Ignoring an Al-Qaeda Sponsor

shabaab_1959028cA U.N. report in July confirmed that the African government of Eritrea is still supporting Al-Qaeda’s Somali branch, a group known for its reach into America. The Eritrean dictator, an ally of Iran and top persecutor of Christians, is met with silence. Is President Obama’s desire to end the war on terrorstronger than his desire to punish Al-Qaeda’s allies?

The U.N. Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea concluded in July that Eritrea, though governed by a self-professed Christian dictator, is materially aiding al-Shabaab, the Al-Qaeda affiliate in Somalia that has recruited over 40 Americans. The group has an estimated 5,000 terrorists controlling central and southern Somalia and earns millions for Al-Qaeda through the sale of charcoal. The Eritrean government, led by President Isaias Afewerki, has two main liaisons to Al-Shabaab.

The first, a warlord named Abdi Nur Siad ‘Abdi Wal,’ works with an unnamed senior al-Shabaab commander and collaborates with other Somali Islamists. The second liaison is named Mohamed Wali Sheikh Ahmed Nur and he is described as Al-Shabaab’s “political coordinator.” He is on Eritrea’s payroll and has admitted in private meetings to being an Eritrean agent.

Ahmed Nur also works with the terrorism-sponsoring governments of Iran and Sudan, visiting the former in December. One of the purposes of these meetings was to explore ways of covertly financing him. The Eritrean ambassador to Sudan was kicked out from Kenya in 2009 because of his meetings with al-Shabaab.

The Eritrean embassy in Kenya had been utilized as a bank for its terrorist allies, funding Al-Shabaab with $75,000 a month. The financial network is now spread out through front businesses in Sudan, South Sudan, Uganda and Yemen.

The existence of these fronts in Yemen raises the possibility that Eritrea also has a relationship with Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and/or the Iran-backed Houthi rebels in the north. It was first reported in 2009 that Iranian Revolutionary Guards personnel in Eritrea were training Houthis. There are also unconfirmed reports of Iranian missiles in Eritrea.

In January, Arab media sources reported that Iran was transporting weapons to Yemen through Eritrean islands where Houthis also receive training. The weapons are smuggled into Yemen in fishing boats. Also that month, the Yemeni authorities intercepted an Iranian ship delivering arms to the Houthis and, possibly, Al-Shabaab via Eritrea. A diplomatic source said it had 16,717 blocks of C4 explosives and the Houthis aren’t known to use C4, but Al-Shabaab is.

According to a Yemeni political source, Iran’s operations in Eritrea and Yemen have heightened because of the Syrian civil war.

“Iranian national security council adopted a new strategy intended to shift the battle from Syria and Lebanon in the north to the Yemen on the southern tip of Arabian Peninsula, after Tehran has realized that its allied regime of Bashar Assad in Damascus cannot continue,” the source told ASharq Alawasat.

The Afewerki regime has even directly organized potential mass-casualty terrorist operations. According to an earlier U.N. report, Eritrea planned “mass casualty attacks against civilian targets” in January 2011 during a high-level African Union meeting in Ethiopia. The dispatched terrorists were instructed to make “Addis Ababa like Baghdad.” Nothing happened in response to the foiled plot.

The 47% of the Eritrean population that is Christian is oppressed (as are many non-Christians), even though Afewerki says he is a member of the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church. The country is described as a “giant prison” and Reporters Without Borders gave it the title of “most repressive nation on earth.”

All but three Christian denominations have been outlawed, and even members of the permitted denominations face persecution. Somewhere between 1,200and 3,000 Christians are in prison in “unimaginably atrocious conditions.” In July, 39 high school students, including 11 girls, were arrested, banned from graduation and sentenced to hard labor and beatings because of their public expressions of faith. Reportedly, they have been given an opportunity to leave if they renounce their faith in Christ.

The viability of the Eritrean opposition makes the West’s tolerance of Afewerki even more disheartening. On January 21, about 200 soldiers with two tanks took over a government ministry and demanded the release of all political prisoners. The coup failed.

The Afewerki regime is dividing against itself, with many youth and forced conscripts fleeing the country. Recently, 180 members of the navy weremassacred by the security forces when they tried to get out. The known defections include three senior air force pilots and senior officials “have started to manifest open dissent to military and economic policy decision-making.”

In 2010, Rep. Ed Royce of the House Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade, wrote a letter to the State Department demanding that Eritrea be added to the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism. Even under President Obama’s vision of the war on terror as solely a war on Al-Qaeda, Eritrea qualifies as a state sponsor, but nothing has happened.

Sanctions were first placed on Eritrea for its arming of terrorists in December 2009. For three and a half years, the regime has been allowed to sponsor Al-Shabaab, oppress its citizens (especially Christians) and ally with Iran. For two and a half years, Eritrea has not been held accountable for its direct involvement in a major terrorist plot.

Al-Qaeda’s favorite “Christian” leader is known by virtually no American and Al-Shabaab and Iran can thank the Obama Administration for that.

This article was sponsored by the Institute on Religion and Democracy.

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  • The Truth

    This article is utter rubbish. The current Eritrean goverment was the First Nation to fight Al Qaeda and Bin Laden before it was the international norm. They eradicated those idiots and sadly the West is now supporting them in Syria. What irony.

    • defcon 4

      The persecution of Christians in SOP in islam0nazi Eritrea. How do I know? I had a Christian friend from Eritrea.

      • The Truth

        And your one friend represents the whole of Eritrea. Give me a break. Peddle your lies to those who are misinformed.

        • defcon 4

          The article supports my friend’s point of view on Eritrea. I’d say that you’re the one who’s lying AHmed.

          • wedinakfa

            better read and visit instead of relying on one man’s testimony, otherwise you will be looking like blind lead blind; and I am christian but I have never been prescuted or else. I know the likes of Ryan who are paid journalists will say and do anything to get a fistfull dollars but as a christian more so as an Eriterean, the government of Eritrea asked the differetn religions groups to present their fnancial statmenst and Pentcost refusded to disclose their financial statments, Why?better ask; but for this reason the gov. of Eri stopped thier activity, now our esteemed paid journalis with his scewed head is telling ful of lies and deciet fit for a dust bin.
            Stop believing people what they tell you more so carefully analise the news media what they print, if you are seriose enough read/research about what Ryan, wrote and believe me your world will turn upside down, be very careful when you see a man with a tie and suit, they are the most dangerouse poeple in the world they will kill with no mercy so telling and deciminating false information is natural to the likes of Ryan!!!

  • A Z

    Afewerki is Christian like obama is Christian faint, occasional, professions of faith and no actions.

    Faith alone saves. Actions do not. But if a person is faithful actions will follow.

    So while good action do not prove a good heart, a good heart although not perfect will invariable produce many acts of good will.

    What are obama’s and Afewerki’s actions. Obama is at best neglect. obama will take any immigrant legal or illegal unless their parent s be Christian Home Schooler. Then he’ll sic the Justice department on them. That is just the smallest act of Obama’s bad faith.

  • Dyer’s Eve

    ‘From Persia, very near a million’.

  • M.T. Aziz

    If you wish to talk about state sponsors of terror, then let us talk about nations run by terrorists, like America, Britain, and the Zionist entity, who have the blood of millions of Muslims on their hands. You in the West are good are calling names but are myopic when it comes to your own heinous crimes.

    • defcon 4

      Ever heard of projection Hajji?

      • M.T. Aziz

        Yes, but your Jewish-Freudian fraudulent psychology doesn’t apply here.

        • defcon 4

          The next time you bang your head on the floor to allah, make sure to place a nice, big carpet tack right where your forehead hits — it’ll give you a zabiba your fellow islam0fascists will die for.

          • wedinakfa

            simply you are a nasty peice of work!!

    • Huck Folder

      Your brain is EMPTY AS IS.

      Anybody Google “haj a” to get the dirt on Hitler’s mohammedan best friend and Jew killer.

  • gerie

    if I was the institute of religion and democracy, I would ask for my more back. the guy is an imbecile.

  • Truth

    Ryan Mauro Cry hard, who paid you by the way ? US Gov.? Ethiopian Gov. ? Anyways your copy and paste Article put it in a Garbage Bin, MORON. the accusations are base less, last time i gave you one advice, search things by yourself and ask UN Security council to show you the evidence’s that Eritrea supports Terrorists, i bet they don’t have one concrete evidence, as of you keep barking like a dog when Eritrea marching

    • sihansihan

      WHY are you lying ? Yes the U.S., Ethiopia,The United nations
      the African Union,Igad,the European countries have all testified
      your country which is ruled by unhinged DICTATOR who is the
      your beloved salesman of Human trafficking,The Eritrean people
      have been ruled by IRON feast,have no democracy,no human
      rights,instead live under extreme explotation,slavery,mass killing,
      arrest,and a life of misery the world has never seen !!! Yet there are
      people like mr.truth who go around all publications, who spread lies
      lies,never ending lies.mr.truth you are A DIRTY BAG,and a stinking
      bag go and tell this story to your cursed mother,who brought you
      to this world to lie, and nothing else.

      • jon

        Before ranting and defending the US..Ethiopia. .UN..AU..IGAD..and Eu..reasearch these entities and their relations with Eritrea and their history in the modern era…I’m more than sure you won’t like what they have done and you will realize how long you’ve been brainwashed

  • Truth

    I feel so sad when i see your back ground as a National security analist, you and people like you mislead the top politicians by writing this kind of articles, what if you find out this accusatins are base less or black mailing campaign on Eritrea? will you quit from your profession? sitting in washington and talking about a country which you don’t know? what do you feel when you know the truth ?

    • defcon 4

      You wouldn’t know the truth if it lopped your head off w/a rusty scimitar.

    • Smerr Deki Erey welelo!

      Stop making fool out of your self! Marching where?? Didn’t you hear The Dictator interview this couple of days admitting the lies that he’s been giving you fools is not like what you all hoping and waiting for! As a matter fact Eritrea is in deep shit with the water, electric and other basic shortage crises. Because of this Dictator Eritrea is marching to hell! stop your none sense and make your head work!

  • ObamaYoMoma

    Leave it to Ryan Mauro to still be talking about state sponsors of terrorism like a loon, especially when jihad, as opposed to terrorism, is holy fighting in the cause of Allah for the establishment/expansion of Islam via the imposition of Sharia, which is Islamic totalitarian law.

    If this moron wants to pretend to be some sort of security expert, at the very least it would seem that this moonbat would know the difference between what is terrorism and what is jihad by now, as the two manifestations are completely different and distinct altogether. For instance, jihad, in stark contrast to terrorism, which is always and only violent, manifests both violently and non-violently, but overall astronomically far more non-violently relative to violently, is always and only holy fighting in the cause of Allah for the establishment/expansion of Islam, and is always and only waged by Muslims alone. Meanwhile terrorism, on the other hand, again is always and only violent, is perpetrated for any number of various political causes, and is perpetrated by people from all cultures and societies in stark contrast to jihad.

    Indeed, terrorism isn’t even an Islamic manifestation, which is also one of the reasons why GWB’s so-called fantasy-based “War on Terror” inevitably turned into the biggest strategic blunder ever in American history.

    Moreover, jihad is not only the highest pillar of which Islam stands, it is also a fundamental holy obligation incumbent upon all mainstream orthodox Muslims in one form or another. As all mainstream orthodox Muslims in the world are jihadists in one form or another. Otherwise, they are blasphemous apostates in which case they must be executed per the texts and tenets of Islam.

    If this moonbat wants to write about Muslims, then he should try a little harder to pretend like he knows what he’s talking about.

    • defcon 4

      Couldn’t you say that terrorism is a tactic of jihad?

      • ObamaYoMoma

        Couldn’t you say that terrorism is a tactic of jihad?

        No! With the only exception of Muslims, people from all societies and cultures perpetrate terrorism, in stark contrast to jihad, which is always and only waged by Muslims alone. In addition, terrorism is perpetrated for all kinds of various political causes, while jihad, on the other hand, is waged always and only in the specific cause of Allah for the establishment/expansion of Islam. Moreover, terrorism is always and only violent. However, jihad, in stark contrast to terrorism, manifests both violently and non-violently, but overall astronomically far more non-violently relative to violently. As a matter of fact, terrorism is not even a manifestation of Islamic society since Islamic society is exceedingly totalitarian.

        Indeed, it is extremely important that the West learns to distinguish what is jihad from terrorism, because if things stay the way they currently are today, then it will be only a matter of time before the West finds itself subjugated into Islamic totalitarianism.

        For instance, mass Muslim immigration to the West for demographic conquest is a very ubiquitous form of non-violent stealth and deceptive jihad relative to violent jihad. It is also used to setup violent jihad attacks, as that is exactly how the 9/11 violent jihad attacks were setup. Nevertheless, because of the current political correct paradigm, what is really jihad is always conflated as being terrorism, which is always and only violent. Hence, non-violent stealth and deceptive jihad, such as mass Muslim immigration to the West for demographic conquest, isn’t construed as being terrorism, since it isn’t violent. Indeed, if it isn’t violent, then it can’t be terrorism. Thus, it is allowed to manifest today totally unopposed and that must be stopped one way or another.

        Furthermore, the Left today likes to blame America’s foreign policy for the generation of terrorism, as the Left claims the USA has raped the world of its natural resources to quench its insatiable appetite for capitalism. Meanwhile, libertarian Ron Paul kooks like to blame the USA’s “interventionist” foreign policy for the generation of terrorism. Indeed, they claim it is blowback. However, both self-hating groups are unhinged, because Muslims don’t perpetrate terrorism, as terrorism isn’t even an Islamic manifestation. Instead, Muslims wage jihad specifically and only in the cause of Allah for the establish/expansion of Islam.

        Again, terrorism and jihad are two very different and distinct manifestations altogether, and jihad, in stark contrast to terrorism, is always and only holy fighting in the cause of Allah for the establishment/expansion of Islam, is waged by Muslims alone, and is both violent and non-violent, but overall astronomically far more non-violent relative to violent.

  • ObamaYoMoma

    By the way, Eritrea isn’t the only country that persecutes Christians and all other non-Muslim infidels as well. As a matter of fact, all Islamic states like clockwork persecute non-Muslim infidels including Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Druze, etc., etc., etc. Islamic states are also all totalitarian hellholes, as Sharia is Islamic totalitarian law. However, according to the current political correct narrative, in which this writer loyally adheres to like stink on sh!t, Islam is a so-called “religion of peace”, because GWB said it was.

  • dawit

    Trutu ,are u ok marching where ,did u see the current crisis and yr father interview
    water crisis ,energy crisis…, i recomend u to go to college and learn about what is marching and how to do it pl

  • Drifter12

    Why is Al Jazeera TV allowed to broadcast in the U.S.?

  • jon

    Most of yall have ridiculous statements…is it that hard to have a logical..sentiment free discussion without name calling. …..ignorance kills

  • Truth

    what a complete garbage and politically motivated this “journalist” is hired by TPLF/EPRDF ruling ethnic party of Ethiopia who are commuting crimes against humanity such as shipping 45 000 of its own woman to be sold as “house maids” in Saudia arabia. You should be ashamed of your self!!

  • Martin schöön

    Eritrea is not persecuting Christians, the president is a christian. Eritrea is both muslim and christian but very secular and does not appreciate any form of extremism..Ethiopian government is sponsoring 6 jihad groups disguised as “Democratic eritrean oppostion partys” to fight Eritrea and at the same time Ethiopia are claiming that Eritrean government are supporting Al shabab. Most of the Al shabaab leaders are somali landers and not from Somali republic..Somali land and ethiopia has close ties and are working around the clock to destroy somali republic in order to secure the independence for somali land who has not been recognized as independent due of the central government of somali republic.

  • Amanda Gonzalez

    Its not a secret that the Ethiopian regime worked closely with the Regime of fundamental Hassan turabi of Sudan who killed 10000’s of people mostly christians in jihad…Hassan turabi also brought Usama bin ladin and mujahdieens flocked to Sudan with hopes of turning this region into a Horn african Al qaida taliban base. The main financier of Ethiopian regime and close friend to prime minster meles zenawi was sheikh al amoudi a ethiopian/Saudi wahabi billionaire..He is denied entry in USA due of also being financier of Al qaida..He is one of alqaida’s biggest financier.

  • commentatorrr


    Real comment by Eritrean

  • wedinakfa

    Ryan Mauro, you must be one of the educated but still shallow and work only for your belly; if the likes of you leave the world along we would have been better of but we can not as long as there are people who sell thier soul and mind to the highest bidder I rest my case and you gon capitalise on poor peoples blood and preasch us by saying you a christian!!

  • Damn

    This so called journalist is really evil, sent by SATAN, who do not want peace in Eritrea and in that region. Eritrea is just a victim of conspiracy, and has nothing to do with terror. All Eritrea has is a border dispute with Ethiopia and the occupation of their land. Ethiopia the so called western allied is fabricating the terror idea to continue occupying Eritrean land and milking more money from the western. It is so evil to cover up the innocent as a terrorist and the terrorist as innocent.