Somali rebels threaten to attack Israel

Tuesday, November 03, 2009 |  Israel Today Staff

A top rebel group fighting for control of the West African Muslim nation of Somalia has threatened to start attacking Israel in the near future.

Experts say the al-Shahab rebel group has been transforming from a traditional insurgency into a terrorist organization in recent years, and now maintains strong ties to Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda group.

Mukhtar Robow Abu Mansur, a top al-Shahab leader, was quoted by CNN as saying during a recent mosque sermon that Israel is trying to destroy the Muslim sites that occupy Jerusalem's Temple Mount, and that his group will join with Palestinian terror groups in combatting the Jewish state.

"We will transfer and expand our fighting in the Middle East so we can defend al-Aqsa Mosque from the Israelis," another al-Shahab leader said.

Rashid Abdi of the International Crisis Group told CNN that the threat should be taken seriously, as al-Shahab is a very strong and capable militant organization.

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