Kenya’s high stakes Shabaab offensive
Kenyan soldiers pursue Islamic militants near Liboi, Somalia, on October 18.
October 24th, 2011
07:49 AM ET

Kenya’s high stakes Shabaab offensive

By Paul Cruickshank, CNN Terrorism Analyst, and Zain Verjee

While the world's attention has been focused on events in north Africa, events thousands of miles away on the coastline of the Indian Ocean could have just as great an impact on the continent's security.

Kenyan troops have now advanced deep into Somalia, along rutted tracks and pot-holed roads leading north from the border toward the port of Kismayo, a stronghold of al Shabaab, the Islamist militant group affiliated to al Qaeda.

The Kenyans sense an opportunity to deliver a knock-out blow against Shabaab, which has already been driven from most of the capital, Mogadishu.

The operation was launched a week ago followed a string of kidnappings of Westerners in northern Kenya, which Kenyan authorities blame on al Shabaab.

Though held up by heavy rains, the Kenyan military claimed Saturday that Kenyan forces had advanced beyond Oddo, a town ten miles up from the border, and had met little resistance so far. Kismayo is a further 90 miles north; Kenyan military sources say they plan to occupy the town before Christmas.

The ultimate goal, they said, was to work with Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government (TFG) for no less than the complete elimination of Al Shabaab from all of Somalia.

The Threat to Kenya

But regional observers say the Kenyan mission carries high risks. Al Shabaab has threatened to launch retaliatory attacks in Kenya if their military operation continues.

"The Kenyan public must understand that the impetuous decision by their troops to cross the border into Somalia will not be without severe repercussions," the group stated last week.

Al Shabaab has an extensive presence in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, home to an estimated quarter million Somalis, and operates a network of safe houses in the Eastleigh district of the city known as "Little Mogadishu" because of its high concentration of Somalis.

According to Ken Menkhaus, an expert on the terror group, Al Shabaab "has the capacity to launch terrorist attacks in Nairobi but has opted not to, because Kenya has been so important to the group for recruitment, logistics, and fundraising."

Menkhaus, professor at Davidson College and author of "Somalia: State Collapse and the Threat of Terrorism told CNN: "This is a dangerous moment. What we’re seeing is a level of brinkmanship that we’ve not seen before."

"But launching attacks in Kenya would be very risky for al Shabaab because a crackdown by law enforcement on Somali interests in Kenya would be devastating to the Somali business community," he says.

Even so, a Kenyan assault on Kismayo would raise the stakes for al Shabaab. "Then you might see Al Shabaab lash out because that’s an existential threat to them – at that point I’d be very nervous about what might happen in Nairobi," Menkhaus told CNN.

Al Shabaab’s control of Kismayo is critical to the group’s revenues. According to the UN every year the group collects an estimated $35-50 million in custom tolls and taxes on businesses in Kismaayo – and two secondary ports higher up the coast – about half its entire estimated annual income stream in Somalia in recent years. Al Shabaab needs such funds more than ever because the acute famine in central and southern Somalia has reduced its ability to tax and extort money from the local population, according to Somalia analysts.

Al Shabaab attacks against Kenya could take two forms, according to Somalia analysts. The group could mount direct attacks using Somali operatives. "They could easily tear apart Nairobi," Michael Taarnby, a Danish al Shabaab expert at the University of Central Florida told CNN.

The second is a reprisal attack from home-grown Kenyan Islamist militants inspired and mentored by Al Shabaab. A report issued by the UN Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea in July 2011 found that while "in the past al Shabaab’s presence in Kenya was concentrated primarily within the ethnic Somali Community, since 2009 the group has rapidly expanded its influence and membership to non-Somali Kenyan nationals."

The UN Monitoring Group says that a Nairobi group called the Muslim Youth Centre, which was founded in 2008, openly supported al Shabaab and now had chapters in several Kenyan cities including Mombasa. "Members of the group openly engage in recruiting for Al-Shabaab in Kenya and facilitate travel to Somalia for individuals to train and fight for ‘jihad’ in Somalia," the report stated.

"A serving MYC member independently informed the Monitoring Group that members have been returning to Kenya from Somalia since late 2010, with a view to conducting possible operations in Kenya," the UN report said. The Monitoring Group said it was investigating whether the MYC had a role in a trio of suicide bombings claimed by al Shabaab that killed 79 in Kampala, Uganda in July 2010.

Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki acknowledged the threat last week – saying "Our security forces have begun operations within and outside of our borders against militants who have sought to destabilize our country."

Monday's edition of the Daily Nation in Kenya reported that detectives comprising bomb experts and anti-terror officers visited parts of Nairobi in a covert operation to flush out terror suspects.

Regional Reverberations

In September, the U.S. Africa Command warned that Al-Shabaab, Boko Haram in Nigeria and al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb were trying to synchronize their efforts to launch attacks on U.S and Western interests, but had yet to show a significant capability to export terror. There is also evidence, according to Western intelligence officials, of cooperation between Al-Shabaab and the al Qaeda affiliate in Yemen.

Menkhaus, the American al Shabaab expert, says that the gravest threat to the region does not come from Al Shabaab’s Somali fighters, but from non-Somali east Africans closely affiliated with al Shabaab who have been training in southern Somalia and have violent agendas in countries such as Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania. If they lost their safe-haven, "they may end up on the move, " Menkhaus warned.

The Kampala attacks "signaled a new and alarming trend, in which East African extremist groups inspired and mentored by Al-Shabaab, including the Muslim Youth Centre in Kenya, might represent the next generation of extremist threats in East Africa and the wider region," the UN report stated.

Candyce Kelshall – a military and national security analyst at the Centre for Security and Intelligence at Buckingham University in England says the Kenyan operation is "a declaration for jihadists around the world to turn their attention fully in the country’s direction. Every Kenyan now becomes a target and a focus of emnity."

"The risks to Kenya are significant," she says. "There will be nothing short or sharp about this involvement. The ire of the Shabaab, international jihadists and on the other end of the scale the wider Somali diaspora has been raised."

"Kenyan troops and Kenyan nationals are visible but these combatants will be unseen until they strike and as such impossible to eradicate as each death swells the ranks with new recruits to the cause," Kelshall told CNN.

Will Somalis Rally Round Shabaab?

It is not yet clear whether the Somali group rather than pirates or bandits were responsible for the recent kidnappings, but several Somalia analysts told CNN it is possible that factions within Al Shabaab commissioned the abductions to provoke Kenya in order to rally support against a foreign (and infidel) invader.

They say al Shabaab commanders may be looking to repeat the "Ethiopia effect." The group rose to prominence as a result of the 2006 invasion and occupation of Somalia by Ethiopia, a country which many Somalis have long held with great animosity.

Some analysts believe it is also possible that the Kenyan intervention will inspire more ethnic Somalis and other foreign jihadists to travel from the West to join forces with al Shabaab.

Ken Menkhaus is skeptical that the Kenyan invasion will boost support for al Shabaab. "Circumstances have changed. Somalis, whether they are in Somalia or overseas, are exhausted by al Shabaab. And an operation by Kenyan forces does not carry the same cachet as one by Ethiopia. I don’t think there will be the same backlash."

However, holding and pacifying the territory they take will be a challenge for the Kenyans according to Somalia analysts. To keep al Shabaab out, they say, Kenya will need to induce the co-operation of local tribes currently acquiescing to al Shabaab rule in southern Somalia.

It already has some local allies. Kenya has provided training and support to a number of Somali tribal militia groups including the Ras Kamboni a militia group from southern Somalia previously allied with Al Shabaab, according to Somalia analysts. The main faction of Ras Kamboni fell out with al Shabaab in the fall of 2009 over control of Kismayo, and turned to Kenya for help, after being driven out of the city, according to Somalia analysts. Ras Kamboni fighters reportedly helped the Kenyan military take control of Ras Kamboni last week, a town two miles across the Somalian border.

Despite such alliances, Kenya’s offensive, like any military operation could produce unintended consequences. Somalia analysts say that it could, for example, upset the delicate balance of power between tribes in southern Somalia, setting off a new cycle of clan warfare.

Kelshall believes that ultimately the Kenyan operation could backfire. "A declaration of better border security and a commitment to the enhancement of the ability of Kenya’s Defence Forces to protect their borders would have ultimately made Kenyans safer."

The Threat to the West

Somalia analysts believe if al Shabaab feels increasingly cornered in Somalia, it may lash out with attacks in the West out of revenge and as a way to boost its recruitment and prestige. According to Somalia analysts a significant loss of territory in southern Somalia may – in the short term – also increase the likelihood of the group launching overseas attacks because those factions most sympathetic to al Qaeda’s cause will not be so moderated by al Shabaab commanders currently unwilling to jeopardize their control of southern and central Somalia by provoking a foreign response and alienating powerful Somali interests.

"It's difficult to know how to rank Al-Shabaab as a threat," says Taarnby. "It's not clear how serious they are about attacking the West and what sort of networks they really have. There are too many unknowns and that's what really scares counter-terrorism officials."

soundoff (79 Responses)
  1. ndua

    This Al-shabaab goons have ravaged there country and country men to extinction now all that remains are malnourished malnutrition wasted humans with no homes or hope for anything and now they want to export that stupidity to my lovely Kenya?!!! Really i will stand for my country even if it means i die. We shall stand for our women and children, our lively hoods like men and keep our women in bed. F**k you skinny fools we feed you clothed you know you think you can hold your own?

    October 25, 2011 at 5:18 am | Reply
  2. Anon

    Wow, I have alot of respect for Kenya now, way to step it up to show the world how it's done!

    October 24, 2011 at 5:50 pm | Reply
  3. Alex

    Hi,

    I find it sad to see that most of the time here the prevalent comments are those based on ignorance, hatred and bigotry.
    I wonder if the people leaving such comments are better off than those which they condemn...
    These answers are not really bringing any value to this article.

    The reality is that, Somalia as a country is lawless, no government, police or army... what to speak about a viable economy. Of course on such a context all kind of ills and human garbage arises. I met Somalis and they were very humble and hard working people.

    Many fail to see that so called Islamists are no more than a gang of criminals. They have nothing to do with Islam as religion. Doesn't matter some people do not like Islam, Islam is here to stay. We all must once for all live in Peace and respecting the diversity of cultures and spirituality.

    I wish that those making negative comments about Islam,would look seriously "what Islam really is" not what Others (the press, haters, etc) are saying. Once you do your homework about Islamic values, it will make a lot of sense. Many fear Islam not necessarily because violence and such, but because this is a Simple Religion, Clean of Idolatry, Polytheism, Logical, making Total Sens compared with so many confusing religions. Those searching the Truth will find it in Islam.

    I know... is hard for you guys... but the Truth will prevail against the corruption of any kind.
    I say this:
    - If those of other spiritual paths can not sustain their Faith through a logical reasoning... please no longer believe things which make no sense. Come to Clarity, Simplicity, Logic... Know the God Almighty as HE has intended that we the humans should relate to Him, in a proper way, clean and devoid of any human corruption. Worshipping God by having a purified belief.

    May Allah (swt) have mercy on all of us.
    May Allah (swt) the Supreme open the hearts and minds to those searching the truth for Islam.

    Respectfully,

    October 24, 2011 at 5:47 pm | Reply
    • T. Lee

      But "Islam" is not a monolithic faith is it !!

      Most radical, violent, fundamentalist, Jihadist, Islamists approach Islam from Wahabbism – not the Islam followed by the majority and until you and other Muslims deal with THAT issue (internally in a manner of speaking) and rid your faith (or so marginalize them as to no longer present danger everwhere in the world) many will continue to hold an unfavorable view of Islam as a religion.

      October 24, 2011 at 5:55 pm | Reply
      • Alex

        Hi Lee,

        Is not the fault of the normal Muslim folk.
        There is no difference in that respect between a Muslim and others.
        We all , are submitted to a lot of unnecessary things.

        I would advise with all due respect for your point of view, to attend at least once Prayer service in a Mosque.
        Look at the people around you... They all are trying to humble themselves in front of God.
        I have not met as of now any extremist so far...

        There is though a problem, but not with Islam as such, but with the cultural heritage of the country where Islam is prevalent as religion. A lot of wrong mentalities are there, like honour killings and such... Such things are not at all taught in Islam. Again these are crazy people which are the same as any other folk which does a crime doesn't matter the corner of the world.

        As for your remark that Islam is not a monotheistic religion I beg to differ on this aspect.
        Please read carefully about Islam and you will understand that the purest of Monotheism is in Islam.
        Don't rush to judgment. Take your time. Read. The fundamental value in Islam is ILM = Knowledge – of any kind, but specifically regarding Monotheism.

        Respectfully,

        October 24, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
      • Abdul Ameer

        It is not just Wahabism, Mr. Lee. The Shiites in Iran are just as virulently at war with non-Moslems as the Wahabis are. And, the Wahabis are vast, all over the Moslem world. We are talking about, for example, the Muslim Brotherhood which is the largest Moslem organization in the world, and it is definitely jihadist. Their credo is: "Allah is our purpose, Muhammad is our leader, the Koran is our constitution, Jihad is our way, and dying for Allah is our highest hope." While Islam is not strictly monolithic, it's theology is pretty close to that when it comes to jihad against non-Moslems until Islam reigns supreme in the world. When we use the term "Islam" we refer to the doctrines of Islam, not necessarily to how Moslems behave. They behave in all sorts of ways. But their theology is pretty uniform because it comes from the Koran and the Hadith which do not change.

        October 24, 2011 at 7:13 pm |
    • joe

      As an atheist, I was actually pretty neutral on what religions people want to practice. Then I read the Koran, and was mortified at what I was reading. So you're right, more people should investigate the "truth" for themselves.

      October 24, 2011 at 6:04 pm | Reply
      • Alex

        Hi Joe,

        I suggest you are taking those difficult verses and clarify them with an Islamic scholar.
        Most likely you read those verses which are saying to instill terror and such...
        These verses are referring to the Quraysh tribe which were killing Muslims indiscriminately.

        You do not need a Holy Book to tell you defend yourself isn't it?
        Moreover God has permitted to the Muslims in clear terms outlined in the Holy Qur'an when a life can be taken:
        - When your country is invaded
        - Someone fights to destroy your religion, in this case Islam
        - Someone fights unjustly to take you out of your own house or property you may have.
        - Only if someone committed a a crime by killing other person; and this can be waived if the family of the victim asks for so called: Blood money. A payment which would save the life of the criminal but also adjust the life of the suffering family.
        - For adultery. If a woman is accused, are needed four witnesses. Most of the time such punishment fails to be implemented due to the difficulty to find such witnesses.

        This being said, please take your time and study thoroughly with an open mind the Holy Qur'an.
        Remember always counts the sincerity of your actions and intentions. Leave anything else to God Almighty; HE will guide you to Islam if that is of benefit for your life and current stage of spiritual development.

        Respectfully,

        October 24, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
      • Abdul Ameer

        Dear Alex,
        You are treading down the very dangerous path of apostasy when you imply that the verses of the Koran were valid only in the limited time and place where they were delivered. The fact is that the verses of the Koran almost never reference any time and place. That is why they (Allah's literal words!!!) are considered valid for all time. ALL of the verses of the Koran came about in particular times and places and circumstances. Once you start limiting the validity of a verse to a particular time and place, then you have to do it for all the verses of the Koran. This means that you are determining which of Allah's words are not longer valid! Traditionally, those verses have always been read literally as open-ended and valid for all of eternity. That includes the verses about casting terror into the hearts of the non-Moslems, it includes the verses about killing the non-Moslems wherever you find them, etc. The Koran is a huge declaration of war against non-Moslems, IN GENERAL, and not just a particular tribe on the Arabian peninsula in the 7th century. In Islamic theology, no human being has the authority to determine which of Allah's words are no longer valid!

        October 24, 2011 at 7:00 pm |
    • Abdul Ameer

      Dear Alex,
      The problem comes precisely when we do our homework and read the Islamic holy texts (Koran and Hadiths) AND the writings of the most respected Islamic religious authorities. THEY say that there can be no peace between Moslems and non-Moslems. For example, Yusuf Qaradawi, the most influential and respected Islamic religious authority/scholar in the world today said: "No peace can be made between us (Muslims) and the non-believers. This is what our holy book says. This is what Allah says." We have to assume he knows what he is talking about. The most widely used manual of Sharia law, Umdat al Salik, which was approved by the highest Islamic religious authorities of Jordan, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and America, says: "Jihad means to war on non-Muslims". What could be plainer than that? One could go on and on. It is no coincidence that all the Moslem terrorists always quote from the Koran and Muhammad to justify their murderous deeds.

      October 24, 2011 at 7:07 pm | Reply
      • Alex

        Dear Abdul,

        I did not intended to limit Allah's words to a specific time frame.
        They were explained to me by more knowledgeable people.
        Indeed some of these verses refer to the Quraysh and some to non believers.

        Still the rules of engagement were set by Allah Himself.
        In that respect I disagree that I must wage war on non believers as long they do not harm me with anything.
        I think you have a too literal interpretation of certain Qur'an verses or you may be an under cover agent trying to manipulate a discussion to which reasonable answers are given by me.
        In case you are not such person as I assumed please receive my apologies.

        I am having in my hands now, the Holy Qur'an printed by Dar-us-alam in Saudi Arabia.
        I think is very damaging for Islam that you make such affirmation that Jihad only is defined as: waging war.
        This word has as you very well know has these meanings:
        - With the heart (intentions and feelings)
        - With the hand (weapons, etc)
        - With the tongue (speeches, etc in the Cause of Allah.)
        And again in which conditions waging war is allowed in Islam? I already mentioned them here in my postings.
        I am writing you here the definition of Jihad as explained in the Qur'an:

        - "Permission to fight is given to those (i.e. believers against disbelievers) who are fighting them (and) because they (believers) have been wronged, and surely Allah is Able to give them (believers) victory. (V.22:39)"

        - "Those who have been expelled from their homes unjustly only because they said: Our Lord is Allah. (V22.39-40) "

        - "And fight in the way of Allah those who fight you... (V2:190)"

        - Fight all those who worship others along with Allah. Please see the following references:
        a. Surat Al-Baqarah,
        b. Surat Al-Imram
        c. Surat Taubah
        Regarding this kind of fighting is clearly determined the following:
        – The fight is done against them "TO SUBDUE THEM" NOT "TO KILL THEM".
        If they do not accept Islam then they must pay Jizyah ( a tax for allowing them to worship whatever they want)

        So, please give attention extremely carefully to the CONTEXT of these revelations.
        It is a fact that at this time there is no other Muslim country waging war for religious beliefs.
        Is the cessation of this activity making them Apostates?
        I think the answer is obvious; meaning 1.3 billion of Muslims are not apostates because are not waging war on others based on religious beliefs.

        The times are now good for a spiritual Jihad.
        To call to Islam by Dawa, conferences, etc.
        Is time to call to Islam by sharing the knowledge about Islam.

        Remember the Prophet (pbuh) was preaching through peaceful means to the unbelievers.
        Why, we should do in a different way?
        What will make us Muslims better than others other than the use of the Islamic heritage we have...
        Islam is a religion calling to reason regarding the spiritual matters.

        The time for wars is over... otherwise we will all perish at our own hands, because of such ideas.

        Respectfully,

        October 24, 2011 at 8:53 pm |
      • Abdul Ameer

        Dear Alex,
        The verses in the Koran say what they say - no more and no less. Allah, in the Koran, even says that the Koran is easy to understand, that the meaning of the verses is clear. You have no right to say that those verses refer to the Quraysh or to non-moslems unless the verse says that it refers to the Quraysh or the non-Moslems. Although the verses of he Koran were delivered to Muhammad in particular circumstances, they have general application. That is why the verses are worded generally. Since these are the words of Allah, no human being has a right to limit their validity to ancient times and places. They are valid as a guide to human behavior for eternity. As I said before, ALL the verses of the Koran were delivered in particular times and places, so if you make the argument that any particular verse is limited on one time and place (for example, the Quraysh in the 7th Century), then someone else will argue that any other verse in the Koran is also limited to that time and place. Pretty soon, there is nothing left of the Koran's eternal validity as Allah's words. When Allah in the Koran says that non-Moslems are the lowest of animals, surely Allah is not referring only to non-Moslems in the Arabian peninsula of the 7th century but to non-Moslems everywhere and at all times.
        I am glad that you do not accept the standard Islamic doctrine of Jihad. You sound like a nice guy.
        As for jihad meaning to make war on non-Moslems, I did not say that! That comes from the most widely used manual of Sharia law in the Muslim world, Umdat al Salik, which was approved by the highest Islamic religious authorities in Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Egypt and America. THEY SAID THAT! The Islamic religious authorities define what jihad means; I am not qualified to define it.
        War, as you know, is waged not only with violence. War is waged also with propaganda (jihad of the tongue), finances, economics, and a host of other ways which are designed to subdue the enemy. All of that is war. All of that is jihad. Jihad is any activity which advances the cause of Islam so that Islam will eventually reign supreme in the world.
        According to Seyyid Qutb, there are four stages of jihad, all reflected in the Koran. In the early stages when Muslims are in a small minority, like Muhammad was in Mecca, Muslims were forbidden to use violence, even in self-defence. During that stage, jihad was focused on strengthening the Muslim community. In the next stage, which began after Muhammad and his small band of followers moved to Medina, Allah in the Koran permitted Muslims to use violence in self-defense. As Muhammad became stronger, verses from the Koran came down requiring Muslims to use violence in self defense, as in the verses you quoted. Finally, when Muhammad acquired absolute power, verses came down which required Moslems to make holy war, not in self defence, but to spread the religion to the rest of the world. This, the offensive jihad, is considered by Islamic religious authorities to be the highest, noblest stage of jihad.
        The verse you quote about the jizya is a declaration of war against Jews and Christians to subjugate them and have them pay the tax. Elsewhere in the Koran, Allah orders Muslims to make war on non-Muslims until the non-Moslems either convert to Islam or die.
        You talk about context for the revelations. Again, the "revelations" are given without context because they are meant for all times and places. There is no context which makes those violent verses peaceful. It cannot be done.
        Yes, of course, Moslems are waging war in order to spread Islam. They are doing it in Sudan, they are doing it in Somalia, they are doing it in Nigeria, they are doing it in Afghanitan and western Pakistan. The entire Islamic war on the Jews is part of the war against non-Moslems because of belief.
        Dawa is practiced mainly where Moslems are in a small minority and do not have the power to wage hot war.

        October 25, 2011 at 2:04 am |
  4. T. Lee

    Locate and kill – ALL – Muslim terrorists everywhere in the world.

    That way peaceful Muslims can go about worshipping Allah, stoning adulteresses, marrying child brides, having four wives, in peace.

    (of course there will be a lot of virgins in paradise who remain virgin – but they probably would prefer that to having to submit to smelly, still-smoking-from-the-suicide-bomb murderers anyway).

    October 24, 2011 at 5:45 pm | Reply
  5. buddget

    Or , is that a G3

    October 24, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Reply
    • Don

      It's a FN FAL which uses 7.62x51mm NATO ammo (same as the M14)...Sturdy as hell. Get shot with that and you're out.

      October 24, 2011 at 5:08 pm | Reply
  6. buddget

    I want a FNLAR like that guy on the ground has.

    October 24, 2011 at 4:55 pm | Reply
    • buddget

      Or is that a G3

      October 24, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Reply
    • Thanatos

      Definitely a G3 – observe the receiver and the bolts in the butt stock.

      October 24, 2011 at 6:09 pm | Reply
  7. buddget

    GO Kenya GO push them all in to the ocean

    October 24, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Reply
  8. SconnieGuz

    It's obvious islamic people around the world need to GET A LIFE. Is murder, oppression and extreme brainwashing really how you want to live your one and only life? FOOLS....ALL OF YOU.

    October 24, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Reply
    • Critic

      Tell them like it is. You are 110% right.

      October 24, 2011 at 4:54 pm | Reply
  9. Corey

    Countries can no longer isolate themselves from problems going on in the world.

    October 24, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Reply
    • KristieGile

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      October 24, 2011 at 4:50 pm | Reply
  10. crash

    EXCELLENT for Kenya!!! Way to go and get some respect this is over and above and great to see

    October 24, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Reply
  11. riazzo

    Oh Brother – I can see where this is going – No Wonder our troops are coming home from IRAQ–not that we don't want them to! Just want them all home to guard our Southern Border.

    October 24, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Reply
  12. CRH

    So I guess now US military aid to Kenya goes up 500%.

    October 24, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Reply
  13. Uul Lmen

    Islamic means in accordance with Islam. Just because some one purports to be Muslim does not mean their actions are Islamic or in accordance with Islam. Islamic is a religious ruling, and here it is misapplied.

    October 24, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Reply
    • Noah

      Uh... excuse me, but blowing up other humans with suicide bombs, raping women, and squatting on toilet seat rims to tinkle are all religious rulings of Islam... I think you need to bow face up @ss down a few more times and get right with my huge ALLAH.. I know you want it.

      October 24, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Reply
    • Critic

      No sir, islamic means to kill, destroy, invade, rape, steal, uneducated people, terror......and murder. Now you know the real meaning of islam. Ask an educated muslim woman. See how she really feels about islam. Ask a 9 year old girl.

      October 24, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Reply
  14. Matthew

    Ethopia and Kenya should both invade Somalia and divide it between the two of them. Somalis have lost their right to have their own country.

    October 24, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Reply
  15. jasmine

    just send this 2 myself !!!!!! i need this thingy

    October 24, 2011 at 4:10 pm | Reply
    • Critic

      And what exactly that thingy is? May we be of any help? Just ask and you should receive.

      October 24, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Reply
  16. Kerry

    Islam killing again. No surprises. Here's an idea, why don't they just kill each other off and be done with it?

    October 24, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Reply
  17. jasmine

    send this 2 my self

    October 24, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Reply
  18. Craig

    Could an African nation be taking on military actions for all the right reasons – say it aint so. I fail to see and would love someone to enlighten me as to one possible greedy reason for this offensive. In lieu of that evidence, Good for Kenya.

    October 24, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Reply
  19. EatYouAlive

    Maybe they just need a hug...

    October 24, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Reply
  20. mo

    the key problem is that somalia is a dysfunctional country. somalia has no government, it is only a country by geographical definition, not by government not by economy.
    this is the reason you have the pirates and these al shabab morons.
    what the un needs to do is stand up to its mandate and work with the african union and organize somalia into a country (or if need be into several countries). once this is done, install UN peacekeeping forces and eradicate all militants.
    this will restore somalians sense of pride (they now have a country), it will allow many of the somali refugees to return to their COUNTRY, and will eliminate a host of the current problems.
    as long as no country exists, these problems will persist, and one incursion will follow another to no avail.

    October 24, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Reply
    • Noah

      No thanks, the world is a much better place without GLOBAL POLICE to dictate what countries can and can't do within their own borders. Take your NWO bulls*it and eat it... because you are what you eat and you sound like the same democratic socialist trash that have ruined the United States.

      October 24, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Reply
    • Dude

      Noah, the rampant piracy on the high seas and repeated kidnappings and murders of people in Kenyan are not actions "within their own borders". When you begin to attack other countries, they will often times defend themselves.

      When the US rescued hostages from Somali pirates, they called for revenge against the US. Well, what did they expect? Americans do not like being kidnapped and murdered. What a surprise.

      October 24, 2011 at 5:19 pm | Reply
  21. jorge washinsen

    I hear them little flat feet tramping in must be the second shift.ADIOS

    October 24, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Reply
  22. jorge washinsen

    We should ,next time we try to free a country that does not want to be free, have an accounting where the billions are going we are giving the thieves to help us.

    October 24, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Reply
  23. jorge washinsen

    The Russians never lost in Afghanistan because they did not have the power to defeat the dope farmers.They, like us ,elected to not use a weapon that could have solved the problem from the git go and not lost a soldier.It really is aggravating when some one tells me he had a thing to get the job done but he left it at home.Start up with the best you have and then tone down if you think you have the message across.Ask Ole Harry Truman how it was done in WW2 and ask him why did he screw up in Korea?

    October 24, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Reply
    • TXIvy

      What???

      October 24, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Reply
  24. Abdul Ameer

    More Moslems committing mass murder in the name of Islam. So, what else is new?

    October 24, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Reply
    • jorge washinsen

      They seem to be happy killing each other.

      October 24, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Reply
  25. stu

    Kenya is not a western nation. They can make life inside of somali enclaves in Kenya very uncomfortable if there is militant activity in those areas.

    October 24, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Reply
    • Steve_in_MA

      Regardless, we will perservere and will ultimately prevail. We didn't stop attacking the Germans at Normandy just because there was hundreds of yards of open beach to cross, with snipers and machine guns bearing down, and massive cliffs to scale. Half our boys got turned into hamburger there. And we still crossed that beach and scaled those cliffs. And yes, we killed those Nazis. Enough with the weak, scared excuses. We are the home of the free and the brave. Al Shabaab is as good as dead now.

      October 24, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Reply
  26. Steve_in_MA

    This reminds me of the old Chinese proverb, which I paraphrase: One must kill the tiger cub in its den, lest it should grow up to eat you. We need to wipe out Al-Shabaab with extreme prejudice and without fear of consequences. We need to do whatever it takes to make this world an Al-Shabaab free zone. Yes, there will be costs, in both money and lives. But freedom ain't free. These religious terrorists and repressors of freedom will not stop until we come there and stick knives in them. So be it. I pray it shall be done. Rock on, Kenya, and rock on, CIA.

    October 24, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Reply
    • Mike

      That's the spirit! Steve for president!

      October 24, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Reply
  27. Bill

    Does this article, these experts, suggest they do nothing?

    October 24, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Reply
  28. fergie

    I'ma get, get, get, get, you drunk,
    Get you love drunk off my hump.
    My hump, my hump, my hump, my hump, my hump,
    My hump, my hump, my hump, my lovely little lumps (Check it out)

    October 24, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Reply
  29. Wylie-Mike

    How many dare to think that Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, etc ... will now join the Somali militants to push Kenya out.
    This isn't a war of nationalism. It is now a Holy War. This U.S. Administration needs to get its head out of its ... and support the side that promotes human and civil rights.

    October 24, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Reply
    • jorge washinsen

      I have and still support our military.some of the shennanigans that Obama has pulled lately is so apparent that the news agencies can not see an inch in front of their nose. We still have not pulled troops from South Korea,Japan etc. It was an election ploy when he said our troops are coming home from Iraq because Iraq won't recognize us as responsible forour troops. It was planned that way so neither would have an excuse to go on.Problem is if we do not have wars after we leave think about how many soldiers will have to go into the job market which consist of few jobs now.We are going to have to change the stupid ways by voting t change this country.We seem to be trolling for wars.Strange isn't it?

      October 24, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Reply
      • MarineDad05

        US troops have been in Japan, Iceland, Germany since WW11.

        But, here comes Obama, and you want to fault him from not bringing them home? What happened to all those presidents since WW11... you giving them a wide pass?

        You may not like Obama, at least be honest!

        October 24, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
    • alf564

      The USA must get its head out and see the REAL WORLD....there can be NO DEMOCRACY under Islam .... this religion rules, not the people. We are at war and we are HELPING the enemy defeat US !!!! The Dumbocrats and J McCain seem to be drinking from the same bottle as far as the far east is concerned. The dumbing juice !!!!

      October 24, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Reply
  30. jorge washinsen

    We need to keep our probosus at home and out of world business.

    October 24, 2011 at 3:23 pm | Reply
    • Wylie-Mike

      Sure. Let's ignore it until it is so strong that we will face so many casualties at home that we will be consumed with hindsight.

      October 24, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Reply
  31. Mike

    Get Some ! HOOAH !!!

    October 24, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Reply
  32. carnivalbarker

    drive them into the sea...Al-Shabaab can rot in hell

    October 24, 2011 at 3:11 pm | Reply
  33. Ben

    A lot of American elitism and arrogance going on around here. You're apparently ignorant to the comfort of your own lives.

    There is a battalion of US Marines sitting off the coast of Africa right now. Another somewhere in the Indian Ocean. Now is the time President Obama. Send in the Marines and let them do what they have been trained to do. Then we turn over rebuilding efforts to the African Union and call it a day.

    October 24, 2011 at 3:02 pm | Reply
    • jrm03063

      In respect, no. What we do with those marines is guarantee Kenya's external security while they commit their own armed forces in the north. Putting our guys in there is a great way to do Vietnam 2 – we never stood up an alternative to American boots so, when we left, they lost.

      October 24, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Reply
    • Schmedley

      Dude, this is why we have armed drones with Hellfires and JDAMs. You let the Kenyans and Somalis put the boots on the ground and we provide the air support.

      October 24, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Reply
    • jorge washinsen

      African union and Muslim friends? Is there any difference?Be sure to keep plenty of hospital ships off shore. Most of us have friends there.

      October 24, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Reply
  34. jrm03063

    This is another example of letting the locals, and near locals, take care of a problem that they are in a position to deal with AND have the most interest in solving. Supporting Kenya is EXACTLY the sort of subtle but robust military/diplomacy that has been working very well elsewhere – the US needs to support this effort and make sure that Kenya knows we're with them – even if the boots on the ground are theirs.

    October 24, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Reply
  35. mwsunshine

    Our President sent 150 American troops into this mess without permission from Congress. How does he keep getting away with this? Don't give me the old "observers" garbage they are fully armed and with orders not to fire unless fired upon. This President is bordering on insanity.

    October 24, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Reply
    • looney

      They have their mission. The president does have full authority as long as it governs under the war power act. He needs to address congress if the mission overlaps 90 days.

      October 24, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Reply
  36. petemg

    Okay I realize it is bad in Kenya, but there are problems in the world. We cannot help them. When you hear that it is Kenya that is going into another neighboring country, it gives me the impression that they expect their "brother" Obama to enlist our troops to protect them. It just seems convenient for this to occur as we reach the time line in pulling out of Iraq. The other day it was stated that we are in danger from Africa. If it has to due to our people being there, then bring them home. If we are in that much danger we need to get our troops if even to protect our Mexican border. Obama without permission of Congress sent some of our troops there. Obama cannot be allowed to do as he wants without permission. There are rules that we need to abide by that he needs to abide by also. Enough even!

    October 24, 2011 at 2:53 pm | Reply
    • Don

      I think you have some misinformation...Obama sent US troops to aprehend a Ugandan warlord not a Kenyan one...and yes Kenya and Uganda are also 2 different countries..secondarily the US has a recent history of bypassing Kenya when it comes to aid (sometimes justifiably because of some corrupt people in the Kenyan government) so don't try and push that "Obama is helping out his people" angle...thirdly the US has a vested interest in having a secure and stable Kenya...Kenya absorbs many refugees from war torn conflicts in the region and is a relatively stable economic power in the region...if Kenya were to descend into conflict the way of Somalia more breeding grounds for terrorists crop up and who do you think gets affected by that in the long term..yes the US...

      October 24, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Reply
  37. Bill

    I don't know what Somalia will do. Our US Navy as well as the Navy from other countries should assist the Kenyans since the Samalia Terrorists and Pirates have attacked and hijacked many merchant ships in the world. It is the mission of our Navy to keep the sea lanes open and safe. This is also the mission of other countries Navy as well. So when do they plan on unilaterally solving the problem once and for all. This should be to the best interests of all countries US, China, Russia, Japan, England, France, Itally, and all civilized countries.

    October 24, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Reply
    • jorge washinsen

      We can see a chigger on another chigger's rump from outer space and we can't find a pirate on the open sea.If he has not filed a sailing plan sink him.

      October 24, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Reply
  38. ron

    What are they going to do? Appease them? Appeasment never works. They need to be removed as a threat. The Kenyans should be applauded. Maybe if they can knock out al Shabaab, Somalian piracy on the high seas can be stopped. The nations of the world have had little effect on that, with all their navies. Remove the threat at its source!

    October 24, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Reply
    • LOL

      Agreed. Not to mention it's a nation full of black people. No one will miss them.

      October 24, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Reply
      • Mike

        Racist asshole. In case your mother never told you, we ditched racism and hatred of people different from us aq long time ago. Get with the program. The rest of us already did.

        October 24, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
  39. Pistoya

    Clearly, we need to get in their and kill all the insurgents and purify the country. We need to install the right kind of dictator to take control of the area and ensure our security.

    October 24, 2011 at 9:15 am | Reply
    • assali

      Yes yes, agree. When done, we can move on to the next country and waste more tax payer money

      October 24, 2011 at 2:07 pm | Reply
      • Tom Hank

        Yes, that's what we do best.

        October 24, 2011 at 2:26 pm |

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