News

United States Designates Somalia's al-Shabab as a Terrorist Group

The United States government has classified al-Shabaab, an Islamic militant group based in Somalia, as a terrorist organization. This comes after the group reportedly committed various acts of terrorism, including beheading three government soldiers during an ambush on a checkpoint outside the capital, Mogadishu and praising Osama Bin Laden in the process. The militant group recently claimed responsibility for a series of bombings and attacks on Somali government and Ethiopian soldiers.

James Swan is Deputy Assistant secretary of State for African Affairs. From Washington, he tells reporter Peter Clottey the terrorist group’s presence in Somalia is detrimental to the ordinary Somali.

“This group known as al-Shabab has been designated a foreign terrorist organization after a very careful review of information concerning this group. There are documented indications of their close links to al Qaeda, including a number of senior officials in this group who have trained with al Qaeda. They’ve issued statements praising Osama Bin Laden, inviting foreign fighters to come to Somalia. And so for a host of reasons after a very careful review, this group has been designated a foreign organization by the United States,” Swan pointed out.

He said the militant group’s presence in Somalia poses a significant danger to Somalis.

“I think that is very much correct. We see this organization as a threat to the Somali people. The organization has conducted a number of attacks whose victims have been principally Somalis. Moreover, the group is an impediment, and it’s violent acts have proven an impediment to the reconciliation process in Somalia that in our view is essential to the restoration of peace, stability and prosperity of the country,” he said.

Swan said the US government has plans underway to stop the terrorist group’s negative influence.

“We believe this designation as a foreign terrorist organization will allow additional tools to be applied to constrain and curtail the activities of what is known as the al-Shabab. Under the provisions of the foreign terrorist organization designation, there would be additional restrictions on financial transfers to al-Shabab. There will be further restrictions on access to property and other resources that they may have, and there will be provisions on travel and immigration for example to the United States. So there are a host of provisions under the foreign terrorist designation that would further limit the activities of al-Shabab. And then more generally, we believe that the designation formally of this organization as a foreign terrorist organization will bring additional publics attention to al- Shabab and help underscore and signal the importance of curtailing its activities,” Swan noted.

Somalia has not had a stable central government since the overthrow of President Siad Bare in bloody coup de’tat in 1991.

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs