Somali rebels claim second French commando dies of wounds: Al Shabaab wants to impose their strict version of sharia, or Islamic law, across the Horn of Africa state. It is calling on France to end its support for the Somali government and a withdrawal of the 17,600-strong African peacekeeping force propping up the UN backed administration.
Mali-based Islamists pledge attacks on French soil: Malian soldiers continued to struggle against well-equipped rebels, who on Monday wrestled away control of the central town of Diabaly, according to French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian. “We knew that the key spots would be towards the west… where the most important fighting is going on today,” Le Drian told French BFM television.
Now we know where the majority of Al Shabab went when they left Somalia. African Union troops now in control of Kismayo and Al Shabaab
"France has attacked Islam. We will strike at the heart of France," said Abou Dardar, a leader of the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (Mujao), an offshoot of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).
European intelligence officials say last year they saw evidence that some jihadists from Afghanistan, Somalia and Yemen were looking to move on because of pressure from drone strikes and other interventions, and that Mali (along with Syria) was a top destination.
The town of Baidoa fell into government hands, said Mohamed Ibrahim Habsade, a Somali member of parliament and an officer leading the fight. Baidoa lies on a key commodities route, and last year, global aid agencies flew in emergency supplies to the town to help thousands of hungry Somalis fleeing drought-ridden areas. Al-Shabaab militants abandoned the town in fear as government troops closed in.
Then: Somalia al-Shabab militant base of Baidoa captured: Ethiopian and Somali troops had taken a strategic stronghold of Islamist militants in south-western Somalia.Eyewitnesses told the BBC that about 50 vehicles, including some 20 tanks, had entered Baidoa, which was not defended The BBC's Mohamed Dhore in the capital, Mogadishu, said Baidoa was the most important al-Shabab base after the southern port of Kismayo
.Al-Shabab, which has joined al-Qaeda, confirmed that it had withdrawn its forces.
Shabab had finally been humiliated so no surprise Zawahiri said Somalia's Shabab joined Qaeda: video
African Union: Somalia's al-Shabab Being 'Systematically Destroyed':Zawahiri says Somalia's Shabab joined Qaeda:
Somalia's extremist Shabab fighters have joined ranks with Al-Qaeda, the terror network's chief Ayman al-Zawahiri announced in a video message posted on jihadist forums. "I will break the good news to our Islamic nation, which will... annoy the crusaders, and it is that the Shabab movement in Somalia has joined Al-Qaeda," Zawahiri said."The jihadist movement is with the grace of Allah, growing and spreading within its Muslim nation despite facing the fiercest crusade campaign in history by the West," said Zawahiri in the video released by Al-Qaeda's media arm As-Sahab.:
That has worked well! It will not help Al Shabaab unless they leave Somalia and spread around the world as we said. They will now become another part of the head of the hydra! You can bet they have brought their fighting expertise to Mali and are part of the Jihadists attempting to overthrow the Government and defeat France.
Good luck to France and Mali!
Somalia is winning their long battle! I am impressed and really believe we stand a chance at defeating the Islamist extremism if only the entire world and every region where they flourish comes together and eradicates them.