Al-Qaida's MisAdventures in the Horn of Africa by Wayne Downing-General US. Army (retired), Distinguieshed

By Wayne Downing-General US. Army (retired), Distinguieshed Chair Combating Terrorism Center US Military Academy

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Most of the al-Qa’ida operatives who write in these documents were new to Somalia and were poorly equipped to understand the complexities of Somali clannism. Their reports are littered with crude, inaccurate descriptions of Somali lineages and express the same level of bewilderment over clannism that one frequently hears from international aid workers and diplomats. Clannism is said by the al-Qa’ida reporters to infuse the Islamic movement itself. 14 Another entry, from the Somali region in Ethiopia, reveals the extent to which the Islamists were unwelcome by local clans.

Also, see Harmony, AFGP-2002-800611 for a Kenya Visa Application with the name of Hassan Aweys. S. Forces in Afghanistan during the 2002 timeframe. 11 40 (factional militias). ” He continues: “I have no doubt that even Saddam Hussein, Aideed, Arafat, Sayyaf, Hikmatyar, and Burhan have more manhood than they have. Like the latter, they are useless. ”13 Clannism. The Somali Islamist movement in 1991-96 was divided to some degree by clan, and at any rate was forced to operate in a context in which clannism was a highly mobilized and politically exploited identity.

If past trends are to hold, we can expect the Islamists to disperse, focus again on da’wa and building business and social networks within their communities, and wait before attempting another political or jihadi initiative. But at least some indicators suggest that this time the loss at the hands of the Ethiopians could produce a quick resurgence of radicalized jihadi violence in Somalia. IV. Assessment of Harmony Documents on Somalia Somalia is a prominent topic in the translated documents, comprising several hundred pages of transcripts, released for this report.

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