From: Berhane Habtemariam (Berhane.Habtemariam@gmx.de)
Date: Tue Nov 25 2008 - 08:39:19 EST
Somali militants gaining more support
Published: Nov. 24, 2008 at 1:02 PM
MOGADISHU, Somalia, Nov. 25 (UPI) -- Secret U.S. efforts to use warlords and mercenaries to battle Islamic militants in Somalia have only created more local sympathy for hard-liners, analysts say.
An Islamic radical who served with Somalia's once-ruling Islamic Courts Union, and who says he was captured and mistreated by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, is indicative of how secret U.S. policies in the country are building support for terrorists, analysts told Monday's Chicago Tribune.
The man, Mohamed Ali Isse, now serving a life sentence for slaying four foreign aid workers, told the newspaper he was radicalized by U.S. actions in Iraq and Afghanistan and supported the hard-line Islamic Courts Union, which allegedly aided al-Qaida terrorists until a U.S.-supported invasion by Ethiopia toppled it last year.
Isse said he then battled mercenaries and warlords organized by the CIA, was shot, captured, interrogated aboard a U.S. warship in the Indian Ocean, and tortured by Ethiopians. The Tribune said it was able to independently verify much of Isse's story.
Recruiting mercenaries in Somalia "was a stupid idea," Matt Bryden, a Somali insurgency scholar, told the Tribune, saying, "It actually strengthened the hand of the Islamists and helped trigger the crisis we're in today."
© 2008 United Press International, Inc.
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