"US airstrikes kill 150 Al Shabab fighters in Somalia; US says group was preparing attack" by Helene Cooper New York Times March 08, 2016
WASHINGTON — American warplanes struck a training camp in Somalia belonging to the Islamist militant group Al Shabab, the Pentagon said Monday, killing about 150 fighters who officials said were preparing an attack against US troops and their regional allies in East Africa.
The drones delivered the package to the residential area, and there is no mystery from where the wreckage came.
The strikes occurred Saturday at a training facility called Camp Raso, about 120 miles north of Mogadishu, came as Al Shabab fighters were nearing the end of “training for a large-scale attack” on forces belonging to the African Union in Somalia, officials said.
They were bombed during what US officials said they believed was a graduation ceremony, and the warplanes dropped a number of precision-guided bombs and missiles on them.
“They were standing outdoors in formation,” one official said.
The camp was destroyed, according to Navy Captain Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman. He added that the military believes there were no civilian casualties, the Associated Press reported.
I'm sure they will check on that later.
In a separate development Monday, the White House announced that it will disclose how many people have been killed by American drones and other counterterrorism strikes since 2009, when President Obama took office, the AP reported.
They are actually going to put out how many counts of murder he can be charged with?
Lisa Monaco, Obama’s counterterrorism and homeland security adviser, said the report will be released ‘‘in the coming weeks,’’ casting it as part of a commitment to transparency for US actions overseas.
The list will not include major war zones such as Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan, but will focus on strikes against extremist targets in other regions such as Pakistan, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, and other locations in North Africa.
So much for transparency!
Who do they think they are, the NFL?
Monaco said the figures would be disclosed annually in the future, although it will ultimately be up to Obama’s successor to decide whether to continue the practice
The United States has a number of Special Operations forces in Somalia, and Defense Department officials said they were also believed to have been targets of the planned attacks.
The latest strikes come as East Africa analysts say that Al Shabab, the group responsible for the 2013 attack on the Westgate mall in Kenya, is making a comeback after US strikes killed the group’s top leadership in 2014.
Oh, Al-CIA-Bob is making a comeback, 'eh?
Last month, Al Shabab claimed responsibility for an attack on a popular hotel and a public garden in Mogadishu that killed 10 people and injured more than 25 others.
I already overflew that.
In the past two months, Al Shabab militants have killed more than 150 people, including Kenyan soldiers stationed at a remote desert outpost and beachcombers in Mogadishu. In addition, the group has claimed responsibility for a bomb placed aboard a Somali jetliner that tore a hole through the fuselage.
Pentagon officials would not say how they knew that Al Shabab fighters killed on Saturday were training for an attack on US and African Union forces, but the militant group is believed to be under heavy US surveillance.
That's because they work for them.
Yup, military wouldn't say how they knew but you can trust 'em!
Some experts say that Al Shabab, an Al Qaeda affiliate, is in a competition with the Islamic State to show that it has not been eclipsed.
They all come from the same source! U.S. intelligence and its allies!
The United States doesn’t publicly disclose all the places its drones operate, so the new Pentagon casualties report isn’t expected to detail specific countries where people died.
It's an opaque and murky transparency from the mass-murderer-in-chief.
Instead, it will offer an aggregate assessment of casualties outside of areas of ‘‘active hostilities’’ — a designation that takes into account the scope and intensity of fighting and is used to determine when Obama’s specific counterterrorism policies apply.
Iraq and Syria, where US airstrikes are pummeling the Islamic State group, currently are on that list and won’t be in the report.
Nor this in print:
‘‘There will obviously be some limitations on where we can be transparent, given a variety of sensitivities — including diplomatic,’’ said White House spokesman Josh Earnest.
They are already flying away from the pathetic pos public relations propaganda.
So why were they even bothering with it?
Obama’s move to shed more light on the drone wars comes as the United States struggles to contain extremist groups and violent ideologies that are growing and spreading.
I've been told we (and the Russians) are winning.
It's all war-promoting shit slop, isn't it, and not a word of truth to any of it.
For example, the Islamic State militant group, which the US-led coalition is fighting in Iraq and Syria, is spreading to undergoverned places in Libya and Afghanistan, and is spawning affiliates and recruits around the world.
The screeching, over-the-top, air raid siren of fear is so loud I can no longer here it.
ISIS: Made in Washington, Riyadh – and Tel Aviv
ISIS Is A Fake US/Israeli Created "Terrorist" Group
ISIS is a US-Israel creation to demonize Islam
The Islamic State (ISIS) and Israel are Allies
Why Does ISIS Fit In So Perfectly With The PNAC Plan?
ISIS in Iraq stinks of CIA/NATO ‘dirty war’ op
US-NATO Proxy War in Iraq and Syria: US Financing and Training of “Moderate” ISIS Rebels in Syria
What do you mean "covert CIA/FSA training facilities that have ties to ISIS [are] in both Jordan and Turkey?"
US Created The Islamic State (ISIS) for Sake of Israel and Military Industrial Complex: Ex-CIA contractor
WHAT CRAP is this thing called AmeriKan journalism.
Monaco, the counterterrorism adviser, described the strikes as one tool in a fight against terrorism that has entered a new, unpredictable phase nearly 15 years after the 9/11 attacks. In place of top-down, well-organized groups like Al Qaeda, the threat has shifted to a diffuse array of smaller groups and lone actors in what Monaco dubbed ‘‘do-it-yourself terrorism.’’
In central Somalia on Monday, a bomb exploded in a piece of luggage at an airport in a center of the country, wounding three people, a police official said.
And less than three weeks later, Belgium!
The bomb went off at a checkpoint as soldiers searched through bags before passengers were allowed to board, said Ahmed Nur, a police official in the town of Beledweyne, where the incident happened. An African Union peacekeeper was among the wounded, he said.
Al Shabab, claimed responsibility for the blast.
Last month a bomb exploded aboard a commercial passenger jet, creating a hole in the fuselage, blowing out the suspected bomber and forcing the plane to make an emergency landing in Mogadishu. Al Shabab claimed responsibility for that attack.
"Despite US airstrikes, Somali extremist group still active" Associated Press March 08, 2016
MOGADISHU, Somalia — By US accounts, it was a devastating airstrike against Islamic militants in Somalia, with more than 150 fighters killed in a training camp. But the weekend attack probably won’t diminish Al Shabab’s ability to continue a wave of bloodshed.
African Union ground forces succeeded in ousting Al Shabab fighters from Somalia’s capital in 2011 and protecting the weak government. Since then, however, they have been unable to stop other violence: assaults on AU forces, including one that killed up to 200 Kenyan soldiers in January, frequent suicide attacks on civilians in Mogadishu, and an unsuccessful attempt last month to bring down an airliner with a bomb.
The forested military training camp, located 200 kilometers (125 miles) north of Mogadishu, was Al Shabab’s main planning base, a Somali intelligence official said Tuesday.
So that's where the school was.
Somalia’s intelligence service cooperated with the United States in its airstrike, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to talk to the media on this matter.
US forces had been watching Raso Camp for several weeks, said Navy Captain Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman. It appeared that their training was ending and the operational phase of a suspected attack against African or US personnel was about to start, he said.
Previous US airstrikes have killed Al Shabab leaders, including Ahmed Abdi Godane, who had been the group’s top commander, in 2014. And yet the group, far from being vanquished, came back with ferocity.
God damn it!
That was the end of the print.
About 50 US special operations forces rotate in and out of Somalia, advising and assisting military forces sent by five countries belonging to the African Union.
How many countries does Obama have troops in anyway?
The airstrike appears to have caused more casualties than any other attack against Al Shabab, said J. Peter Pham, the director of the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center.
Al Shabab vowed to avenge Godane’s death and later carried out a series of attacks in Mogadishu and in neighboring Kenya.
African Union ground forces and US missile attacks have simply not been able to obliterate the Al Qaeda-linked group, which the US State Department declared a terrorist organization in 2008 and has proven to be resilient. The official number of Al Shabab fighters remains unclear, but estimates put them at fewer than 10,000.
‘‘That Al Shabab had that many recruits in training at just one location . . . is a worrying indicator of the group’s continued relevance and its power to attract,’’ Pham said. ‘‘The fact that Al Shabab feels emboldened enough to gather so many together in one place, these are hardly signs of a group on the run.’’
The insurgency by Al Shabab, which is fighting to impose a strict version of Islam in Somalia, ‘‘is clearly far from finished,’’ Pham said.
Davis, the Pentagon spokesman, said the attack involved both missiles and bombs that destroyed the training camp. He said the United States estimated that as many as 200 fighters had been there, including a number of trainers. He said there were no known civilian casualties. That could not be independently confirmed.
Did they even bother to check?
Further US airstrikes alone are unlikely to thwart Al Shabab’s attacks around Mogadishu, said Robert Besseling, an analyst with EXX Africa. Al Shabab, which traditionally has operated in southern Somalia, has even expanded its operations northward into the central region of Galmudug and the semiautonomous region of Puntland, he said.
Besseling said Al Shabab has infiltrated many districts in northern Mogadishu where the group operates safe houses to coordinate logistical support and plan attacks.
These phantom boogymen mercenaries that never go away!
He warned: ‘‘Attacks in and around Mogadishu on individuals or groups associated with the government are likely to intensify.’’
Special forces doing the job, too:
"US special forces kill 10 extremists in Somalia" Associated Press March 09, 2016
MOGADISHU, Somalia — Hoping to capture a high-profile target, U.S. special forces hopped off helicopters a couple of miles from an al-Shabab-controlled town, slipped through the dark and then got into a fierce firefight that reportedly killed more than 10 Islamic extremists.
A Somali intelligence official said told The Associated Press that the person they wanted to get targeted was apparently killed during the fight.
‘‘It was a high-profile target, and chances of capture were challenged by a stiff resistance by militants guarding the house targeted by the special forces, which forced the commando to resort to the kill or capture method,’’ the official said. He spoke to AP on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press on the matter.
Another Somali intelligence official provided a similar account to AP. The exact target of the raid, if any, remains unclear.
The U.S. forces were serving in an advisory role and provided the helicopter transportation for the mission, said Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman. The U.S. forces accompanied the Somali troops on the mission, but did not ‘‘go all the way to the objective,’’ he said.
The spokesman for the U.S. Africa Command, Col. Mark Cheadle, said the U.S. forces got out of the aircraft but ‘‘stayed in a safe area to observe the actions on the objective.’’
So did they kill 'em or not?
He said the U.S. forces did not fire their weapons during the mission. He said the Somali troops successfully conducted the mission.
There were no U.S. casualties, officials Davis said.
Print copy ended.
More than 10 militants were killed, said other U.S. officials Wednesday who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss an operation that has not been announced publicly.
Roughly 50 U.S. special operations troops have been operating in Somalia on a rotational basis for the last few years. The raid came only three days after the U.S. carried out an air strike on an al-Shabab training camp that the Pentagon said killed about 150 of its members.
These are some of the most aggressive military actions in Somalia since a U.S. military intervention in the early 1990s during a famine culminated in the so-called Black Hawk Down battle, with heavy U.S. losses.
For its part, al-Shabab said its fighters had foiled the overnight attack on Awdhegle town in southern Somalia, and that the raiders retreated with casualties.
Residents of Awdhegle described bullet-pockmarked walls blackened from explosions after the attack.
‘‘Al-Shabab fighters cordoned off the area in the morning and made arrests of people suspected to be spies, a resident in the town told AP by phone. He refused to be identified, fearing reprisal by militants.
Sheikh Abdiaziz Abu Musab, a spokesman for al-Shabab, told a militant-run online radio that the foreign forces used two helicopters and that one militant was killed.
Mohamed Hassan, an elder in Awdhegle, told The Associated Press that the foreign forces parked their helicopters outside the town and walked at least 3 kilometers (1.9 miles), sneaking into the town to avoid detection by the Islamic fighters and launch a surprise raid.
He said there was gunfire between militants and al-Shabab foot soldiers that started near the police station.
Meanwhile, three police officers and one civilian were killed Wednesday in a suicide car bombing outside a cafe near the police academy in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, said police Gen. Ali Hersi Barre.
There was no claim of responsibility for the blast, but it appeared to be part of attacks waged by al-Shabab, which was ousted from Mogadishu by African Union peacekeepers in 2011.
"Kenya’s military says it has killed 19 fighters from the Somali extremist group al-Shabab who were attempting to ambush Somali national troops. A military spokesman, Colonel David Obonyo, said Wednesday that Kenyan troops on patrol Tuesday night, in the southern city of Afmadow, found a group of militants suspected to have been preparing to attack a Somali National Army camp. Al-Shabab, which is allied with Al Qaeda, is waging an insurgency against Somalia’s UN-backed government, carrying out attacks on military and civilian targets. Kenya is among six countries contributing troops under the banner of the African Union Mission in Somalia, which is bolstering Somalia’s weak government. Al-Shabab killed up to 200 Kenyan soldiers in a January attack, according to Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud."
Also see: The Drone Wars: Somalia
They are taking of from Rwanda these days.
Or they could lease them....
"Mass. hopes drone industry takes flight here; With states such as North Dakota scrambling to become the Silicon Valley of unmanned aircraft, the state wants to make sure it’s a major player in the industry" by Hiawatha Bray Globe Staff March 08, 2016
SmartC2 is just one beneficiary of a relentless campaign by the state of North Dakota to dominate the commercial market for unmanned aerial vehicles. It is a major aviation center in its own right — the University of North Dakota hosts one of America’s leading aviation schools and the Grand Forks Air Force Base is home to some of the military’s top reconnaissance drone programs.
Meanwhile, Massachusetts can lay claim to being a leader in robotics, where the technology overlaps that of drones. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and the University of Massachusetts Lowell have top-tier academic programs and research operations, and the robotics industry claims more than 100 companies in the state.
Yet so far, the state government hasn’t sought to recruit drone companies with the same intensity or resources as North Dakota. If Massachusetts was offering financial incentives, Stuart Rudolph said, his company and others like it would set up shop in the state....
North Dakota can keep 'em then!
"A jury convicted a Maryland inmate Thursday of conspiring with two other men to fly drugs and other contraband into a maximum-security prison aboard a drone, a case that exposed a weakness in an inmate dog-training program."
Also see: "It sounds like a pitch for a far-fetched movie: ‘‘Cast Away,’’ but with a dog instead of Tom Hanks. Only this sea tale is true."
That would be a first as far as the paper goes.
"Minnesota man pleads guilty to lesser charge in threats case" Associated Press March 08, 2016
MINNEAPOLIS — A Minnesota man accused of tweeting threats to kill a federal judge and FBI agents pleaded guilty Tuesday to a lesser count and was sentenced to three years of probation by a judge who advised him to think before he posts.
Khaalid Adam Abdulkadir, 19, admitted to a misdemeanor count of impeding a federal officer or employee. He had been scheduled to go on trial Tuesday on three felony charges that included threatening to murder a federal judge and threatening to murder a federal law enforcement officer — counts that carried maximum penalties of 10 years in prison.
‘‘I’m sorry for everything I did wrong,’’ Abdulkadir told U.S. District Judge Karen Schreier.
Prosecutors say Abdulkadir made the threats in December after one of his friends, Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame, was arrested for conspiring to provide support to the Islamic State group. Warsame pleaded guilty last month to conspiring to provide material support and resources to the militant organization
According to court documents, Abdulkadir posted one tweet that included the words ‘‘kill them FBI’’ and another saying, ‘‘I’m kill them FEDS for take my brothers.’’ He deleted the tweets about 20 minutes later after friends warned him he could get into trouble.
Prosecutors said the targets were U.S. District Judge Michael Davis, who has been overseeing Minnesota’s terrorism cases, and the FBI agents and task force officers who are investigating the travel of young men from Minnesota to Syria to join the Islamic State group.
Though Abdulkadir was not charged with conspiring to go to Syria, court documents allege he communicated with or tried to communicate with others who are believed to be with militant groups.
Defense attorney Chris Madel pointed to Abdulkadir’s age. He also said Abdulkadir, one of 10 children, was attending college with plans to become a nurse. He gave his paychecks to his mother to help provide for their family and helped baby-sit his younger siblings.
And then he turned terrorist, huh?
But Madel acknowledged that Abdulkadir had gotten into trouble before. He said his client smoke marijuana, abused the prescription drugs Xanax and Adderall, and hung out with the wrong crowd.
Another radical Muslim drug addict!
Prosecutor Charles Kovats told the judge that Abdulkadir’s threats undermined the rule of law, but that the government also recognized his young age.
Abdulkadir told Schreier he was sorry for the people he hung out with and that while he was in custody he learned who his true friends were. He also promised to stay out of trouble.
‘‘Next time think before you do it. ... I hope you’ve learned from this,’’ the judge said.
As part of his plea agreement, Abdulkadir’s probation includes two years of electronic monitoring during which he’ll have to stay at home except for work, school and other approved activities.
I feel very happy,’’ his mother, Deqa Warsame, said afterward.
The leniency makes it look like he's a government asset, folks.
And EVERYBODY'S HAPPY!
More than 22 young men have left Minnesota since 2007 to join al-Shabab in Somalia; about a dozen Minnesota residents have traveled to Syria to join militant groups there in recent years.
Ten Minnesota men have been charged with conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization. Four have pleaded guilty, one is at large and five others are scheduled for trial in May.
Abdulkadir’s case has parallels with another Minnesota case. Mahamed Abukar Said was charged with two felonies for tweeting ‘‘ima whack that us attorney general’’ after the arrests of six men in April. Said pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of impeding a law enforcement officer. He was sentenced to four years of probation, including one year at a halfway house.
While swinging through Africa:
South Sudan Peace Deal
Already fell apart:
"UN blames government for majority of crimes against humanity in South Sudan" by Nick Cumming-Bruce New York Times March 12, 2016
GENEVA — A little more than two years after the outbreak of civil war in South Sudan, the United Nations said Friday that all parties to the conflict had committed serious and systematic violence against civilians, but it singled out forces loyal to President Salva Kiir as the worst offenders.
“Crimes against humanity and war crimes have continued into 2015, and they have been predominantly perpetrated by the government,” David Marshall, the coordinator of a UN assessment team, said in an interview that was videotaped in South Sudan and released Friday along with the team’s report.
Why are they picking on South Sudan?
Kiir must be disobeying orders.
UN investigators said one South Sudanese mother told them government soldiers first killed her husband. Then, the woman said, soldiers tied her to a tree and forced her to watch as at least 10 of them raped her 15-year-old daughter.
These utterly fantastic tales are quite unbelievable considering the source.
The account was among many harrowing stories cited by the United Nations as evidence that government forces and affiliated militias had used sexual violence systematically to punish and terrorize civilians. Opposition forces also committed atrocities, but to a lesser degree, the organization said.
“This is one of the most horrendous human rights situations in the world, with massive use of rape as an instrument of terror and weapon of war, yet it has been more or less off the international radar,” Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, the UN high commissioner for human rights, said in a statement.
Makes you forget about the whoosh-bang drone strikes, 'eh?
Tens of thousands of people have been killed and more than 2 million forced to flee their homes since the start of the conflict between Kiir and his former vice president, Riek Machar, in December 2013, the United Nations said.
Too bad they weren't Syrian.
The two sides agreed in August to set up a transitional government, but they have yet to do so.
In its 102-page report, the assessment team estimated that 10,553 civilians had died in Unity State in the 12 months that ended in November. Most appeared to have been killed deliberately, the team said.