Somali extremist threatens US, Kenya with attacks

by The Daily Lede

Somali extremist threatens US, Kenya with attacks

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — Making a rare threat against the United States, a senior member of Somalia’s Islamic insurgent group that has carried out terrorist attacks abroad said Thursday that holy war will come to America and that Islam’s flag will one day fly over Washington.

The al-Shabab fighter, who has a $5 million U.S. bounty on his head, said in a speech broadcast on the rebels’ radio station that al-Shabab fighters would carry out jihad, or holy war, in Kenya and Uganda “and afterward, with God’s will, to America.”

“America is waging a war in the Horn of Africa because they are responsive to the Quran verses saying that the Islamic flag will fly in every corner of the world,” Fuad Mohamed Khalaf, also known as Fuad Shongole, said, referring to Islam’s holy book.

U.S. officials have long feared that any of the several dozen Somali-Americans who have left the U.S. to join the extremist fighters could travel back to the United States to carry out terror attacks. Senior al-Shabab leaders have rarely, if ever, publicly threatened to carry out attacks in the U.S.

The threat comes amid a heightening of security by the U.S. Embassy in neighboring Kenya.

The U.S. ambassador in Nairobi, in a letter sent to embassy employees last week, said he has requested additional Kenyan and American security personnel and is reducing the size of the embassy staff because of an increase in terrorist threats in Kenya. The letter said additional police are already patrolling around the embassy and that more assets would arrive from Washington.