Tragedy struck Uganda in the form of an Islamist terrorist bombing attack on World Cup watchers. Among the dead and wounded are Americans serving on charitable missions —I hope readers will keep all of the victims in their prayers.
Last month I wrote about a poorly reasoned New York Times article which argued that the Islamist terrorism in Somalia was a “civil war” suggesting that the violence there was limited to domestic concerns. Sadly, today’s al Shabab attacks in Uganda, which thus far caused 64 deaths and injured 71 are evidence of what I wrote last month. The conflict in Somalia is parter of the broader conflict against Islamist extremists. Al Shabab gains in Somalia are seen by Ayman al-Zawahiri and other terrorists as part of the broader jihad, and that gains there were seen as “a step on the path of victory for Islam.”
Andy McCarthy, summarizing my post wrote the New York Times wanted “you to understand that al Qaeda-connected al-Shabab’s recruitment of Somali-based Americans is strictly about fighting a civil war — not anything so ambitious as a global jihad.”
Today’s news tells a different story more consistent with the global jihad that Andy and I have been arguing Somalia is a part of. For example, the Washington Post got it partly right noting:
Uganda’s Police Chief Kale Kaihura immediately pointed blame at Somalia’s al-Shabab, a hard-line militia with growing ties to al-Qaeda that has perpetrated several bombings in recent months inside Somalia.
Last week, the militia’s top leader Sheikh Mukhtar Abdurahman Abu Zubeyr accused African Union peacekeeping forces in the Somalia capital of Mogadishu of committing “massacres” against Somalis. Ugandan and Burundian troops comprise the peacekeeping force. Abu Zubeyr warned that his forces would take revenge against the peoples of Uganda and Burundi.
Uganda, a key U.S. ally, is also a training ground for soldiers for Somalia’s transitional government, which al-Shabab is seeking to overthrow, in a program backed by the United States and European nations. The United States officially considers al-Shabab a terrorist organization.
They use the odd term “militia” to describe al Shabab, but otherwise get the Islamist details right, even explaining that “The militia, which seeks to create an Islamic emirate and has imposed Taliban-like dictates, has banned playing soccer in many areas and prohibited broadcasts of the World Cup, describing the sport as “a satanic act” that corrupts Muslims.” The Associated Press, quoted al Shabab leader Sheik Yusuf Sheik Issa as saying “Uganda is one of our enemies, whatever makes them cry, makes us happy. May Allah’s anger be upon those who are against us.” More details to follow…