It's plain that the Horn of Africa has become a very dangerous place, and that makes Islamic militants' rise to power there all the more alarming. An Islamic militia with ties to al-Qaida has seized Somalia's capital Mogadishu after weeks of fighting with U.S.-backed secular warlords. The U.S. is backing the secular alliance to root out al-Qaida members operating in the Horn.Why do the words "Lion and Tigers and Bears, oh my!" keep ringing in my head? The situation in Somalia is too fluid, in my view, to have reached full gloom yet.
But in a blow to U.S. foreign policy, the Islamic militants seem to have prevailed and now claim to control the Somali ministries and courts. And they plan to set up a government based on Islamic law, following the path of the Taliban last decade in Afghanistan. And like the Taliban, the Islamic leaders in Mogadishu are sheltering al-Qaida leaders, including three indicted in the deadly 1998 U.S. Embassy bombings in neighboring Kenya and Tanzania.
Now the entire nation of 8 million could fall under the sway of Osama bin Laden's terror group, which could in turn use its port as a base to launch attacks against the U.S. Navy and merchant marine sailing in the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden. The terrorists could also mount attacks against oil targets in Saudi Arabia.
Thursday, June 08, 2006
Investors Business Daily takes a gloomy view of recent events in Somalia in Horn Of Trouble: