law. He said sharia law was Somalia's only way out of its turmoil and lawlessness.

He urged Yusuf's government to view the Islamists not as enemies but as a legitimate opposition group. - Reuters


Cleric accused of terror ties
Items compiled from Tribune news services
Published June 25, 2006

MOGADISHU, SOMALIA -- A fundamentalist Muslim cleric who is listed by the U.S. as a suspected Al Qaeda collaborator was named Saturday as the new leader of an Islamic militia that now controls Somalia's capital.

The militia, which changed its name Saturday to the Conservative Council of Islamic Courts from the Islamic Courts Union, said it had appointed Sheik Hassan Dahir Aweys. The U.S. State Department has said Aweys was an associate of Osama bin Laden in the early 1990s.

The Islamic militia seized control of Mogadishu and much of southern Somalia from an alliance of warlords earlier this month.

Aweys, a cleric believed to be in his 60s, appears on a U.S. list of individuals and organizations accused of having ties to terrorism. He went into hiding after Sept. 11, 2001, and re-emerged last August.