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Somalia: Al Shabaab muscles in on Muslim pirate earnings
I first came across this report at Mr Spencer's jihadwatch. I am posting it here as well, as a companion piece to the story of the kidnapping of the Danish family, and because it shows that whenever a part of the Ummah is making money by fair means or foul, there's a good chance that some of the proceeds will be siphoned off for Jihad purposes.
From Reuters, two Muslim stringers Mohamed Ahmed and Abdi Sheikh reporting.
'Somali Islamists want to do ransom deals on board'.
MOGADISHU (Reuters) - Somali Islamist rebels have demanded that their fighters be allowed to board hijacked vessels anchored off the coastal town of Haradheere to monitor the payment and division of ransoms, escalating risks to hostages.
'Islamists clamped down hard on piracy when they briefly ran much of Somalia in 2006, but with ransoms rising they now want a share of its earnings.
Considering that the Acehnese Muslims in south-east Asia, and the 'Barbary pirates' of North Africa had no moral qualms about engaging in piracy as their main form of Jihad against Infidels, I am not in the least surprised by this development. - CM.
'Hardline Islamist militants have surrounded the pirate base to pressure gang leaders and their investors into accepting the order, pirates and residents said on Monday, after a number tried to sail ships up the coast.
Do the jihadists have boats, too? - CM.
'If rebels are allowed to board the vessels, hostages risk becoming stuck in the middle of dangerous rows or, worse, being kidnapped by Al Shabaab rebels, who claim ties with Al Qaeda.
'Shipowners fear any proven link between pirates and Islamist fighters will make it legally difficult to pay ransoms without running foul of counter-terrorism legislation.
'Pirates in Haradheere agreed last week to hand Al Shabaab insurgents a 20 percent cut of ransoms, but a deep distrust prevails between the two sides.
A twenty percent cut. That, as Mr Spencer pointed out, citing Quran 8: 41, is the classic one-fifth of Muslim war booty which is meant for 'allah', for the messenger (i.e. Mohammed), the kinsman, orphans and the needy and 'the wayfarer'. Note - whether the pirates themselves see their activity as warfare, Al Shabaab seemingly does, since its members are treating the proceeds - the ransoms for ships and hostages - as 'booty'. One should note, also that line about 'a deep distrust prevails between the two sides'. Par for the course. Throughout dar al Islam, suspicion and aggression are the default settings of any relationship. A Kurdish convert to Christianity, quoted in the Bible Society's World Report some years ago, once said flatly, 'among Muslims, you would always fight'. Ayaan Hirsi Ali in both her books - 'Nomad' and 'Infidel' - has described the same atmosphere of aggression and lack of trust that suffuses Muslim societies; Nonie Darwish has also remarked upon it. - CM.
"They demanded we allow six of their fighters to board each of our hijacked ships. We have not left our houses since Wednesday. Worse, we are constantly receiving threatening messages", he said, adding negotiations had begun again.
Oh, my heart bleeds for this poor piratical extortionist, who has doubtless issued many a threatening message - demanding payment or else! - to the kin of his kidnapped victims, and is now getting a bit of his own medicine...from his dear brother Muslims. -- CM.
'Owners of hijacked vessels usually air-drop cash onto the boats and then the pirates disembark.
'Despite a flotilla of international warships patrolling the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden, pirates (all of them Muslims - CM) continue to rake in tens of millions of dollars in ransoms each year.
Let us not forget that Mohammed, whom these pirates - as Muslims - are taught to imitate and revere, was himself a kidnapper and ransom-demander. - CM.
'Al Shabaab set up an office in Haradheere after last week's deal.
"Negotiations are going on and again I reckon the pirates have no other option but to accept al Shabaab's order", said local elder Ahmed Wardheere, who was involved in negotiations over splitting the ransom.
That is: negotiations over siphoning off a percentage of the takings from piracy, for the direct funding of Jihad to impose Sharia in Somalia - CM.
'Pirates typically target merchant vessels, with oil tankers considered the prize catch, and yachts to get a ransom for their release.
'But foreign navies have become bolder in launching rescue missions.
Does one detect, in the tone of this report, written for Reuters by two Muslim 'stringers', a note of resentment, even of anger, at this development? How dare the nasty kafir try to stop Muslims from making so much lovely money! - CM.
'As the number of Somali pirates killed by foreign troops on the high seas rises, so too does their hostility towards hijacked crew.
Which hostility it appears that our Muslim stringers, writing for Reuters, see as perfectly justified. As far as I am concerned, if pirates, extortionists, kidnappers, hostage-takers (whether Muslim or non-Muslim) don't like getting killed by law enforcement, then there is a simple solution: stop practising piracy, extortion, kidnapping and hostage-taking, and you won't get killed. - CM.
'Pirates shot dead ('murdered' is the correct word for it - CM) four US hostages on a yacht, earlier this month, the deadliest incident involving Americans kidnapped for ransom in the increasingly dangerous waters off the Horn of Africa nation. US forces killed a number of pirates. Good riddance - CM.
'One pirate said his colleagues were turning to black magic to counter the mounting perils.
Why not give up piracy and try some honest work for a change? That would be a good way to avoid 'mounting perils'. But: black magic? I wonder what Al Shabaab thinks of that? Witchcraft is supposed to be a no-no, under sharia...- CM.
"Some of my colleagues have two sorcerers in Haradheere and Galkayo. These two are expert in explaining the outcome of future hijackings or pending navy attacks by using 'Faal'", a pirate called Hussein said, referring to a local magic where the future is told through markings drawn in the soil.
'A sorcerer can earn thousands of dollars and be showered with luxury 4 X 4 vehicles for accurate predictions that yield a booty for the pirates.
'The black magic has upset local residents amid rumours the sorcerers are instructing the pirates to sacrifice young children and older women after their comrades died in the shoot-out with US troops.
I suppose this must be that syncretic variety of Islam, mixed with 'local non-Muslim customs', that we hear so much about, in Africa and Indonesia, and that is supposed to be benign and moderate compared to the pure Saudi Arabian kind...By the looks of this, there doesn't seem to be much between the two versions - the 'pure' or the syncretic - in terms of malevolence. - CM.
"I ran away from the pirates after they killed three men in Hobyo. I heard the next step was to assassinate women who had been through menopause, like me", 60 year old Fatuma Rashid told Reuters by phone from Galkayo.
"And when I arrived in Galkayo, I met mothers worried about their babies. They say they were being hunted by pirates who now believe human killings may be more powerful than slaughtering wild animals."
'Pirate Hussein said the sorcerers only request the sacrifice of a rabbit or crocodile to avert death on the ocean.'
Well, he would say that. He could hardly say anything else. Ah, the beauty of 'folk Islam' in Africa. - CM.