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GUEST POST: Gaidi Mtaani

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By Jonah Ondieki and Jake Zenn

Al-Shabbab introduced the world’s first Swahili jihadi magazine on April 5, 2012 called Gaidi Mtaani, meaning “On Terrorism Street.” In “On Terrorism Street” al-Shabbab subtly mocks the Kenyan army’s Operation Linda Nchi (“Defend the Nation”) by naming its own operation, Operation Linda Uislam (“Defend Islam”). The online magazine’s colourful style and well-edited and formatted articles places it among the elite of online Jihadist publications, similar to al-Qaeda’s now inactive Inspire and the Turkistan Islamic Party’s (TIP) Islamic Turkistan.

As always, the language of choice for this publication, Swahili, matters. Evidently, al-Shabbab wants to appeal to the Kenyan street. Al-Shabbab’s own constituency in Somalia would only understand Somali and, to a lesser extent, Arabic. Kenyan elites would be more attracted to an English publication than Swahili given that English is the language of education and the upper class in Kenya. Al-Shabbab may be trying to win over lesser-educated Muslims in Northern Kenya to al-Shabbab’s cause or to convince Kenyans of all stripes that the propaganda they see on television about the Kenyan army’s success in Somalia is untrue.

Alternatively, the publication may be a way for al-Shabbab to tell jihadis that al-Shabbab considers Kenya another one of its enemies, as evidence by the use of Swahili—not English, Somali or Arabic. On the Somali online jihadi forum, al-Qimmah, al-Shabbab has released other warnings to the Kenyan government, but the “Gaidi Mtaani” publication in Swahili, which was released on the Shamukh al-Islam forum, will reach a more diverse audience than statements on al-Qimmah.

Below is a summary translation of some of the main points included in the publication:

Operation Linda Uislam (Operation protect Islam)

Many Muslims believe that any attack on them (such as the incursion of Kenyan Defense Forces (KDF) into Somalia) is instigated from the West. The basis that Kenya used to start the attack was not sufficient to justify its attack on al-Shabbab, but was part of the wider scheme of the influence of the unbelievers (kafir) of the Western world. The reason was a mere fabrication to validate their attack on Islam.

It is clear that the Western media has been successful in shading Muslim believers in a bad light. It has created an impression that the believers of God, who are fighting according to God’s will are followers and sympathizers of terrorism. The Western journalists are experts of deceit who have even managed to deceive some Muslims to believe their slander!

The fact is that they are trying to misrepresent the mujahidin by spreading false information and magnifying their small mistakes to look like big crimes. They are sowing a seed of hatred amongst them, their leaders and followers. On the other hand, they seem to praise the West and justify their wickedness. Therefore, Muslims are urged not to rely on such news sources until they are validated by true Islamic sources. However, some news such as that of weather can be relied on.

Protecting the Mujahidin

The prophet of God (Mohammad) says, “Whoever shall protect the reputation and name of his brother, God shall deliver his face from the furnace of jehannam (hell) at the day of judgement (from Al Tirmithi).” He continues saying that, “anybody who shall betray a fellow Muslim, his reputation shall be destroyed and God will forsake him at the time of need…” therefore Muslims are urged to defend their Muslim brothers all the time.

The British Betrayal of Muslims

History is very clear about how the British related with Muslims in the East African coast in the colonial period. The massacre, persecution and other inhumane acts that they did to Muslims are evidence of how they hate humanity. Their image today of being in the front line in defending human rights is superficial because underneath lies the crimes against humanity they perpetrated especially on Muslims. The British activities of fighting Islam are well known and are not a new thing. For example they took Palestine’s land and gave it to Jews. This is a proof that they can take land that duly belongs to Muslims and give it to their enemies.

In the case of East Africa; in 1895, the British government was given a coastal strip of 10 miles by the Sultans of Zanzibar. These Zanzibar leaders entered into a treaty which had one of its articles state that “Britain will not apply any Christian law on any party of the coast UNLESS Kenya attained independence or they consent to change the religion of the coast six months in advance.” These unwise poor sultans of Zanzibar made religion a commodity for transaction with the British authorities.

In the Lancaster meeting of 1962-63 which was to write the Kenya constitution, it was agreed that that coastal strip shall remain under the jurisdiction of the independent Kenyan government. We are not trying to mean or imply that the coastal Kenya should secede from the mainland Kenya. Not at all! We are trying to make the reader to understand how the Islamic religion was joked about.

Britain was a key player in dislodging Palestinians in favour of the Jews and selling the Muslim land in the Kenyan coast to the Kenyan government. Today the same thing is happening in Somalia where they are assisting to cast down Islam that is defended by al-Shabbab. They have been envying the Islamic growth in Somalia for the past 20 years, thus they now support the AMISOM, Ethiopian troops and now the KDF incursion into Somalia to disrupt the Islamic systems. But their efforts will not prevail over God.

The recent London Conference on Somalia was sponsored by Britain. The inner motive was to topple the Islamic systems by collaborating with Kenya together with other African countries and the world. If you carefully look at what is going on in Kenya and Somalia then you will vividly understand the real intention.

Just a few days before the conference, Kenya had given a contract to Total to start exploring oil on the coast. Later we saw British and American companies sign a contract to mine oil in Puntland. Moreover, just the other day we saw the Kenyan president, Ethiopian PM and the South Sudan president converge in Lamu to launch the construction of the Port of Lamu. It is sad that other nations are using the Somalia situation to advance their economic development instead of helping Somalia back to peace by strengthening Islam because Somalia was peaceful when it was under Islamic rule.

If Kenya is going to be the Israel of Africa and Somalia the Palestine of Africa then we must not allow that. Every Muslim wherever you are ask yourself whether you are defending Islam from attack by the unbelievers (kafir) or you are supporting the attack.

10 ways of recognizing an undercover spy

  1. He will disguise himself and start establishing friendship with the one he is interested in investigating just as a normal person.
  2. A few elements of lies will start surfacing. You will note this when he will use long explanations to defend himself whenever he contradicts himself. For example he may claim to be a college student and you may see him in a cyber cafe or the mosque during class hours.
  3. The spy might claim that he is one of the mujahidin or he is a shaykh or that he has contacts with other mujahidin or shaykhs. You have got to be careful.
  4. The spy will always claim to be busy with either studies or a job. This is to make him not to be involved in jihad. However, do not rely on this characteristic alone for even normal Muslims have it, but cross-examine with other characteristics discussed here.
  5. The spies will always direct a talk to what they are interested in. They can, for example, ask if you would like to participate in a jihad and what kind of weapons you would prefer to use.
  6. Usually a spy will never rebuke you when you are wrong! For instance, if you smoke or listen to secular music or put up images/pictures on the wall of your house.
  7. He will always show trust to you. He might claim that he saw you in the mosque once. He can even insinuate that he would like to participate in a jihad or a hijra (emigration).
  8. Ask yourself why they want to be with you and not others. Ask yourself questions why they don’t want to do an operation alone but with you.
  9. Once you ascertain that that person is indeed a spy, stop any further engagement with him. It may be even necessary to change your contact details. If possible, give him a reason for disassociating yourself.
  10.  All has been said but the most important thing is depending on God for all.

A message from a KDF captive in Somalia

When the KDF invaded Somalia, they thought things would be smooth for them. They have however faced real resistance. Major Chirichiri and Col. Cyrus Oguna are simply lying to Kenyans that KDF is doing pretty well on the battlefield. The fact is they have not been able to advance past Qoqani.

According to the video released by Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mujahidin showing one of the Kenya captives by the name Mulle, Yesse Edward (a former Distict Officer of Burdei) pleading with the Kenyan government to withdraw its army from Somalia, Kenya seems to be losing. 

Islamic Law on war captives 

When we talk about law on captives we do not imply the ‘Geneva convention.’ Islam has particular laws that guide them when dealing with war captives. Islam does not distinguish a trained soldier and a civilian. Both have a duty to take part in a jihad. You are either fighting to defend Islam or against Islam. That is the distinguishing factor. Period!

When Kenya decided to invade Somalia, it got herself into the list of the countries that are fighting Islam. It is therefore imperative for Kenya to be aware of where they have plunged themselves. Therefore, every Kenyan should know that he/she doesn’t have any difference from the KDF members in Somalia and the fate will be the same.

The case of Mulle and other captives, Al-Shabaab may set them free unconditionally, kill them or set them free on conditions just the way they have said that they will release him and others on condition that the Kenyan government withdraws the KDF.

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