In the Fall 2007 issue of the Journal of International Security Affairs, I published an article, “Somalia: Rise and Fall of an Islamist Regime.” But the fall of the short-lived Sharia regime there — a regime that had been lauded by the mainstream media despite its Taliban-like brutality — did not mean the end of the jihad in Somalia, any more than the current lull in jihad activity in the West means that it’s all over, the threat is gone and we can go back to the Cold War and standing off those wicked Russians. Now, the jihadists are slowly, step-by-step, once again gaining control of the country.
Islamic militants say they have seized control of Somalia’s third largest city after three days of fighting that left about 70 people dead and saw thousands flee Kismayo.
The Islamic courts movement, which controlled the capital, Mogadishu, and much of the south for six months in 2006, said Saturday that it wrested control of the southern port city of Kismayo from clan militias….
In another development, two foreign journalists – a Canadian woman and an Australian man – were kidnapped while travelling near Mogadishu, two Somali civilians said.
The government confirmed the kidnapping, but the full names of the two captives were not immediately available. Journalists and relief workers are frequently abducted for ransoms in Somalia, even the many who travel in convoys heavily guarded by freelance militiamen….
The Islamic courts movement launched an insurgency in the impoverished country nearly two years ago, but Kismayo would be the biggest city seized since early 2007. Spokesman Sheik Ibrahim Shukri said its forces moved into Kismayo at the request of its residents and that the city “will remain under Islamic control.” Government officials declined to comment on the claim….