Sunday , 14 July 2024

Iran Moves Into Somalia

gatestoneinstitute.org – After six months of Iran using its Houthi Jihadis to impose a blockade near Yemen while defying Biden to do anything about it, the Islamic global terror state is moving on to a Somali blockade.

Current reports suggest that the Houthis, an Iranian Shiite terror group, is negotiating to provide weapons to Yemen’s Al-Shabaab, a Sunni Jihadist group allied with Al Qaeda, to expand Iran’s control over shipping. While Al-Shabaab has operated using the conventional Al Qaeda playbook of rifles and IEDs, the Houthis can offer upgraded drones and missile technology.

And best of all, the Houthis can claim that the weapons were battle-tested on the US Navy.

When the Houthis began their naval blockade, the Biden administration had the opportunity to shut it down. Instead, a US Navy carrier group has been tied up for months with no results. The AP headlined its recent coverage as “US Navy faces its most intense combat since World War II against Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels”. But as Front Page Magazine already reported, the only reason the war keeps dragging on is that Biden has restricted the US Navy to responding to incoming attacks and only the occasional light bombing raids against the sources of the attacks.

The Houthis, whose motto, like that of their Iranian backers, includes, “Death to America”, have been able to claim that they held off the world’s greatest military for half a year, while imposing control over regional shipping and international trade. And now Iran is moving into Somalia.

One of the side-effects of Biden’s refusal to go on the offensive against the Houthis was that the Somali pirates, who had been lying low during the Trump administration, decided to make a comeback. With Western naval operations diverted to the Yemeni blockade, it has fallen to the Indian Navy to protect shipping against the Somali pirates. But if the Yemen-Somali deal goes through, Al-Shabaab may displace the pirate gangs and impose its own naval blockade.

And with hundreds of US troops deployed in Somalia, the Al Qaeda affiliate armed by Iran would also have the opportunity to directly attack Americans with their new firepower. Previous local reports had already described a flow of weapons from Yemen to Somalia and pirates deploying anti-aircraft weapons aboard a hijacked vessel. So the arrangement may already be here.

When two US Navy SEALs died trying to intercept Iranian weapons shipments to the Houthis in the waters near Somalia, the terror pipeline was very briefly in the headlines. But the Biden administration, pro-terror think tanks and the media quickly diverted our attention away.

Some of the credit for this ought to go to Rep. Ilhan Omar who spent her time in Congress spreading the lie that attacks on the Houthis had caused a famine in Yemen. The campaign to end the Saudi embargo that blocked Iran from shipping in weapons allowed the Houthis to impose their own embargo. And Rep. Omar, a Somali nationalist with ties to the current regime, has also been a vocal critic of U.S. air strikes on the Al-Shabaab rebels fighting the government.

Under Trump, Rep. Omar accused the U.S. military of covering up ‘civilian’ casualties during air strikes against Al Qaeda, and next year argued that, “we are not going to simply drone the Al-Shabaab problem to death.” She also complained that the United States had not made payments to ‘civilians’ killed in the air strikes including some possibly unrelated ‘Omars’ who had died in Somalia. Last year, Rep. Omar vigorously supported Rep. Gaetz’s resolution to withdraw U.S. forces from Somalia. Now it looks like Iran will be providing military support in Somalia.

Last year, the Soros ‘International Crisis Group’, which has been accused of ties to the Iranian regime, had issued a report arguing that the threat from Al-Shabaab was overblown and urged that the Al Qaeda affiliate “cannot be defeated militarily is that, at some point, a settlement with the group may offer the best hope of stabilizing the country.”

How better to stabilize a country than by cutting a deal with Al Qaeda?

The same dishonest rhetoric that had been previously used to bolster Hamas, Hezbollah and the Houthis was deployed to prop up Al-Shabaab. And it appears to be having the same results.

While a formal alliance between the Houthis and Al-Shabaab might be a new arrangement, Iran has been trying to court the Al Qaeda group for some time. The Iranians lost their base of operations in Somalia when the government shut down Shiite ‘aid groups’ linked to the regime in Tehran. But Somalia has too few Shiites to pose any real threat. Instead, Iran was building up its relationship with Al-Shabaab. Years ago there were reports that Iran was paying bounties for the Al Qaeda group to attack American targets and to smuggle weapons to the Houthis.

A relationship between Al-Shabaab and the Houthis is more troubling because Iran’s MO is to carry out larger terror attacks through proxies, such as the Shiite PMUs attacking Americans in Iraq and Syria, and then build up relationships between its terror proxies for larger attacks. That is why Hezbollah was set up as the focal actor to back up Hamas against Israel.

A public relationship between the Houthis and Al-Shabaab prepares the way for more intense attacks on Americans in and around Somalia while Iran pretends that it was the Houthis acting unilaterally. The Iranian regime agents within the Biden administration and the intelligence community who spread these false claims about Hamas and Hezbollah acting independently of Iran have been spreading the same lies about the Houthis and eventually Al-Shabaab.

If the Biden administration follows the same failed strategy in Somalia as it is in Yemen, we will be enmeshed in another prolonged war with Islamic terrorists with our hands tied behind our backs. And Iran will expand its control of international trade while American prestige drops. Prices will continue going up and ransom payments will feed more terrorism against America.

After a brutal civil war in Syria, Iran appears to be succeeding in its efforts to integrate Sunni Islamists into its terror camp. While the idea of Iran and an Al Qaeda affiliate working together may appear unlikely, Iran had been courting Al Qaeda for some time and there are reports that it had provided some of the training that was used for the 9/11 attacks. We know that the 9/11 hijackers were able to pass through Iran and the IRGC was at best complicit in the operation.

Saif Al-Adel, the current Egyptian leader of Al Qaeda, is living in Iran under IRGC protection.

Al-Adel had gotten his early start in Somalia where he participated in the Battle of Mogadishu. The Islamist perpetrators who shot down three Black Hawk choppers had reportedly been trained by Adel. He went on to collaborate with Hezbollah and then on to Yemen. It may be no coincidence at all that these are the current theaters of the war we’re in.

Americans associate Al Qaeda with Osama bin Laden, Afghanistan and Iraq, but its true origins lie in Egypt with the Egyptian Islamic Jihad. EIJ was a splinter group of the Muslim Brotherhood. Those are the bonds that unite Hamas, another Brotherhood arm, and Iran, as well as the Brotherhood Islamists in America that have been vocally campaigning for Al Qaeda and Iran.

The various strands of the Jihadist movement have been knitting together. The most obvious signs of this can be seen on our own streets and campuses where the Shiite flags of Hezbollah and the Houthis fly alongside the Sunni flags of Hamas at events overseen by Sunni Islamists. The Houthis could not have survived without the support of Sunni Islamists in the U.S.. Now they’ll repay the favor by helping Al-Shabaab, formerly the Islamic Courts Union, in Somalia.

Al Qaeda first waged war on America in Africa. And Iran has been building up its presence there. Africa is the next frontier of Islamic colonialism, where tens of thousands of Christians have already been murdered with the complicity of the Obama and Biden administrations.

The Biden administration has allowed Iran to expand its terror territories, and that’s not just bad news for Israel, it’s also bad news for America and for the world. Two centuries after the United States Marines got their start fighting Islamic naval piracy, they’re back and worse than ever.

Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center’s Front Page Magazine.

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