9:41 AM, Sep 12, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Thomas Joscelyn and Bill Roggio, writing about the Yemen and Somalia models for destroying ISIS:
In both Somalia and Yemen, US airstrikes have killed top terrorist leaders, including Shabaab's emir and AQAP's deputy leaders, as well as some of both organizations' top operatives. But AQAP and Shabaab have quickly replaced the slain leaders and continued to effectively pursue their respective insurgencies.
Although the US has conducted counterterrorism operations in Somalia and Yemen, both countries remain major terrorist hubs, host training camps, and are breeding grounds for recruits.
As a result, al Qaeda's branches in both countries continue to pose significant security challenges to the US. On Dec. 25, 2009, an AQAP-trained suicide bomber boarded a Detroit-bound plane and nearly blew it up. Luck saved the day. Prior to the attack, the US counterterrorism bureaucracy assumed that AQAP was a threat only to American interests inside Yemen.
Since that time, the US government has scrambled to stop additional AQAP plots, relying in part on intelligence from counterterrorism partners in Saudi Arabia and Yemen. But even with that full-court press, AQAP continues to threaten American interests. In August 2013, the US shuttered more than 20 diplomatic facilities after it was learned that AQAP was planning to carry out one or more attacks. AQAP continues to probe for America's weaknesses.
Somalia and Yemen are engrossed in perpetual conflicts. There are good reasons to believe that the situations in Iraq and Syria will continue to be more dire. AQAP, Shabaab, and the Islamic State are all primarily insurgency organizations that are fighting for territory. Counterterrorism strikes will continue to have only a limited effect.
In no theater is success in sight.
Whole thing here.
8:36 PM, Sep 10, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
In talking about defeating ISIS, President Obama will cite the examples of Yemen and Somalia as models of success.
"This strategy of taking out terrorists who threaten us, while supporting partners on the front lines, is one that we have successfully pursued in Yemen and Somalia for years,” Obama will say, according to an except released in advance of tonight's address to the nation.
11:02 AM, Oct 6, 2013 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
Twin raids in Libya and Somalia this weekend demonstrate that America’s fight against al Qaeda continues in jihadist hotspots around the globe. And the raid in Libya shows, once again, that al Qaeda’s “core” members are pushing the terrorist organization’s agenda far from Pakistan.
Homegrown terrorists. 3:37 PM, Aug 10, 2010 • By CHRIS HARNISCH and KATHERINE ZIMMERMAN
The Department of Justice last Thursday unsealed indictments charging 14 individuals – mostly American citizens – of allegedly supporting, or attempting to support, the al Qaeda-linked Somali terrorist group al Shabaab.
5:24 PM, Jul 15, 2010 • By BILL ROGGIO
Over the years, there has been plenty of handwringing over the issue of whether al Shabaab, the Islamist terror group in Somalia, is allied with al Qaeda. Despite the fact that al Shabaab announced its intent to merge with al Qaeda in September 2008, and al Qaeda's second in command, Ayman al Zawahiri, granted the request in Novemebr 2008, some Somalia watchers refused to acknowledge the two groups were linked.
Somalia, foreign aid, and terrorism.12:00 AM, Feb 23, 2010 • By CHRIS HARNISCH
The United Nations has recently ratcheted up its criticism of the United States’ decision to withhold humanitarian aid to parts of Somalia controlled by the Islamist terror group al Shabaab. The international body’s official in charge of aid distribution in Somalia accused the U.S. of preventing the distribution of tens of millions of dollars in aid to a desperate and starving population. Any decision regarding the limiting of humanitarian aid to a country in need can be terribly difficult, especially for a country such as Somalia, which has seen 85,000 people displaced in 2010 alone and is described by the World Bank as “one of the poorest countries in the world.” But the United States' decision to withhold aid to terrorist-controlled parts to the country is the right decision for the people of Somalia and, more importantly, the security of the United States.
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