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"Extremist" Splinter Group Of Somali Islamic Courts Formed

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Mogadishu, Somalia, August 12, 2006 (SL Times) – A group that broke away from the Mogadishu [Islamic] courts recently announced in Mogadishu the formation of a new group called Al-Shabaab [the Youth].

The new group is reported to be made up of young militia who erstwhile belonged to the courts' alliance, which fought and defeated the [capital] warlords. The new group is led by Adan Hashi Ayrow, who is said to have been trained in Afghanistan and is among the people listed in the US as a terrorist.

The Al-Shabaab militia is made up of youths aged between 20 and 30 years, who are said to be extremists and the ones who fought at the front-line when the Islamic courts clashed with their opponents such as the defeated Anti-Terrorism Alliance.

The members of the new Al-Shabaab group are mostly uneducated youth engaged mainly in guarding their leaders and officials of foreign institutions. They are reported to have been trained for special operations and are backed by groups of Mogadishu businessmen who were strongly opposed to the defeated warlords.

So far, there is no satisfactory explanation as to why the Al-Shabaab has set up itself as a new group. However, there have been reports circulating in Mogadishu of late to the effect that there are differences of opinion emerging among the leaders of the Islamic courts with some holding extremist opinions and others having moderate views.

Reports say the group that has formed Al-Shabaab played a decisive role in defeating the warlords and was among the most active groups in the Islamic courts. It is now preparing to become a powerful group.

There is also the issue of faction leader Yusuf Indha Ade who controls Lower Shabelle Region. He is one of the senior leaders in the Islamic courts who recently refused to hand over his weapons to the leadership of the courts saying that although his administration supported the courts it was a separate entity and the courts should keep away.

The differences of opinion among leaders in the Islamic courts have been the subject of talk in Mogadishu lately but there are intensive efforts to solve the problem.

Source: Somaliland Times

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