|Al-Shabaab group in Somalia|
Groups linked to al Qaeda in Somalia are using the international terror network to recruit Somali students in Pakistan and train them to carry out terrorist attacks in Europe, security analysts fear.
Al Qaeda chief Dr. Ayman al Zawahiri announced the merger of Somali terrorist group al Shabaab with his organization on February 10 this year, to create al Qaeda in East Africa, or AQEA.
"They plan to move from their conventional base in the Afghanistan and Pakistan region to more vulnerable African countries," said Carl Adams, a counter-terrorism expert based in Dubai.
In early 2012, hundreds of fighters from the Middle East and Pakistan left Somalia, apparently to help defend al Qaeda territory in Yemen, where a new president is likely to use his popular mandate and American support to mount an offensive against the international terrorist network.
This is happening as Al Shabaab fighters in Somalia have dismissed the country’s elections saying the government to be elected shall not prevail over their operations. A senior official of the radical Islamist group, Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys, said on Wednesday that the elections will have no negative consequences on the group.
“I urge al Shabaab fighters to multiply their struggle against the government and the supporting forces from the regional countries, under the auspices of the African Union Mission in Somalia,” he said. Speaking to a local Radio Andalus, the broadcast mouthpiece of al Shabaab, Sheikh Aweys underlined that the convening of a (federal) parliament and election of the president was a show staged by Western powers.
According to Sheikh Aweys, those contesting for the post of president are serving the interests of the enemies of Allah. He went on to accuse the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy to Somalia Augustine Mahiga for “shamefully masterminding the process".
Meanwhile the Mogadishu-based Centre for Research and Dialogue (CRD) on Thursday concluded renovation of Somalia’s national theatre, officials said. The Theatres manager Abdi Duh Yussuf told reporters in Mogadishu that the rehabilitation process has now been concluded, with the support of the Somali government in conjunction with CRD.He said all offices and other vital areas of the theatre building have been fully renovated and its activities including performances will soon be back to normal. The facility was reopened March this year after 21 years of closure following the outbreak of civil war in the country in early 1991. But after one month, a deadly explosion ripped though it, killing seven people including two Somali sports officials and injuring dozen others