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Generational Dynamics Web Log for 14-Jul-2010
14-Jul-10 News -- Somalia's Al-Shabab blamed for Uganda bombings

Web Log - July, 2010

14-Jul-10 News -- Somalia's Al-Shabab blamed for Uganda bombings

Iran cracks down on un-Islamic haircuts

Somalia's Al-Shabab terrorists surge to international attention after Uganda bombings

In 2006, I briefly reported about a war in Somalia between local warlords and Islamist foreign fighters trained by al-Qaeda. Ethiopia intervened for a while, but Ethiopia got war weary and withdrew, and the Islamists took over Mogadishu and the southern part of Somalia. In the interim, there was continuing low-level violence and a brisk trade in piracy. An African Union peacekeeping force attempted to end the violence, but with little effect. But the continuing violence did not have major international significance.


Horn of Africa
Horn of Africa

All of that changed on Sunday, when three bombs exploded in the suburbs of Kampala in Uganda, at the time when Spain was defeating the Netherlands in the final game of the World Cup, far away in Johannesburg, South Africa

The first bomb went off during half-time of the match in the Ethiopan Village Restaurant south of Kampala, according to Uganda's New Vision news service. The next two bombs went off shortly thereafter, in the Kyadondo Rugby Club, north of Kampala. Over 70 people were killed, including an American tourist.

What makes this more than just another terrorist attack is that it was perpetrated by Al-Shabab, the terrorist group from Ethiopia, who claimed responsibility for their first major terrorist attack on foreign soil.

According to AP, the explosions came just two days after an al-Shabab commander called for militants to attack sites in Uganda and Burundi ó two nations that contribute troops to the African Union peacekeeping force in Somalia. Another al-Shabab commander is quoted as saying, "Uganda is one of our enemies. Whatever makes them cry, makes us happy. May Allah's anger be upon those who are against us."

Al-Shabab's other named revenge target, the country of Burundi, is calling for vigilance after the Kampala bombings, according to the African Press Agency.

A senior al-Shabab official is quoted as saying, "We call on young Muslims and holy war fighters, wherever they are, to attack the embassies of Burundi and Uganda around the world."

The wider significance of al-Shabab is that we now have one more international Sunni Islamist terrorist group. In additional to the original al-Qaeda, we already have the Taliban, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, Al-Qaeda in Iraq, Al-Qaeda on the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU).

These groups are all independent, but provide education and support to one another. The object is the same as always, taking inspiration from the 1979 Great Islamic Revolution in Iran: to trigger a Sunni Islamic revolution in some country, and then use that country as a base of operations for a wider war.

Iran cracks down on un-Islamic haircuts


Permissible hair styles <font size=-2>(Source: NY Times)</font>
Permissible hair styles (Source: NY Times)

The above hair styles are being promoted by Iranís Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance as Islamically permissible models, part of an effort "to halt the spread of unconventional styles and promote Islamic culture," according to the NY Times

Additional links

Thailand's government is planning to install 10,000 cameras throughout Bangkok in order to detect and follow red-shirted protestors -- i.e., people in the the indigenous dark-skinned laborers class. This situation seems to get worse by the day. Washington Times

Moody's Investor Service has lowered Portugal's credit rating two levels. Deutsche-Welle

In Spain, many regional governments are going to have to stop paying bills and salaries next month. Telegraph

The Gulf oil spill is an ecological disaster for the U.S., and a financial disaster for Great Britain -- the loss of thousands of jobs that BP provides, $10 billion a year in taxes and fees paid to the government, and a significant chunk of British pensions. Spiegel

Chinese factories now have to compete with one another to woo laborers, pushing salaries up. NY Times

Courts are getting swamped by debt-collection cases filed by computer software. One company, with 14 lawyers, files 80,000 lawsuits a year. Many of the claims have incomplete or erroneous information, resulting in numerous complaints to the Federal Trade Commission. NY Times

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 14-Jul-10 News -- Somalia's Al-Shabab blamed for Uganda bombings thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (14-Jul-2010) Permanent Link
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