Over at Danger Room, David Axe notes some homemade Katyusha-style rockets uncovered in Somalia and that suicide bombers and IEDs are showing up. But he blames terrorist and insurgent presence in the country on US aid during Ethiopia’s attack on the Islamic Courts Union last year:
As in Iraq, a pre-emptive war targeting potential terrorists has backfired. Thanks to the U.S. intervention, Somali fighters now have common cause with extremists in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon and elsewhere.
There weren’t extremists in Somalia before we helped the Ethiopians last year? What?
You can easily argue that there was virtually no Al Qaeda presence in Iraq before the US-led invasion, and that the appearance of the Al Qaeda groups was a result of US action. At that point, of course, you have an argument over whether that’s worth it or not and whether it’s the right strategy or not. Still, it’s clear that foreign terrorists were not a major factor within Iraq before 2003.
But that is not the case in Somalia. At all. In any way, shape, or form. To suggest that Somalia’s problem with extremists, Muslim or otherwise, is all of a sudden the US’s fault is ignoring history. To lay the blame squarely at the feet of the US is just plain cracked.