Bin Laden denounces new Somalia president - Africa - World - The Independent

Bin Laden denounces new Somalia president

The al-Qa'ida chief Osama bin Laden denounced Somalia's new president elected as part of a peace push in the lawless African country, and urged Somali militants to topple him in a new audio recording.



The 11-and-a half minute recording was released by al-Qa'ida's media arm As-Sahab and posted on militant web sites known as clearing houses for Islamic messaging.

Focused entirely on Somalia and entitled "Fight on, champions of Somalia," it carried an often seen bin Laden photograph with a map of Somalia in the background. The Arabic audio had English subtitles.

In the message, bin Laden lashed out at the country's new president, Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed, elected by Somali lawmakers on Jan. 31.

The moderate Somali Islamist, who earlier was a top leader of the country's Islamic Courts, replaced a predecessor who resigned in December citing failure to end the Islamic insurgency.

Ahmed's election, bin Laden claimed, was "induced by the American envoy in Kenya," a reference to the US ambassador in Nairobi.

Ahmed "changed and turned back on his heels ... to partner up with the infidel" in a national unity government, bin Laden said. "How can intelligent people believe that yesterday's enemies on the basis of religion can become today's friends? This can only happen if one of the two parties abandons his religion."

In the recording, bin Laden also tells Islamic fighters in Somalia that Ahmed "must be dethroned and fought" and says the militants' are obliged to "continue fighting the apostate government."

Somalia, a nation of about 8 million people, has not had a functioning government since warlords overthrew a dictator in 1991 and then turned on each other.

It has several Islamic groups that have fought for the past two years Ethiopian troops deployed to enforce the weak UN-backed government in Somalia.

But as part of an elaborate UN-brokered deal to bring onboard moderate Islamists and dissident lawmakers, Ethiopian troops withdrew in January.

Ahmed enjoys the support of several Islamic groups, pleased that he is working to implement Sharia law in Somalia — so it's unclear if any of them will heed bin Laden's call.

Bin Laden's message was likely an backing of the extremist Somali Islamic al-Shabab group which is opposed to an African Union peacekeeping force that guards key government installations.

In Feb. 2008, the US State Department added al-Shabab, which means "the Youth," to its list of foreign terrorist organizations because it is believed affiliated with al-Qa'ida.

Suggested Topics
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke's video for 'Blurred Lines' has been criticised for condoning rape
music
News
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
FootballFull debuts don't come much more stylish than those on show here
News
i100
Sport
Tim Wiese
sport
Life and Style
Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
Travel
travel
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Project Manager (retail, upgrades, rollouts)

£40000 - £45000 Per Annum + benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Project...

Project Manager (upgrades, rollouts, migrations)

£350 - £425 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Project Manager - 3 mont...

IT Administrator - Graduate

£18000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: ***EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY FO...

Year 5/6 Teacher

£5 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Chester: Year 5/6 Teacher - FlintshireRa...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week