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Mauro: The Second Battle for Mogadishu

Posted on April 20 2010 1:31 pm
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By Ryan Mauro

he U.S., European Union and their African allies are training and equipping the security forces of Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government to try to take back the parts of Mogadishu now under the control of an Al-Qaeda affiliate. Large portions of the city, known to most Americans as the site of the 1993 ambush that prompted the withdrawal of U.S. forces from the country, is controlled by the al-Shabaab terrorist group. Should Al-Qaeda and its allies succeed in seizing Somalia, they will be able to resurrect the network they lost in Afghanistan and activate their Somali networks in the West to deadly effect.

Recent incidents show the terrifying reach of al-Shabaab. An individual in Virginia named Anthony Joseph Tracy that admits having contact with the terrorist group is known to have smuggled 270 Somalis into the U.S., all of whom are believed to remain in the country and have proven extremely difficult to identify. It is improbable that al-Shabaab would use its resources to sneak random Somalis into the country. The odds are that these are their recruits and they are being used to establish sleeper cells in our midst. Considering that less than 20 terrorists were needed to execute 9/11, the number of nearly 300 could have catastrophic consequences.

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