Mogadishu suicide attack outrages Somalis and Yemenis

Somalia government soldiers secure the site of a suicide attack in Somalia's capital Mogadishu. [Omar Faruk/Reuters]

Somalia government soldiers secure the site of a suicide attack in Somalia's capital Mogadishu. [Omar Faruk/Reuters]

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The suicide attack that rocked the Somali capital Mogadishu on Tuesday (October 4th), and left dozens of people dead and wounded, unleashed a broad wave of condemnation from Yemeni politicians, academics and scholars, as well as from Somali refugees in Yemen.

The blast targeted a compound of government buildings in Mogadishu, killing more than 100 people and wounding at least 150. The victims included many of the country's most talented students who had gathered to learn the results of examinations that would have qualified them for university scholarships provided by Turkey.

Al-Shabab, a Somali movement with links to al-Qaeda, claimed responsibility for the attack. The group spokesman Ali Mohamud Rage, vowed more attacks against "the enemy" and identified the suicide bomber who drove the explosive-laden truck as Bashar Abdulahi Nur.

Nur reportedly gave an interview to an al-Shabab-run radio station before the attack and claimed that young people should wage jihad and forget about education, wire services reported.

In the interview, Nur said those who go to be schooled abroad are distracted from their religion and "don't think about the hereafter".

This marks the first attack for which al-Shabab has claimed responsibility since it was forced out of the capital by government troops backed by an African Union (AMISOM) force in August.

Yemeni government condemns attack

Abdo al-Janadi, Deputy Minister of Information and Yemeni government spokesman, told Al-Shorfa that the Yemeni government strongly condemns this terrorist act and stands by Somalia.

"Yemen and Somalia stand together in the same trench against the terrorist elements of al-Qaeda and other terrorist organisations," he said.

Al-Janadi called for continued international support for governments involved in the fight against terrorism, particularly Yemen and Somalia.

He said al-Shabab provides support to al-Qaeda in the southern Yemeni province of Abyan.

"Yemen has been harmed by al-Shabab, which sponsors terrorist acts rejected by all Abrahamic religions and international laws and norms in the world," he said.

Targeting students and civilians has no justification

Judge Saba al-Hajji, member of the Yemen Scholar Association, told Al-Shorfa that the attack was "without question a forbidden act condemned by all religions and laws".

"There is no justification for the violence al-Shabab committed. It has no relation whatsoever to jihad, especially as it impacted the lives of students and innocent civilians. Therefore, we reject those acts altogether," al-Hajji said.

Dr. Saeed al-Jamhi, president of Al-Jamhi Centre for Studies and Research and a researcher specialising in Islamist groups, said the approach of the Somali terrorists is the same as al-Qaeda's.

"What benefit did al-Shabab movement derive from this operation, other than exacerbate the woes of the Somali people and anger the world over the attacks against innocent and defenceless people?" al-Jamhi asked.

He said that such terrorist acts distort the image of Islam, especially among non-Muslims.

Abdul Hafeez al-Nahari, deputy head of the Media Department of the ruling Congress Party, told Al-Shorfa that the party condemns all acts of violence, including the recent attack in Mogadishu.

"This terrorist incident has frustrated all African and Arab efforts being made to bring peace back to Somalia, and terrorist acts such as these mirror the terrorist methods insisted upon by al-Qaeda's forces of darkness, extremism and terrorism," al-Nahari said.

According to Mohammed Abdul-Malik al-Mutawakkil, member of the Supreme Council of Joint Meeting Parties (JMP), the terrorist act carried out by al-Shabab movement was "a bad move because it used violence, which is the worst and most horrific path to achieving political ends". Al-Mutawakkil said that peaceful struggle is the only way to attain stated objectives.

Somali citizens condemn 'brutal, barbaric' attack

A number of Somali refugees in Yemen expressed their condemnation of the terrorist operation carried out by al-Shabab.

"The Somali people are not lacking in humanitarian disasters and tragedies," said Mohammed Mueish, 70, from Hiran province north of Mogadishu.

He told Al-Shorfa that waging war against civilians is not accepted by laws or religions, and described the recent terrorist attack against unarmed civilians as "brutal, barbaric, [by people who have not] a shred of humanity".

Ahmed Mahmoud of the town of Jowhar, north of Mogadishu, said that what happened to the students and civilians in the government compound was a "brutal terrorist" act.

"Whoever kills a believer intentionally, his recompense is hell to abide therein', and we as Muslims must condemn this incident. Even if the perpetrator is a brother of mine, he must be punished for his act," Mahmoud said.

Faki Mahmoud, 25, of Mogadishu, said that his family had contacted him after the incident to warn him about the situation in Somalia.

"Sadness has descended upon Mogadishu," he said. "Grief pervades every house as a result of the catastrophe that took place, which has also renewed the grief of those who lost relatives in similar incidents or whose relatives were displaced to other countries to save their lives from the al-Shabab movement, which gives young people the choice of either joining them or being killed."

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    ايوب

    2012-5-17

    The Shabab movement in Somalia is one of the most dangerous movements in the whole world, and it is one of the largest movements that has engaged in countless genocidal crimes inside as well as outside Somalia.

  • منجد وسام

    2011-11-26

    I would like to express my sympathy to the Somali people and denounce and condemn the criminal, treacherous terrorist attack that was carried out by the misguided group of the so-called “Movement of Young Somalis.” In fact, the latter has declared its responsibility for this despicable criminal attack. This operation claimed the lives of nearly a hundred people and wounded more than 150, most of them outstanding students who were gathered in order to get their exam results which would qualify them for college scholarships in Turkey. The main reason behind the suicide attack, carried out against the outstanding students, is the opposition of the “Movement of Young Somalis” to allowing students move to Turkey to study. Those students would not concentrate on their religion and would forget about the Hereafter, they think. In fact, students are supposed to leave school and declare Jihad.

  • علي درويش

    2011-11-13

    We have to eradicate terrorism in Somalia, so that people will be able to live in peace, stability and security. Everyone should enjoy a life that is free of violence, oppression, cruelty and brutality, given that Somalia has gone through a lot of suffering and injustice without being supported and assisted by anyone. In fact, everyone has ignored the situation. Therefore, terrorism has continued for a long time in Somalia, and we still do not know when it will come to an end, what it wants to achieve and what it wants behind all this behavior, aggression, cruelty and violence against the innocent people. We also do not know why terrorism has carried out all this injustice and who will benefit from spreading terrorism in Somalia. Thus, we must put an end to this tragedy, suffering, injustice and oppression. We must also get rid of all the sources of terrorism and criminality, so that the situation will become stable and Somalia would witness stability and comfort and enjoy reassuring conditions.

  • ناصر محمود شاكر

    2011-11-10

    Somalia is now a poor country, going through a famine and a state of great deterioration that has caused the death of many people and children. The country doesn’t need these armed organizations that steal and loot the country and receive aid from abroad and from the terrorist al-Qaeda organization, to cause the situation in Somalia to continue like this. These groups hijack ships and block the way of the aid that is intended for the Somali people. This is totally unacceptable. Somalia’s situation is very difficult and it needs significant intervention on the part of major countries and the international community, which should care for Somalia and should contribute to its reconstruction, to provide better living conditions, so that terrorism would end. This would at least stop the misguided youth from joining terrorism, due to not having any job opportunities or a better choice. On the other hand, the terrorist al-Qaeda organization and all the organizations related to it have sustained a heavy blow represented in the detention and assassination of al-Qaeda’s prominent leaders. This blow represented a harsh message to all terrorist leaders, which makes the statement that no terrorist leaders will escape punishment for what they did. Therefore, I believe that aid should be provided to Somalia by the international alliance’s forces, and they need to study the situation in Somalia and kill the leaders of these armed movements in Somalia. Those movements announce that they work with the al-Qaeda organization and are connected with it. If those leaders were killed, and if all the armed rebels in Somalia were combated, things would be easier and better. I don’t believe that there is any other solution to save Somalia and its people from the bad conditions that this poor country is going through.

  • نشوان علي

    2011-11-9

    Terrorism has no religion, and the terrorist acts committed against the Arab nations and against Muslims could not be met with silence at all. The acts of violence, killing and cruelty committed in Somalia against innocent Muslims show this. Somalia is a poor country that needs aid. We have to stand in the face of all those who commit despicable, terrorist acts. We are in pain because of the acts that have taken place in Somalia. It has enough pain due to the severe famine, oppression, poverty, disease and depravity. We Muslims have to cooperate to completely destroy terrorism everywhere. Terrorists’ presence in Muslim countries is completely unacceptable. We have to challenge that. Terrorists in Somalia will reach everywhere in the Arab and Islamic world, at which time we will not be able to stop them in the first place. We have to stop terrorism everywhere, and terrorism does not want to be stopped. We have to put a limit to it so that it would not commit acts that we cannot talk about later. In my opinion, terrorists are currently in a miserable situation, after many major leaders were killed, including Osama ibn Laden, Attiya Abel Rahman and other major leaders as well. Al-Zawahiri could not do anything on his own without consulting with them, and they used to be the basis for these acts. In my opinion, we have to use this opportunity to stop them. God will be with us, God willing. The Somali people are poor and they cannot stand what is happening to them, now that they only have poverty and disease and nothing else. They deserve charity; but what do we say to the twisted people? God is greater than all the unjust people who do not want the betterment of Islam and Muslims. O God, my Lord, destroy them and make their end come from among them; bring wellness to the whole Islamic nation and to Somalia, and make them endure their calamity; Amen, O most merciful.

  • حارث نبيل

    2011-11-4

    I believe that the terrorist act that was committed by the criminals of the Somali Al Shabab movement in the capital, Mogadishu, is one of the most serious crimes committed by this terrorist organization, which is not any less dangerous than the Takfiri Al Qaeda organization. The people have the right to condemn terrorism and the Somali Al Shabab movement, after this crime that caused great tragedy to the Somali people. It is then the Somalis people’s right to condemn terrorism and to condemn the Somali Al Shabab movement that committed this cowardly crime. This act pained the Somalis, who are already suffering from many problems and struggling with famine and poverty. Now the elements of terrorism and radicalism added one more tragedy to all the other tragedies they are already suffering from. The prejudiced Somali people have the right to condemn all forms of terrorism and condemn this terrorist operation that affected the government and targeted and claimed the lives of students in Mogadishu by the hands of the blind terrorism for no reason, using a bicycle ridden by a criminal who then blew it up in the middle of this crowd and took innocent lives with this filthy act. The Somali people are currently living in a state of intense grief for their martyrs, who were killed by terrorists for no reason except to satisfy their criminal, bloodthirsty hearts and their terrible terrorist organization, which claims to be working under Islam, while Islam is innocent of it and of its heinous acts that have nothing to do with Islam in any way. Therefore, it is the right of all Somalis to disapprove of the terrorism that criminally targets them in this horrifying way. We, in our turn, also condemn this criminal act that criminals committed to kill innocent people in Mogadishu, in Somalia.

  • اسماعيل احمد

    2011-10-28

    There is no god but God. This is a really cowardly and disgraceful act. It is a crime, and all terrorist groups that commit such an act will be punished. They should be killed, because they are only humans in body but with the minds of savage animals that have no sense of mercy or humanity. They have violated human rights greatly, due to these clumsy and cowardly acts against humans, as they kill them in different ways that they have endeavored greatly to execute artistically. May God shame and disgrace them, and may He put them in the lowest part of hell, because of the savage crimes they commit against innocent people for no reason.

  • نادر محمود

    2011-10-28

    I believe that Somalis have the right to condemn the suicide bombing that took place in Mogadishu and to express their disapproval with sufficient freedom. What happened proves that suicide bombings are unacceptable to everyone. These are terrorist acts that will cause great disasters in Mogadishu. Therefore, they had better provide security forces in the area to control the situation there, so that terrorism would not spread in Mogadishu, in order to protect the stable security situation in the country, and so that the situation would not get more agitated than it is now. As such, I think Somalis have the right to condemn the suicide attack that claimed the lives of many innocent people in Mogadishu. This is very important, because it is necessary for people to have the freedom to express their frustration and rage after this terrorist act that claimed the lives of innocent people, when a suicide bomber blew himself up in the middle of a crowd of unsuspecting people. It is very important to protect the security and stability of the situation.

  • سعيد فريد

    2011-10-28

    Certainly, the Somalis have the right to condemn and detain those who committed this cowardly terrorist act, which was carried out by the evil terrorist gangs in Mogadishu, and which claimed the lives of many innocent people. I swear by God that I wonder who those terrorists are who kill in Somalia here and there; do they not fear God, even a little bit? Somalia is one of the poorest countries on earth, and the famine is widespread in it. Most of the Somali people live on the aid they receive, and the rest escape from Somalia to the other countries as refugees, because of the civil wars and fighting to control the ruling by al-Qaeda and the Islamic courts and the Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mujahideen group and other organizations which God has revealed. Why do those people not fear God and have mercy on the Somali people? Why are there all these bombings? I swear by God that if this proves anything, it proves that the scales of justice have disappeared and have been turned upside down. Those criminals have justified the blood of the innocent people without the least bit of mercy or kindness. If those criminals are from those who claim Islam or claim to be religious, they should provide aid or assistance to the Somali people in this tragic ordeal through which it is passing. But we have respected them and said that those people really have humanitarian and merciful feelings inside their hearts and the love of goodness, but what they are carrying out is the complete opposite of that. May God curse all the terrorists until Doomsday, and the Somali people should not stand still for those murders, but should kill the perpetrators and expel them from Somalia forever.

  • ماهر صادق

    2011-10-26

    Those who try to carry out such crimes in Mogadishu are really lunatics and have no brains. Somalia in its origin is a country that is living in a tragic state; is this a proper time for such terrorist operations and suicide attacks against the civilians? They are living a tragic life, and along with everything else, these bombings took place. The problem is that many of the Somali youth have found themselves obliged to join those armed groups as a result of the lack of support, and because of their control over some places through which the youth have been driven to work with these gangs, and if they do not work, their destiny will be death murder. This is clear and announced chaos; it is the right of the Somalis, as a people and as a country which wants to be occupied with the other problems which are considered more important and because of which it faces a large number of deaths as a result of the spread of famine there. Every Somali has the right to express his own opinion in refusing those suicide attacks, which were carried out by the armed groups and gangs which are connected to the terrorist and untrustworthy al-Qaeda organization, which claims religion and Islam, and instead of helping those poor, hungry people, they send suicide bombers to them. What kind of blasphemy is this, and what kind of sin is this? All the Somali people should challenge this indeed, and they should have their say, and all the countries should help Somalia in its war against terrorism and against famine.

  • غيث الصافي

    2011-10-20

    In the poor countries, crime increases because of the bad conditions. You might find brutal groups there because it is easy to get into the country and tempt some citizens with money. This is what gives them the chance to do whatever they want in terms of brutal criminal operations.

  • احمد حمدي

    2011-10-12

    The Arab countries have to fight terrorism.

  • بسام

    2011-10-8

    This is a brutal act; a Muslim should never have to do with anything like that. These are the actions of brutal Nazi people who harm the name of Muslims and Islam. May God have mercy on all the victims and make their destination Paradise!