Australian terror raid: Are terrorists created by Somali nationalism?

NO!  Their marching orders are from Allah!

That is not exactly what this Reuters update on the Somalis (and Lebanese) arrested in Australia yesterday is all about, but that is the part I want to emphasize here.

The Reuters story begins:

LONDON (Reuters) – Australia’s arrest of four suspected attack plotters said to have links to a Somali group may suggest radicalized veterans of war in the Horn of Africa are willing to return to the diaspora to strike Western targets.

The four, all Australian citizens with Somali and Lebanese backgrounds, were arrested in dawn raids on 19 properties across Melbourne, after a seven-month investigation involving several forces and Australia’s national security agency ASIO.

The group in question is al Shabaab, which is conducting an international recruitment campaign backed by al Qaeda’s propaganda network for fighters to join its push to take power in Mogadishu and impose strict Islamic rule.

Although al Shabaab plays up its link to the transnational network of Osama bin laden, attacking Western targets overseas is not its primary goal, which is overwhelmingly domestic.

But one consequence of its use of ethnic Somalis from the millions-strong diaspora community may be that veterans head home with the funds or skills to attack Western targets of their own volition, Western counter-terrorism officials say.

“The chances are extremely remote that this was Shabaab saying ‘Go off and strike Australia’,” said Will Hartley, Editor of Jane’s Terrorism and Insurgency Center, a security consultancy and information provider.

When I went to the Senate hearings last March I was struck by the Senators wanting to know from each witness, did they think the Somalis were getting marching orders from Al-Qaeda?  When the witnesses, terrorism experts, said that they didn’t think they were, there was a visible sigh of relief  among the Senators.  Additionally the Senators wanted to know if the Somalis who had returned to Somalia for training were motivated by purely nationalistic zeal as if somehow confirmation of that would make us all safer.

I’m sitting there wanting to shout to the packed hearing room, ‘what the heck does that matter!’  They are getting their marching orders from Islam itself!  Don’t you get it!  No one has to tell them what to do. We, infidels, are targets wherever we live.

Likewise now, it seems from this report at Reuters that Australians are trying to figure out if this is purely a nationalistic response to the war in their ‘homeland’ or does this alleged terror plot have greater implications for the West.  We Westerners are for the most part nationalistic so we can relate to that inspiration to fight and we grab that excuse.

Hartley goes on:


“Far more likely is that Australia was targeted by Australians who had been in Somalia, were radicalized, and were intent on carrying out or expanding the jihad themselves … not under Shabaab orders,” he said.

Almost eight years till the anniversary of 9/11 and we are still dancing around the misguided notion that somehow we are responsible for making them do it — acts of Jihad terror—instead of acknowleging that their “faith” requires it of them!

Zakaria Maruf, a now deceased Somali-American who joined the Jihad in Somalia, said it better than I can, see my post “Do it for Allah…” here.


In the interview, Maruf (one of those who left to fight) implies that his participation in the fighting was motivated by religion, not patriotism. Maruf said he and his friends heard the call of Allah, and they accepted it.


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