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AQAP got Somali funding

July 20, 2011

Up until now, the known geographic source of revenue for Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) was, well, the Arabian Peninsula.

Now it looks like Anwar al-Awlaki may not have only been shaking down the sheikhs in Saudi Arabia for money, but from the Somalis of al Shabaab too.

Ahmed Abdulkadir Warsame, a Somali terrorist captured overseas by the U.S., has been charged with providing material support to both AQAP and al Shabaab.  No details on the amount or source of the money he gave have been reported yet.

We can only speculate for now, but the massive ransom profits from al Shabaab’s piracy department could have been one of Warsame’s revenue sources.  From the Telegraph on July 10:

Ahmed Abdulkadir Warsame, who was captured in the Gulf by the US military on April 19 and is now facing terror charges, had contacts with Awlaki and “was a key interlocutor” between Somalia’s Shabaab Islamist insurgency and Awlaki’s Al-Qaeda outfit in Yemen, the official said.

“He was a senior commander” in Shabaab, said the official.

The Somali national was indicted on Tuesday in a New York court on charges of providing material support to both Shabaab and Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, (AQAP).

Warsame, 25, faces nine counts including acting as a go-between between the two groups, providing them with both money and training between 2007 and 2011. He faces a life sentence if convicted on the terror and weapons charges.

US officials say Awlaki, an American citizen who remains at large in Yemen, is a powerful leader of AQAP and is suspected of instigating a string of attacks against the United States, including a failed attempt to blow up a US-bound airliner.

The Saudi and Yemeni Al-Qaeda branches merged in January 2009 to form the Yemen-based AQAP.

US officials have voiced concern about deepening ties between AQAP and Shabaab and that the Somali insurgency may broaden its focus to try to strike at Western targets outside of Somalia.

The Shabaab rebels are locked in a protracted battle with the country’s weak, Western-backed government for control of the Horn of Africa nation.

The Shabaab are currently facing an unprecedented offensive launched by the transitional government and backed by the African Union peacekeeping mission in Mogadishu.

The Shabaab have suffered serious setbacks during the major offensive launched in February by the government and backed by the AU peacekeeping mission.

The US government meanwhile has defended the treatment of Warsame, who was interrogated for two months on an American warship.

US officials said Warsame provided “valuable” intelligence and that military and civilian interrogators strictly followed Army rules that prohibit abuse or torture of a detainee.

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2 comments

  1. […] the list.  However, there are indications that revenue collections of al Qaeda offshoots such as Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula(AQAP), Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), and al-Shabaab are flush with funds.  With AQIM in […]


  2. […] July 20, 2011: AQAP got Somali funding […]



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