It seems that America has now decided its next target for the anti-terrorist operation: Somalia. Johnson Stevenson, an expert of the London institute for strategic research gave his estimation pertaining to the situation in Somalia and this gives us a better notion of who America's next victim will be.
There is no central government, no police, no border guards in this country, which has been gripped with anarchy for ten years already. Somalia has the longest coastline in Africa with many secluded gulfs. If you travel to Somalia by boat, then you have to beware of pirates, since there is totally no control there. The temporary government of President Abdiqasim Salad Hasan has announced its war against terrorism, but as a matter of fact, this government is not controlling the situation even in the capital of the country, Mogadishu, not to mention the remote areas. Furthermore, it is known that Osama bin Laden has had contacts with Somalia’s Muslim extremist group, al-Itihaad. According to information from Western special services, Bin Laden’s al-Qaeda organization has established a network of training camps for terrorists in Somalia. It is supposed that the bombs that were used in the attacks on the American embassies in 1998 were made in those camps (in Nairobi, Kenya, and in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania).
Bin Laden’s followers have also developed a network of the half-official banks in Somalia. There is information to indicate that around $500 million goes through those “banks” annually. The US special services call Somalia a major center for funding terrorist organizations. That is why experts think it is Somalia that is going to be the next target of the anti-terrorist operation.
The United States is planning to destroy al-Qaeda’s terrorist bases in Somalia first and foremost, the British mass media informed. It was reported that Washington did not intend to carry out a large-scale military operation against the African country and not as large as it is in Afghanistan. Kenya is going to be involved by rendering assistance to the States, and the USA has already received an agreement for that.
The Guardian newspaper wrote that five officers of American intelligence services went onto Somalia’s territory underhandedly with the goal of obtaining information about the groups suspected of terrorism. The Americans have already some information about one of them, al-Itihaad, and like they said, this group definitely has had contacts with al-Qaeda.
We have to draw your attention to the source from which the information was received. These are the rebels who have been waging war for ten years with each other as well as with the temporary government of the country. They simply do not care about the legitimacy of that government. The United States received its information from them. The Canadian newspaper Globe and Mail even managed to interview one of Somalia’s leaders who was in the opposition to the interim government of the country, Hussein Aidid. This person claimed that the gunmen from al-Qaeda, who were not “persons of limited means,” purchased the protection and sympathies of the local leaders and of the poor population like they did it in Afghanistan.
Now, the public opinion in the West has already been prepared for the idea of Somalia as the next target.
Dmitry Litvinovich PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov