Gratitude. “Somali killings of aid workers imperil relief,” by Jeffrey Gettleman for the IHT, July 20 (thanks to DFS):
NAIROBI, Kenya: At a time of drought, skyrocketing food prices, crippling inflation and intensifying street fighting, many of the aid workers whom millions of Somalis depend on for survival are fleeing their posts “” or in some cases the country.
They are being driven out by what appears to be an organized terror campaign. Ominous leaflets recently surfaced on the bullet-pocked streets of Mogadishu, Somalia’s ruin of a capital, calling aid workers “infidels” and warning them that they will be methodically hunted down. Since January, at least 20 aid workers have been killed, more than in any year in recent memory. Still others have been abducted. […]
A plane with at least a dozen Somali aid workers left Mogadishu on Friday. Several workers said it was the leaflets that scared them away.
“These people are serious,” said one Somali aid professional who is now hiding with her family outside Mogadishu.
The leaflets were tacked onto walls and scattered on streets in Mogadishu about 10 days ago. They could not have made the threat any clearer. “We know all the so-called aid workers,” they read. “We promise to kill them, wherever they are.” […]
“Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them (captive), and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush” — Qur’an 9:5.
War Is Deceit Update, plus the obligatory This Has Nothing To Do With Islam segment:
But several factions of Somalia’s Islamist movement, which is fighting an intense guerrilla war against the government, have condemned the attacks.
Sheik Muktar Robow Abu Monsur, a leader of the Shebab insurgent group, said Islamic militants were actually guarding food convoys. United Nations officials have mixed feelings about the Shebab, saying that some factions are violently anti-Western while others recently helped free two kidnapped aid workers.
Some Western security analysts theorize that in the violent murkiness that has overtaken the country, unsavory elements within the Somali government may be killing aid workers to discredit Islamist opposition groups and draw in United Nations peacekeepers, who may be the government’s last hope for survival.
The government admits that it desperately needs peacekeepers. But it denies that it is attacking aid workers to get them.
“It’s obvious who’s doing this,” said Abdi Awaleh Jama, a Somali ambassador at large. “It’s hard-liner Islamists who hate the West. They are forces of darkness, not forces of light.”…