Video shows Arabs and Somalis fighting side by side

NAIROBI, Kenya – A recruiting video issued by members of the fundamentalist Islamic movement in Somalia shows Arab radicals fighting alongside the local extremists in Mogadishu, and invites Muslims from around the world to join in their “holy jihad.”

President Bush expressed concern last month that Somalia could become an al-Qaida haven like Afghanistan was in the late 1990s. And recordings attributed to Osama bin Laden portray Somalia as a battleground in his war on the United States.

The video provides the first hard evidence that non-Somalis have joined with Islamic extremists in Somalia.

The Supreme Islamic Courts Council, which defeated U.S.-backed warlords in Mogadishu last month and is now the country’s most powerful force, has repeatedly denied links to extremists such as al-Qaida.

But the one-hour video appears to confirm U.S. fears – and al-Qaida’s boasts.

The video, shot with a handheld recorder, shows Arab fighters preparing for a major battle on the northern outskirts of Mogadishu. Arabic anthems and poetry play on the audio track urging Muslims to join the global holy war to advance Islam and defeat its enemies.

The video starts with a black flag featuring a Quranic verse and a saber fluttering in the wind. Such black banners have only recently appeared in Somalia but have been used by Islamic extremists in Iraq, Afghanistan and Lebanon for years.

After a few minutes of battle footage, the tape documents the Arab fighters’ predawn preparations for battle, including prayers, a commander’s speech to his troops and the preparation of weapons. The Arab fighters then climb onto two pickups mounted with heavy machine guns, which the Somalis call “technicals.”

As the sun rises, the location of the Arab camp north of Mogadishu becomes clear and six more trucks loaded with Somali fighters come into view. A senior member of the Islamic group, Yusuf Indohaadde, is filmed walking among the men before the pickups roll out of an old warehouse compound.

The rest of the footage follows one group of Somali militiamen as they battle troops loyal to warlords who controlled Mogadishu for 15 years and had ties to the United States. The tape ends with the capture of Essaleh, a small town with strategic air and sea ports three miles north of Mogadishu.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Mt. Baker visible from the summit of Mt. Dickerman on a late summer day in 2017. (Caleb Hutton / The Herald)
Hornets pester hikers on popular Mountain Loop trails

“You cannot out run the stings,” one hiker wrote in a trip report. The Forest Service has posted alerts at two trailheads.

A view of a 6 parcel, 4.4 acre piece of land in Edmonds, south of Edmonds-Woodway High School on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2023 in Edmonds, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Housing authority seeks more property in Edmonds

The Housing Authority of Snohomish County doesn’t have specific plans for land near 80th Avenue West, if its offer is accepted.

Nursing Administration Supervisor Susan Williams points at a list of current COVID patients at Providence Regional Medical Center on Friday, Sept. 22, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Dozens of Providence patients in medical limbo for months, even years

About 100 people are stuck in Everett hospital beds without an urgent medical reason. New laws aim for a solution.

Emergency responders surround an ultralight airplane that crashed Friday, Sept. 22, 2023, at the Arlington Municipal Airport in Arlington, Washington, resulting in the pilot's death. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Pilot dead in ultralight plane crash at Arlington Municipal Airport

There were no other injuries or fatalities reported, a city spokesperson said.

Cash is used for a purchase at Molly Moon's Ice Cream in Edmonds, Washington on Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
County Council delays vote on requiring businesses to take cash

Concerns over information and enforcement postponed the council’s scheduled vote on the ordinance Wednesday in Snohomish County.

A girl walks her dog along a path lined with dandelions at Willis D. Tucker Community Park on Monday, Sept. 11, 2023, in Snohomish, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Spraying in Willis Tucker Park resurfaces debate over herbicides

Park staff treated about 11,000 square feet with glyphosate and 2,4-D. When applied correctly, staff said they aren’t harmful.

One of Snohomish County PUD’s new smart readers is installed at a single family home Thursday, Sept. 21, 2023, in Mill Creek, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
PUD program seeks to make energy grid smarter for 380K customers

The public utility’s ConnectUp program will update 380,000 electric meters and 23,000 water meters in the next few years.

An example of the Malicious Women Co. products (left) vs. the Malicious Mermaid's products (right). (U.S. District Court in Florida)
Judge: Cheeky candle copycat must pay Snohomish company over $800K

The owner of the Malicious Women Co. doesn’t expect to receive any money from the Malicious Mermaid, a Florida-based copycat.

A grave marker for Blaze the horse. (Photo provided)
After Darrington woman’s horse died, she didn’t know what to do

Sidney Montooth boarded her horse Blaze. When he died, she was “a wreck” — and at a loss as to what to do with his remains.

Most Read