According to CNN, Al-Shabab has issued a threat against Israel. Al-Shabab is the terrorist group which controls much of Somalia. It has known links to Al-Qaeda and many of its affiliate terrorist groups. Al-Shabab leaders have stated, “We will transfer and expand our fighting in the Middle East so we can defend Al Aqsa mosque from the Israelis.” The group claims that Israel is attempting to destroy the Al-Aqsa mosque (and compound?). The group, which is, also, known for its piracy activities, has claimed to have established a new unit, the “Al-Aqsa Holy Warriors” to act against Israel.

It is this author’s opinion that this group’s threats ought not be taken idly. Somalia sits strategically on the Gulf of Aden, across from Yemen. With Yemen believed to become the new Al-Qaeda headquarters, following a retreat from Afghanistan, Somalia’s position is likely to become more important, and more infused with terrorists. As such, they would be in a prime position to close down the Gulf of Aden, or more importantly, the Red Sea to Israeli shipping. Even without direct attacks on Israel’s soil, this is a most strategic threat. Moreover, given that Al-Qaeda is already known to exist in the Gaza Strip, more links cannot mean anything but trouble for Israel.

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  • My standard response to this type of thing is:
    “Send Lieberman over”

    Today I say:
    “Have Ellie Yishai & Jack Teitel join him…”


  • Don’t you think we should try diplomacy first? Reach out a hand and hope this group will unclench its fist? Maybe speak to them in arabic and quote the Koran?

    It might help if we change our middle name to… Oh well!

  • Seriously Dahlia? Seriously? Al-Shabab have proven to be resourceful businessmen and all but their motley collection of RPGs and AK-47s are a bit of a joke don’t you think? I mean fully 7.5% of the world’s sea trade skirts the Gulf of Aden on its way to the Suez Canal. The alternative is to round the Cape of Good Hope which adds days to the trip, makes one subject to inclement weather and adds millions of dollars to cost of transportation. Even with the threat of pirates, it’s still worth going for it and paying a ransom should your boat be captured. In 2008, only 0.2% of ships sailing Somali waters were successfully hijacked.

    These hijackers are businessmen. You think they have any way of targeting just Israeli ships? You think the little clowns going off in their dinghies give a shit if a boat is Israeli or not? The first boat they can successfully hijack is the boat that gets hijacked, regardless of destination, cargo or flag. Al-Shahab’s threat is an empty one – meant to give bullshit ideological credibility to a kleptocracy with no credibility.

    You’re a little of there Dahlia. Here, read An Economic Analysis of the Somali Pirate Business Model. It’s entertaining and informative!

  • CK: I think you misunderstood my analysis. I argue that should AQ set up head quarters in Yemen, Somalian affiliate organizations would be greatly strengthed. As such, what may seem an idle threat today, should not be entirely dismissed just because it is not feasible at this very moment. One shouldn’t wait for a future problem to become a problem; one should be prepared in advanec.

  • I agree with Ed. If we engage with these pirates, show some understanding of their legitimate demands, we can build a peaceful future together based on shared interests.

  • Tom Morrissey: maybe shared interests (other than Sharia) can be a Disneyland of sorts on Somalia coast…nice beaches…Western tourists can even get to be shot or get to go home for a slight fee.

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