6aad Wikileaks: Ahlu Sunna Oo Ka Dalbatay Maraykanka Caawinaad.

Jan. 26 2009
Ka: Safaarada Maraykanka ee Adis Ababa.
Ku:Xoghayaha Arimaha Dibada Washington
Og: CIA (Centreal Intelligence Agency) Hay’adda Sirdoonka Dhexe.
Og: DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency) Hay’adda Sirdoonka Ciidanka.
Og: NSC (National Security Counsil) Golaha Amaanka Qaranka.
Og: USmission Xafiiska Danaha Maraykanka.
Og: USCENTCOM (U S Central Command) Taliska Dhexe ee Ciidamada.
Og: CJTF (Combined Joint Task Force) Xarunta ciidamada Maraykanka ee Jabuuti.
Og: US Joint Staff (Xarunta Ciidamada Maraykanka)
Og: HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART Xarunta Taliska Afrika Jarmalka.

Waaxda Sirta ee xafiiska Adis Ababa 01 OF 03 00202

Ujeedo: ASWJ (Ahlu Sunna Wal-Jamaaca) oo doonaysa gargaar Maraykan si ay u jabiso Al-Shabab.

Sir uu soo diray Danjire Donald Yamamoto.

Warkii oo kooban

1. 24kii Janaayo, waxa la soo xiriiray mudane PolOff xiriiriyaha Ahlu Sunna Wal-Jamaaca isla markaana ah ganacsade dagan Dubai magaciisuna yahay Mahdi Dahir Shiikh Nur, una dhashay beesha Daarood. Wuxuna u sheegay in ASWJ ay diyaar u tahay inay dagaalanto inta laga “jabinayo Al-Shabaab ayna dhimanayaan” Wuxuna intaas raaciyay in Ahlu Sunna ay wadaan abaabul ciidan si ay u balaariyaan howl-galkooda. Mahdi wuxu noo sheegay in Ahlu Sunna ay u diyaar garoobayaan inay mustaqbalka dhaw weeraraan magaaloyinka kala ah Marka, Ceel-Buur, iyo Dhuusa-Mareeb. Iyo sidoo kale inay ka fakarayaan inay u guuraan Muqdisho. Mahdi wuxu noogu sir-waramay in maleeshiyaadka Ahlu Sunna ay ka helaan dowladda Itoobiya hub iyo sir-doon, sidoo kalana ay ka helaan Somaliland iyo Puntland aqbaaro muhiim ah. Wuxu kaloo intaas raaciyay in Kenya iyo Ugaandha ay ka fakarayaan sidii ay kaalmo u siin lahaayeen Ahlu Sunna Wal-Jamaaca.

Mahdi wuxu noo sheegay qiimeyn uu ku sameeyay Dowladda KMG ee Somaliya inay tahay mid aan la isku haleyn karin, inkastoo uu sheegay in ururkiisa Ahlu Sunna uu si qarsoodi ah u wado inay gacanta ku dhigaan xildhibaanada lagu kordhinayo dowladda KMG. Wuxu kaloo noo sheegay Mahdi in ururkiisu uusan ku kalsooneyn hogaamiyaha ururka dib u xoreynta garabkisa Jabuuti Sh. Shariif, wuxuna intaas raaciyay in madaxda Ahlu Sunna ay xataa diideen inay la hadlaan Sh. Shariif.

Mahdi wuxu si toos ah noo waydiistay in Washington ay ku kaalmeeyso Ahlu Sunna dhaqaale iyo hub, wuxuna balan qaaday inay jabinayaan Al-Shabaab haddii Maraykanku uu kaalmeeyo Ahlu Sunna.
Dhamaad Warkii oo kooban:

Ahlu Sunna oo u diyaar garoobaysa weerar ay ku qaado Al-Shabaab

2. Mahdi oo dhawaan yimid Adis Ababa isagoo kasoo duulay Guriceel, wuxu u sharxay PolOff in Ahlu Sunna wixii ka dambeeyay dagaalkii Guriceel ee Janaayo 11kii ay wadeen diyaar garow iyo qalabeyn ciidan si ay u burburiyaan Al-Shabaab. Wuxu Mahdi sheegay in Ahlu Sunna ay haysato ciidan aan lasoo koobi karin, laakin aysan heysan qalab iyo dhaqaale, gaar ahaan hub iyo rasaas. Wuxu tilmaamay, inkastoo dagaalkii Guriceel lagu guuleystay hadana ciidankoodu inay ka bexeen dhowr goobood kadib markii ay ka dhamaatay rasaastii, wuxuna sheegay in hubka ay Al-Shabaab ku dagaal gasho badankiis uu yahay mid ay ka furtaan meydadka Al-Shabaab. Wuxu kaloo cabasho ka muujiyay in ciidankoodu uusan heysan daawooyin fiican oo ay ku dhayaan dhaawacyadooda.

3. Intii uu socday dagaalkii Guriceel, Ahlu Sunna waxay iska dhigeen kuwo jabay oo ka baxay magaalada si ay u shirqoolaan Al-Shabaab, oo soo dabagalay Ahlu Sunna kadibna ciidan u dhakanaa ayaa dhinac walba kasoo weeraray Al-Shabaab ayuu yiri Mahdi. Isagoo intaas raaciyay in Al-Shabaab ay yihiin “fulayo” waxayna xoogaa saareen sidii ay badbaadsan lahaayeen tiknikadooda iyagoo ka cararay dhaawacyadoodii oo ku geeriyooday goobtii. Mahdi wuxu aqriyay magacyada ciidanka Al-Shabaab laga dilay, isagoo intaas ku daray in hogaamiyaha Al-Shabaab Axmed Cabdi Aw-Muxumed Godane uu si daran uga dhaawacmay caloosha.

Bartilmaameedka xiga ee Ahlu Sunna.

4. Mahdi wuxu noo sheegay in Ahlu Sunna ay hada wadaan qorshe ay ku qabsanayaan magaalada Marka, kadibna ay ku xijinayaan Ceel-Buur iyo Dhuusa-Mareeb. Wuxu noo sheegay inaysan jirin qabiil ku badan Marka iyo agagaarkeeda, taasna ay u sahleyso Ahlu Sunna inay qabsadaan magaalada dekadda ah ee Marka, waase haddii ay helaan hub iyo rasaas ku filan. Wuxu Mahdi noo sheegay in garoonka diyaaradaha Ceel-Buur ay kasoo dagaan diyaarado Eritreeya ay leedahay oo hub u sida Al-Shabaab, ayna aad muhiim u tahay in la joojiyo arinkaas. Waxa kaloo Ahlu Sunna ay qorshaynayaan inay ka saaraan Al-Shabaab magaalada Dhuusa-Mareeb.

Mahdi wuxu xooga saaray in Galgaduud ay tahay laf-dhabarta Wahaabiyada mayalka adag, sidaas darteedna ay tahay in marka hore lagu jabiyo Galgaduud.

5. Mar aan waydiinay Mahdi inay qorshaynayaan inay Muqdisho galaan, wuxu ku jawaabay in madaxda Ahlu Sunna ay ka fiirsanayaan arinkaas. Wuxu yiri Ahlu Sunna waxay wadaan qorshe ay ku dagayaan saddex xaafadood oo Muqdisho ka mid ah oo kala ah Hodan, Howl-Wadaag iyo Wardhiigley. Qorshahoodu waa in ciidanka Ahlu Sunna ay wajiga duubtaan oo isku ekaysiiyaan Al-Shabaab kadibna ay si kadis ah ku qabtaan Al-Shabaab. Wuxuse intaas raaciyay in qorshahaan uu marka hore ka horaynayo qorshayaasha kale ee uu soo sheegay.

Ahlu Sunna waxay kaalmo ka heshaa Itoobiya.

6. Mahdi wuxu noo sharxay in guushii Guriceel kadib ay Ahlu Sunna xiriir la samaysatay Itoobiya, gaar ahaan ciidanka difaaca Itoobiya. Wuxu noo sheegay Mahdi inuu la kulmay taliyaha ciidamada Itoobiya Jan. Samora bartimihii Janaayo, ayna ka wada hadleen kaalmo ay Itoobiya u fidiso ciidanka Ahlu Sunna. Samora wuxu uga mahad celiyay Mahdi iyo Ahlu Sunna inay noqdeen kooxdii ugu horaysay ee Soomaali ah ee jabisay Al-Shabaab. Wuxuna codsaday Samora inuu ogaado qorshaha mustaqbalka ee Ahlu Sunna. Mahdi wuxu yiri waxan ka codsaday Jan. Samora in ciidanka Itoobiya iyo kuwa Ahlu Sunna ay si wadajir ah ugu duulaan Al-Shabaab, wuuse diiday Samora dalabkaas isagoo sheegay inay qorshaynayaan in dhamaan ciidamada Itoobiya laga soo saarayo Soomaliya dhawaan. Laakin Samora wuxu ogolaaday inuu siiyo Ahlu Sunna wixi kale ee ay u baahan yihiin sida hub iyo sirdoon. Wuxuna Mahdi noo xaqiijiyay inay ka heleen Itoobiya labadii arimood ee ay balan qaadeen. Wuxuse xusay in hubka iyo rasaastu ay ku yar yihiin wali ayna u baahan yihiin in ka badan inta ay ka helaan Itoobiya.

Mahdi wuxu noo sheegay hal tusaale, oo ay ciidamada Itoobiya usoo jirsadeen dagaalka Guriceel meel ay ka maqlayaan rasaasta, laakin ay dib u gurteen iyagoo aan ka qeyb galin dagaalka dhowr saacadood kadib. Mahdi wuxu sheegay inuu ka helay ciidanka Ahlu Sunna dalab ah in ciidamada Itoobiya ay lasoo galaan dagaalka, laakin ay ciidamada Itoobiya diideen inay soo galaan dagaalka.

Somaliland iyo Puntland oo caawiya Ahlu Sunna.

7. Ahlu Sunna waxaa kaloo si dhow ula shaqeeya Somaliland iyo Puntland oo ay sheegeen inay ka helaan warar sirdoon. Mahdi wuxu noo sheegay in labada maamulba ay ogyihiin in haddii Galguduud ay u gacan gasho Al-Shabaab ay goboladoodu noqonayaan kuwa ku xiga ee Al-Shabaab ay soo weeraraan. Mahdi wuxu noo sheegay oo kale inuu dhawaan warbixin ku siiyay Gaalkacyo madaxweynaha cusub ee Puntland, wuxuna sidoo kale sheegay in wasiirka arimaha gudaha ee Somaliland uu si joogto ah telefon ugula xiriiro madaxda ciidamada Ahlu Sunna.

Dowladaha Kenya iyo Ugandha oo xiriiro la sameeya Ahlu Sunna.

8. Mahdi wuxu sheegay in ciidamada amaanka Kenya ay xiriiro la leeyihiin shacabka Ahlu Sunna ee Nairobi dagan, ayna dowlada Kenya ka fakareyso qaabkii ay ku caawin laheyd Ahlu Sunna. Wuxu kaloo Mahdi sheegay in wafdi ka socda Ahlu Sunna ay dhawaan la kulmeen dowladda Ugandha, ayna sidoo kale kulamo la yeesheen madaxda ciidanka AMISOM ee Muqdisho jooga. Jawaabta hordhaca ah ee Kampala waa mid wanaagsan ayuu yiri Mahdi.

Dowladda KMG ah la iskuma haleyn karo.

9. Mar uu ka hadlayay arimaha siyaasada wuxu Mahdi sheegay in dowladda KMG ah ay tahay mid aan la isku haleyn karin, wuxuna raaciyay in shirka ka socda Jabuuti uu yahay mid si xun loo agaasimay. Mahdi wuxu saadaaliyay isku biiritaanka Ururka Dib u Xoreynta iyo Dowladda KMG ah uu noqon doono mid aan shaqeyn. Wuxu cadeeyay in Ahlu Sunna ay diideen inay ka qeyb galaan shirka Jabuuti, inkastoo uu ogolaaday in aysan Ahlu Sunna wali go’aan cad ka qaaday dowladd KMG. Si kastaba ha ahaatee, wuxu sheegay Mahdi in Ahlu Sunna ay isku dayayso inay qaabeyso 200 ee xildhibaan ee lagu biirinayo baarlamaanka Soomaliya, si buu yiri aan u yarayno asal-raaca ku biiri kara baarlamaanka cusub. Wuxu Mahdi cadeeyay inay rajaynayaan in Ra’isal Wasaaraha cusub ee dowladda KMG laga magacaabi doono Ahlu Sunna.

Ma jiro wax farqi ah oo u dhexeeya Sh. Shariif iyo Al-Shabaab.

10. Si buuxda ayuu Mahdi u cadeeyay in Sh. Shariif aan la aamini karin. Wuxu sheegay in Sh. Shariif uu dhowr mar isku dayay inuu la xiriiro Ahlu Sunna laakin madaxda Ahlu Sunna ay diideen inay la hadlaan. Mahdi wuxu xusay in Sh. Shariif uusan wali ka hadlin qabuuraha ay fagayaan Al-Shabaab, wuxuna intaas raaciyay diiditaanka uu diiday Sh. Shariif inuu ka hadlo arinkaas waxay muujinaysaa taageeradiisa dhabta ah ee uu u hayo Asal-Raaca. Wuxu Mahdi yiri “haddii aysan Sh. Shariif siduu rabo wax ugu socon wuxu dib ugu laabanayaa Asmara” Mahdi wuxu saadaaliyay in haddii Sh. Shariif uu madaxweyna ka noqdo Soomaaliya in dagaaladu ay sii kordhayaan. Mahdi wuxu dareen ka muujiyay in haddii Ahlu Sunna ay ka guulaysato Al-Shabaab inuu ka cabsanayo in taasi ay sii kordhiso awooda Sh. Shariif, mana uusan sheegin Mahdi fikrad cad oo looga hortagi karo cabsidaas.

Codsi kaalmo ee laga rabo Washington.

11. Kadib markii uu sharxay dhaqdhaqaaqa Ahlu Sunna Mahdi wuxu codsaday in loo sheego sida Maraykanku ay u caawin karaan Ahlu Sunna si ay jabiso Al-Shabaab. Wuxu is waydiiyay in Washington ay “fiirsanayso (arimaha) iyo inay talaabo qaadayso” Mahdi wuxu sheegay in baahida ugu weyn ee ay Ahlu Sunna qabaan hada ay tahay lacag, hub yar yar iyo rasaas. Wuxu ku celceliya in haddii Maraykanku uu caawiyo la jabin doono Al-Shabaab. Si kasta ha ahaatee, Mahdi wuxu codsaday inuu sii socdo xiriir joogto ah oo kala dhexeeya dowladda Maraykanka, wuxuna si gooni ah u cadeeyay inaysan Ahlu Sunna rabin in Itoobiya ay u dhaxayso Maraykanka iyo iyaga.

PolOff wuxu uga mahadceliyay Mahdi wadahadalka daacada ah, wuxuna u balan qaaday oo kaliya in fariintiisa loo gudbin doono Washington.

Talo soo jeedin.

12. Inkastoo Mahdi uu ku celceliyay in kooxdiisu aysan ahayn urur siyaasadeed, hadana talaabooyina uu sheegay inay kooxdiisu qaadayso waxay muujinayaan in ugu yaraan ay damacsan yihiin inay qaabeeyaan siyaasada Soomaliya, sidaas darteedna loogama tashanayo Ahlu Sunna inay banaanka ka yihiin siyaasada Soomaliya.

Sida ay noo sheegeen Soomaali xiriir la leh dowladda KMG ah oo ku sugan Adis Ababa, waxa jira dareen muujinaya in haddii ay madax ka noqdaan dowladda midnimo Qaran madaxda Ururka Dib U Xoreynta kuwooda Ahlu Sunna ay ku tilmaameen inay yihiin Xag-Jir, in markaas midowga dowladda iyo ururka dib u xoreynta ay u arkayaan Ahlu Sunna in dowladaasi ay tahay mid cadow ah.

Waxay u muuqataa dowladda Itoobiya mid jeclaah laheyd in xiriir uu dhex maro Ahlu Sunna iyo Maraykanka, sida uu cadeeyay Abdetta Dribssa oo ah wakiilka gaarka ah ee dowladda Itoobiya u qaabilsan arimaha Soomaaliya kana soo laabtay hada Muqdisho. Abdetta waa ninka hada is baray Mahdi Dahir Shikh Nur iyo PolOff.

Dhamaad Talo soo jeedin.
Yamamoto

ASWJ SEEKING US HELP TO DEFEAT AL-SHABAAB

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P 261412Z JAN 09

FM AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3514

INFO RUCNSOM/SOMALIA COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 7675

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

RUEPADJ/CJTF HOA PRIORITY

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

RUEKDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

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RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

RUZEFAA/HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE PRIORITY

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 03 ADDIS ABABA 000202

NOFORN

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/25/2019

TAGS: PREL, MOPS, KPKO, SO, ET

SUBJECT: SOMALIA: ASWJ SEEKING US HELP TO DEFEAT AL-SHABAAB

(S/NF)

Classified By: AMBASSADOR DONALD YAMAMOTO.  REASONS: 1.4 (B) AND (D).

1.  (S/NF)  Summary.  Somali Ahlu Sunna wal Jama’a (ASWJ)

coordinator, and Dubai based businessman from the Darood

clan, Mahdi Dahir Sheikh Nur told PolOff on January 24 that

ASWJ would fight until al-Shabaab was “defeated and dead,”

and he said ASWJ was mobilizing to expand its operations.

Mahdi said ASWJ was preparing to attack Merka, El Bur, and

Dusa Mareb in the near future, and was considering a move

into Mogadishu.  He revealed that ASWJ associated militias

were receiving ammunition and intelligence from the Ethiopian

military, as well as information from Somaliland and

Puntland.  He also stated that the Ugandan and Kenyan

governments were considering providing assistance to ASWJ.

Mahdi assessed the Somali Transitional Federal Government

(TFG) to be irrelevant, although his movement was taking

actions behind the scenes to shape the formation of the

expanded TFG parliament in their favor.  He also did not

trust Alliance for the Re-Liberation of Somalia Djibouti

(ARS/Djibouti) head Sheikh Sharif, and said ASWJ leaders

refused even to talk to Sharif.  Mahdi asked outright for

financial and military assistance from Washington, pledging

to defeat al-Shabaab with American help. End Summary.

ASWJ Mobilizing, Taking the Fight to Al-Shabaab

——————————————— —

2.  (S/NF)  Mahdi, who had just flown to Addis Ababa from

Guriel a few days prior to the meeting with PolOff, explained

that ASWJ, particularly after the January 11 fighting around

Guriel, was in the process of mobilizing and equipping an

army to destroy al-Shabaab.  He said ASWJ had access to

unlimited manpower, but was constrained by a lack of

resources, specifically arms and ammunition.  He noted that

while the Guriel fighting had gone well, there were several

points where the fighters had to withdraw from a lack of

ammunition, and he said ASWJ’s main source of weapons was

from dead al-Shabaab fighters.  He also said the group was

having difficulty obtaining proper medical care for its

wounded fighters.

3.  (S/NF)  During the Guriel fighting, ASWJ feinted a

withdrawal through the town to lure al-Shabaab into an ambush

where waiting fighters attacked their pursuers from all

sides, Mahdi said.  He added that al-Shabaab “were cowards,”

and that they only cared about saving their technicals,

leaving fighters to die.  Mahdi noted the list of al-Shabaab

fighters who were killed in the fighting, and he added that

al-Shabaab leader Ahmed Abdi Aw-Mohammed Godani had been

severely wounded in the stomach.

ASWJ’s Next Targets

——————-

4.  (S/NF)  Mahdi said ASWJ was making plans to capture the

port of Merka next to be followed by El Bur and Dusa Mareb.

He said no one clan dominates the Merka area, and that taking

the port would not be too difficult once ASWJ had sufficient

weapons and ammunition.  He said the El Bur airstrip was used

by Eritrea to fly weapons to the extremists and that it must

be stopped.  ASWJ was also preparing to expel al-Shabaab from

Dusa Mareb.  Mahdi emphasized that the backbone of the

Wahhabi extremists was in Galguduud, and therefore, they must

be defeated there first.

5.  (S/NF) When queried whether ASWJ was considering moving

into Mogadishu, Mahdi responded that such an operation was

under consideration by ASWJ leaders.  He said ASWJ was

looking at moving into three districts in Mogadishu: Hodan,

Hawlwadaag, and Wardhigley.  Their plan was to have ASWJ

fighters infiltrate those neighborhoods wearing black masks

disguised as al-Shabaab fighters to use the element of

surprise.  He did not think that this operation would occur

in the immediate future with priority being given to the

other targets he identified.

ASWJ Receiving Support from Ethiopia

————————————

6.  (S/NF)  Mahdi explained that after ASWJ’s initial

successes, they established contact with the Ethiopian

government, and specifically, the Ethiopian National Defense

ADDIS ABAB 00000202  002 OF 003

Force (ENDF).  Mahdi said he met with ENDF Chief of Defense

General Samora in mid-January to discuss potential Ethiopian

military support.  Mahdi said Samora congratulated him on

being the first group in Somalia to defeat al-Shabaab, and

Samora wanted to know what ASWJ’s plan was going forward.

Mahdi said he asked Samora to allow the ENDF to conduct joint

operations with ASWJ forces, but Samora refused noting that

he intended to have all Ethiopian military forces out of

Somalia very soon.  Instead Samora agreed to provide whatever

other support he could, including ammunition and

intelligence, both of which Mahdi confirmed ASWJ had received

since the Samora meeting.  He stressed, however, that the

ammunition was not enough and he needed more.  Mahdi noted

that in one instance ENDF forces, apparently located within

earshot of the fighting, went to Guriel and observed for

several hours before withdrawing without engaging al-Shabaab.

 Mahdi also said he had received requests from ASWJ field

commanders for Ethiopian fire support, but the ENDF refused

to join the fighting.

Somaliland and Puntland Assisting ASWJ

————————————–

7.  (S/NF)  ASWJ was also working closely with the Somaliland

and Puntland governments who were providing intelligence to

ASWJ field commanders, Mahdi said.  He noted that both

governments understood that if Galguduud fell to the

extremists, Puntland and Somaliland were next.  Mahdi stated

he had recently briefed the new Puntland President in person

in Galcaio, and said the Somaliland Interior Minister was in

regular direct contact with ASWJ commanders by telephone.

Kenyan and Ugandan Governments in Contact with ASWJ

——————————————— ——

8.  (S/NF)  Mahdi said the Kenyan security service was in

contact with ASWJ people in Nairobi, and that the Kenyan

government was exploring ways to assist them.  He also said

an ASWJ delegation had recently met with the Ugandan

government as well as with Ugandan AMISOM military commanders

in Mogadishu, and that the initial response from Kampala was

favorable.

“The TFG is Irrelevant…”

————————–

9.  (S/NF)   On the political front, Mahdi insisted the TFG

was irrelevant, noting that the current negotiations in

Djibouti were badly organized, and he predicted that a merger

between the TFG and ARS/Djibouti could never work.  He

commented that ASWJ had declined to join the political

process, but he admitted that ASWJ had yet to make any

decisions regarding the TFG itself.  Nevertheless, he said

ASWJ was attempting to shape the list of the 200 ARS/Djibouti

members to be added to the TFG parliament to ensure that

there were as few extremists on the list as possible.  He

also said he would prefer that the next TFG prime minister

come from ASWJ.

“…and Sheikh Sharif is Little Different than Shabaab”

——————————————— ———-

10.  (S/NF)  But Mahdi was clear that Sheikh Sharif could not

be trusted.  He said Sharif had repeatedly reached out to

ASWJ leaders, but that ASWJ had refused to talk with him.

Mahdi stated that Sharif had yet to make any statements

regarding al-Shabaab desecration of Sunni graves, and

insisted that Sharif’s refusal to condemn the attacks showed

his true allegiance is to the extremists.  He said if things

do not work out for Sharif, then Sharif would simply return

to Asmara.  Mahdi predicted that if Sharif became TFG

president, then the fighting in Somalia would increase.

Mahdi was also concerned that al-Shabaab’s defeat by ASWJ

would increase Sharif’s influence and power, and Mahdi did

not have a clear idea of how to confront that possibility.

A Plea for Assistance from Washington

————————————-

11.  (S/NF)  After explaining ASWJ’s activities, Mahdi

queried what the United States was going to do to assist ASWJ

in defeating al-Shabaab.  He asked whether Washington would

ADDIS ABAB 00000202  003 OF 003

“watch or act.”  Mahdi said the group’s most pressing needs

were for money, small arms, and ammunition.  He insisted that

with American help, al-Shabaab would be defeated.  However,

Mahdi wanted to continue direct contact with the American

government, and he specifically noted that in the future he

did not want the Ethiopian government to act as an

interlocutor between his group and the United States.  PolOff

thanked Mahdi for the frank discussion and promised only to

relay Mahdi’s message to Washington.

Comment

——-

12.  (S/NF)  Although Mahdi insisted that ASWJ was

apolitical, the actions he said his group were taking show

that at the very least the movement is attempting to shape

the political environment, and therefore, cannot be

considered to be outside the political realm.  Informed

Somalis associated with the TFG in Addis Ababa have begun

raising concerns that if ARS leaders who ASWJ considers to be

the hardline extremists become a significant power within a

TFG/ARS unity government, then ASWJ will quickly come to view

the unity government as the enemy.  The Ethiopian government

probably would look favorably on a relationship between

Washington and ASWJ as it was Abdetta Dribssa, the Ethiopian

government’s special envoy to Somalia now returned from

Mogadishu, who introduced Mahdi to PolOff. End Comment.

YAMAMOTO

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