News / Africa

Ethiopia Breaks Up Islamist Militant Cell

Reuters
— Ethiopian police have arrested 15 suspected militants allegedly trained by Islamist rebels in neighbouring Somalia and who were plotting attacks in Ethiopia, the country's intelligence agency said on Wednesday.

The arrests were the latest in a crackdown on what senior officials say is a growing threat from militant Islam in Ethiopia, a Horn of Africa nation predominantly comprised of Orthodox Christians and a large minority of Muslims.

The would-be militants were caught following a 20-day sting operation while they plotted to set up cells in the eastern town of Harar and in Kemise in the northeast, the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) said.

"Members of the group were recruited, trained and armed by Somalia's al Shabaab and their aim was to wage Jihad [holy war] and stage attacks inside the country,'' an NISS statement said, aired by the state-run Ethiopian Television.

Addis Ababa has sent troops to Somalia to help other African countries battling to crush al Shabaab's six-year insurgency.

The suspects, whose nationalities were not disclosed, were said to have crossed into Ethiopia from Somalia and Kenya.

Wednesday's TV report showed police displaying large amounts of arms including rifles and grenades, as well as black flags with Arabic inscriptions. The report said CDs and video tapes of "jihadist messages'' were also seized during the operation.

On Tuesday, an Ethiopian court convicted 10 other militants of preparing strikes on political and economic targets in Ethiopia with the help of Somalia's al Qaeda-allied al Shabaab.

Muslims in Ethiopia staged several mass protests last year against perceived interference in Islamic affairs. Several leaders of a committee that led the protests now face trial.

Ethiopia fought Islamist rebels in Somalia in 2006-2009 and sent troops back in 2011 to fight al Shabaab, opening a third front alongside Kenyan troops and an African Union mission.

The onslaught on rebels in Somalia has gained ground in the past two years. Al Shabaab withdrew from the southern port of Kismayu in September, its last major urban stronghold, heralding its demise as a quasi-conventional military force.

You May Like

Computer Crash Halts US Visa, Passport Operation

Problems with database have resulted in extensive backlog of applications, affected State Department's consular offices all over the world More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

World Bank: Boko Haram Stalls African Aid Projects

Islamist group’s terrorism sets back agriculture, health efforts in Cameroon, Chad and Nigeria More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Behailu
January 12, 2013 5:23 AM
If you look at the charges over the last 20 years agains opposition leaders, activists, and union leaders you will understand the trend of rule of law in Ethiopia: Bekele Gerba Olbana Lelisa (Politicians in prison), Prof. Asrat (late politician and Segean, died few days after being hospitalized from prison); Taye Weldesemait (former chair of Teachers union and now lives in exile), Birhane Mewa (former chair of chamber of commerce, now lives in exile). If you claim your right, you are a threat to the tyrany, hence crimes will cooked for you as terrorist.


by: Abu Yusra from: Ethiopia
January 03, 2013 5:35 AM
I am surprsied that how INBALANCED YOU ARE IN YOUR REPORTING , you starterd the news with "ADDIS ABABA — Ethiopian police have arrested 15 suspected militants allegedly ...'' then you put 'Muslims in Ethiopia staged several mass protests last year against perceived interference in Islamic affairs. Several leaders of a committee that led the protests now face trial." and concluded the news " The onslaught on rebels in Somalia has gained ground in the past two years.

Al Shabaab withdrew from the southern port of Kismayu in September, its last major urban stronghold, heralding its demise as a quasi-conventional military force. "" The Muslims have been protesting on the Gov interference on our religious matters for so long time we have been doing this peacefully ( one year) , and your media was also covering some of them , BUT NOW you are trying to link what the government says with Somalia , Alshebaba etc.. Shamful!!


by: john from: Canada
January 03, 2013 1:00 AM
It's very funny what the Goverment of Ethiopia is doing . for how long are they going to lie for there own people. Ethiopian's they knows that the government of Ethiopia is lier . There is only one terrorist group in Ethiopia that the Government . killing and arresting his own for no reason . One day and One time we will get freedom .


by: Alem
January 02, 2013 3:39 PM
Here we go again. In case VOA did not know the ruling minority in Ethiopia is causing much of the problem. It is facing strong reaction from the Muslim community on account of the government trying to reorganize the leadership by forcing it to accept a Lebanon-based teaching. As I write this the government is using all methods to select a new patriarch for the Orthodox Church using its well-placed cadres as result of which there is a tension building up across the nation and in diaspora communities.

A third matter is the upcoming municipal elections. The government has resorted to terrorizing the public by assigning A for supporters; B for electorate needing a push and C for those definite about not voting for it. Just think how this will affect how you vote. Finally, the government is soon to enact a new law against money laundering. This is just a facade as it is linked with aiding terrorist groups. And from all accounts "terrorist" automatically includes any who oppose the government for violating the Constitution.

VOA has two choices. Either to continue to provide a platform to promote tyranny OR check its sources and do its own investigation. It is unfortunate that VOA has largely and consistently misrepresented values of freedom of expression and rule of law America stood for and failed American people by not providing a true account of what goes on in nations that consume tax money.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid