Next stage for Garissa: Whining over the perps

Ethiopian troops as part of an international force in Somalia fighting the Shabab. Credit Daniel Berehulak for The New York Times

AFP is first off with an article entitled “Marginalisation, mismanagement provoked Kenya massacre: experts”

Nairobi (AFP) – Kenya’s government says the university massacre of 148 people was a “surprise” that could happen anywhere: but experts say decades of marginalisation coupled with government failings meant the attack was hardly unexpected.

But experts say the anger that drove the gunmen has a long and dark history in an impoverished region — and they warn that without concerted action, the attacks wont stop.

On the same day, The New York Times weighs in with a title emphasizing how deprived the killers were: “Shabab Militants Learning to Kill on a Shoestring”

NAIROBI, Kenya — They have lost their leader, their ports, their checkpoints and their territory.

They have lost thousands of men and much of their money.

They have no fleet of armored personnel carriers like Boko Haram’s. Or poppy fields like the Taliban’s. Or oil fields like the Islamic State’s.

In the pecking order of the world’s leading terrorist groups, the Shabab militants, based in Somalia, operate on a shoestring budget. But as the attack on a Kenyan university last week showed, they have become proficient in something terrible: mass murder on the cheap.

So let’s agree that al-Shabab is not one of the better-funded killing machines. This does not explain anything. As NYT admits, the other groups are far better funded, and that has only made them far more lethal.

Furthermore, the old “marginalization leads to mass killing” does not explain why there so many marginalized non-Muslims groups in the world that do not behave this way.  The world is full of marginalized groups.

A few of those groups (some in India and Nepal especially) remain devout Communists. Even so, their behaviour rarely hits the headlines.

Afterthought: Who is funding Boko Haram? For years they were small time then suddenly they seem to have become far more successful. Whoever it is might just decide to drop a few coins in box for al Shabab.

  • canminuteman

    Well 9/11 was funded Saudi funds most of the mosque building in Europe and North America. I would bet that they probably have something to do with it.

  • Drunk_by_Noon

    Counterterrorism experts say al-Shabab has benefited from several different sources of income over the years, including revenue from other terrorist groups, state sponsors, the Somali diaspora, charities, piracy, kidnapping, and the extortion of local businesses. The governments of Eritrea, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Qatar, and Yemen have been cited as financiers—although most officially deny these claims.

    Domestically, the group built up an extensive racketeering operation in Kismayo after seizing control of the southern port city and its economy in 2008. The trade of charcoal, in particular, is essential to the city’s commerce. However, a Kenya-led assault on Kismayo liberated the port of al-Shabab forces in October 2012—a victory that many experts say strategically crippled the jihadi group.

    However, an October 2014 UN Security Council report (PDF) says al-Shabab’s illicit charcoal trading hasn’t been interrupted by “the military offensive against the group” and continues in Kismayo and nearby Barawe. Charcoal exports are a component of a trade that includes al-Shabab’s importation of sugar, much of which then makes its way into Kenya illegally. Roughly ten thousand bags of contraband sugar worth hundreds of thousands of dollars may be smuggled into Kenya every day, according to the UN. In April 2013, Kenyan officials complained that al-Shabab operatives were attempting to infiltrate the country’s sugar trade.

    • Frau Katze

      But the branch in Kenya is being overlooked, or so they say. There are some ethnic Somalis in Kenya (in the vicinity of Garissa).

  • David Murrell

    The AFP article leans heavily towards left-Nazism — where left wing writers throw away any pretence of moral decency, and actually side with mass murderers and war criminals. And to think that Yahoo would print this sort of mindless evil.

    Gwynne Dyer published a piece on Monday, where he claimed that the huge difference in income inequality — between the Christian south in Nigeria, and the Muslim north — explains the radical extremism of Boko Haram. So Mr. Dwyer is definitely in the left-Nazi camp, where he attempts to justify mass war criminality of Islamist groups, and indeed support their war crimes.

    The NYT article is more neutral — not really left-Nazism — simply, objectively describing the lack of funding for al Shabab in Somalia. The NYT leans towards supporting Islamism, and is certainly anti-Semitic, but at least here it is not endorsing left-Nazi-like war criminality.

    As posted elsewhere, one key agenda item for conservatives is to expose, and oppose, left-Nazism. Leftists are typically left-fascists — supporting the shouting down of conservative speakers; physical intimidation during street protests, and the like. But here, there has been a move towards left-Nazism, the support of mass murder, execution of civilians and the like.