Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Analysis of Hizb al Islam

The conservative think tank in Washington, American Enterprise Institute, published a useful backgrounder on the Hizb al Islam organization in Somalia on Oct. 8, 2010. Titled "Somalia’s Second Islamist Threat: A Backgrounder on Hizb al Islam," the author is Nathaniel Horadam.

The report concludes that Hizb al Islam remains a threat to pro-government forces and contributes to instability in Somalia. Its commitment to a radical Islamist ideology and connections to prominent clans in the country make it an appealing compromise for Somalis who reject the Somali Transitional Federal Government but distrust the foreign elements within al-Shabaab. Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweis ultimately controls the fate of Hizb al Islam, and any formal shift in allegiance to al-Shabaab is dependent on him.

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