afrol News / Awdal News Network, 17 October - An internal document shows that Somalia's new Islamist rulers have decided to send suicide bombers to the neighbouring peaceful self-proclaimed state of Somaliland. Their aim is to topple the elected Hargeisa government. The Islamists have already staged violent demonstrations in Somaliland to destabilise the government.
In a decision signed by Sheikh Dahir Aways, the most radical leader of the Mogadishu Islamists, and a copy of which has been received by 'Awdalnews Network', the Shura Council of the Union of Islamic Coutrs (UIC) decided to send 30 young assassins to Hargeisa as suicide bombers to kill what they called the Jewish and American collaborators.
"The Shura Council of the Perseverance Alliance has decided to send 30 young martyrs to carry out explosions and killing of the Jewish and American collaborators in the northern regions," the document said.
The list of targeted personalities include Somaliland President Dahir Riyale Kahin, Foreign Minister Abdillahi Mohammed Duale, Finance Minister Hussein Ali Duale, Defence Minister Adan Waqaf, Aviation and Transport Minister Ali Mohammed Waran Adde, Minister of Information Ahmed Dahir Elmi and other seven senior officials.
Written in Arabic and dated on the 6th Ramadan 1427 of the Hirjri calendar (28 September 2006), the decision blasts the Somaliland leadership for being apostates who reneged from Islam and opted to work with Jews and Americans at the expense of their nation and religion.
The Council said the decision was made "After the Follow Up Committee of the Perseverance Alliance submitted reports related to the circumstances in which religious scholars live in the northern regions [Somaliland], and after the reports mentioned the personalities that carried out the torture against Islamic clerics and after the Council watched a video footage of the torture of Sheikh Mohammed Ismail."
Other measures recommended by the decision include forming a committee tasked to circulate the alleged torture video footage and stir protest marches and dissent in the Somaliland towns of Buroa, Las Anod, Erigavo and Buhodle. These are all towns known to shelter a large - so far peaceful - opposition to the Hargeisa government; Buroa being the centre of Islamist cleric in Somaliland and Las Anod being occupied by Somalia's autonomous Puntland region.
The Islamist council also decided to train 3000 young mujahids hailing from the northern regions, or Somaliland, that are currently living in the southern towns of Mogadishu, Kismayo and Guri Eel. These would later be dispatched to Somaliland, the document reveals.
Somalia's Islamist media have been repeatedly showing the alleged torture video of Sheikh Mohammed Ismail, an Islamist cleric jailed in Hargeisa for alleged terrorist acts. Somaliland officials described the torture video as a fabrication.
In an interview with 'Awdalnews' early October, Somaliland President Dahir Riyale Kahin said that the footage seemed to be a fabrication, underlining that Somaliland was investigating the case and would present the outcome to the public.
"We don't use torture as an investigative method and we don't torture anyone in our prisons. It is against our values and our laws," President Kahin added, pointing out that the whole episode could be a ruse by some people trying to use the name of Islam for their own agenda. Mr Kahin confirmed that the man was suspected of being behind the explosives found in Hargeisa during the parliamentary elections in September 2005.
The UIC, however, seems to have made some inroads in Somaliland recently, particularly with the recent departure to Mogadishu of Sheikh Ali Warsame, a former leader of Al Ittihad, an illegal Islamist movement seen close to Al Queda. Mr Warsame, who until recently lived in Buroa, is also the brother-in-law of Mr Aweys, the main author of the document threatening Somaliland.
Meanwhile, a number of demonstrations against the alleged torture video took place in major Somaliland towns such as Hargeisa, Buroa and Erigavo. A number of Somaliland clerics have also issued statements, calling for the Somaliland government to apply Islamic Sharia without any delay.
Also a mob led by extremist clerics on 13 October burned many copies of 'Haatuf' newspaper, Somaliland's leading paper with a clear anti-Islamist profile, in the town of Buroa, for being critical of the UIC. 'Somaliland Times', the English sister of 'Haatuf', said the newspaper burners were led by Mubarak Ahmed Diriye who has been suspected of having ties to al-Shabaab wing of Mogadishu's Islamic Courts, whose overall leader is Adan Hashi Ayro, an Afghan trained Jihadist.
Somaliland, a former British colony that has unilaterally annulled its union with the rest of Somalia after the collapse of the Said Barre regime in 1991, has since then enjoyed a high degree of peace and stability. It also established a robust democratic system and held internationally observed presidential and parliamentary elections.
Scoffing at Somaliland's peace and stability, Mr Aweys recently accused the Somaliland people of worshipping the wrong idol. "The Somaliland people forgot to worship Allah and instead worship an idol called Peace," he said in a statement to the media.
Mr Aweys, considered to be the leader of the hardliner faction of the UIC, was a former military colonel in the Somali army and the commander of the military wing of Al Ittihad Al Islami after the collapse of the central government. He is on Washington's wanted list for having links with Al Qaeda. One of his loyal underlings, Ahmed Hashi Ayro, is suspected of being behind the assassination of foreign humanitarian workers in Somaliland in late 2003.
The UIC, which has sworn to export its Islamist revolution in Somalia to neighbouring countries, is also suspected to be behind the sudden and surprising religious violence in Ethiopia, a country that aids Somalia's transitional government in fighting the Islamists. Meanwhile, Ethiopia's archrival Eritrea is known to breach the UN arms embargo against Somalia, supplying the well-funded Islamists with weapons.
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