Somali Jihad Update from the Mail & Guardian, with thanks to DFS:
Members of a group listed by the United States as a terrorist band are now running the capital of neighbouring Somalia, days after Islamic fighters wrested control of the city from warlords, Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Meles Zenawi said on Tuesday.
“The renowned extremist and terrorist organisation, al-Ittihad, is at the helm of the current leadership in Mogadishu,” Meles told lawmakers during a review of the situation in Ethiopian relations with neighbouring countries.
“We do not believe that all the forces that have taken control of Mogadishu and its surroundings are extremists.”
Al-Ittihad is listed by the US as a terrorist group linked to al-Qaeda. Washington has accused the group of harbouring al-Qaeda leaders responsible for deadly 1998 bombings at the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.
United Nations officials say al-Ittihad operates openly as a religious organisation and is a powerful economic force in southern Somalia, where it captured key towns from warlords in June.