Over twenty years ago the East African country of Somalia dissolved into a morass of competing warlords, each seeming eager to outdo the other in the science of human exploitation. The United Nations went in, American troops went in. It was a disaster. A Blackhawk helicopter was downed, American soldiers were killed. Everybody pulled out, leaving Somalia to stew.
Recent developments in the region made Somalia ripe for religious fighters to move in and take over. The prize is now the souls of the people, on Earth or in Heaven, it does not seem to matter to these warriors. They will kill anybody who will not swear allegiance to God, their God. They have used Somalia as a base to spread the conflagration to neighboring parts of the continent:
On Saturday 21 September 2013, unidentified gunmen attacked Westgate shopping mall, the most upscale mall in Nairobi, Kenya. The attack resulted in at least 67 deaths, and more than 175 people were reportedly wounded in the mass shooting.
The extremist Islamic group al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the incident, which it characterised as retribution for the Kenyan military’s deployment in the group’s home country of Somalia. Many media outlets also suspected the insurgent group’s involvement in the attack based on earlier reprisal warnings it had issued in the wake of Operation Linda Nchi from 2011 to 2012.
Two ways to approach the situation suggest themselves. One is to contact al-Shabaab’s public relations guy and arrange to have their people meet with our people. An alternative is to cut out the middleman:
WASHINGTON — American aircraft on Saturday struck a training camp inSomalia belonging to the Islamist militant group the Shabab, the Pentagon said, killing about 150 fighters who were assembled for what American officials believe was a graduation ceremony and prelude to an imminent attack against American troops and their allies in East Africa.
Defense officials said the strike was carried out by drones and American aircraft, which dropped a number of precision-guided bombs and missiles on the field where the fighters were gathered. Pentagon officials said they did not believe there were any civilian casualties, but there was no independent way to verify the claim. They said they delayed announcing the strike until they could assess the outcome.
It was the deadliest attack on the Shabab in the more than decade-long American campaign against the group, an affiliate of Al Qaeda, and a sharp deviation from previous American strikes, which have concentrated on the group’s leaders, not on its foot soldiers.
Yeah, that will work, too. One would hope these eager disciples of God lacked just enough faith that they had their life insurance policies up to date. One could be disappointed. A review of recent history indicates it does not matter which:
Saturday’s strike was the most significant American attack on the Shabab since September 2014, when an American drone strike killed the leader of the group, Ahmed Abdi Godane, at the time one of the most wanted men in Africa. That strike was followed by one last March, when Adan Garar, a senior member of the group, was killed in a drone strike on his vehicle.
Where is MetLife when you need them?
Keep reading. There are going to be more of these.