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Somalia

WQXR News

At Least 32 People Killed in Attack in Somalia

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Authorities say at least 32 people were killed when militants attacked a hotel in Somalia's capital city of Mogadishu today. Armed gunmen attacked the hotel, and at least one of the militants blew himself up, according to The Associated Press. Authorities believe al-Shabab, a terrorist group linked to al-Qaida, is responsible.

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The Takeaway

14 Indicted For Aiding Somali Terrorist Group

Friday, August 06, 2010

Fourteen people, mostly of Somali descent, have been accused of providing support to the Somali terrorist group al-Shabab. That’s the group that claimed responsibility for a bombing last month that killed 76 people who were watching a World Cup match in Uganda, including an American aid worker. Al-Shabab have declared war on the United Nations and humanitarian organizations in Somalia. A handful of people have been arrested in recent weeks on charges they were leaving to aid the terrorist group.

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The Takeaway

Minnesota Terrorism and the Somali-American Community

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Federal investigation into a Minnesota-based terrorism operation widened this week when authorities released criminal charges against eight men connected to the operation, which allegedly recruited young men to fight alongside terrorists in Somalia. We look at how the case is impacting the Somali community in Minnesota, and speak with Tim Nelson, a reporter with Minnesota Public Radio. We also speak with Mohamed Hassan, vice chair of Somali Cause.

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The Takeaway

Is Somalia the Next Afghanistan?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The small East African nation of Somalia is once again becoming a big problem for the United States, this time in the fight against terrorism and al-Qaida. There is enough fear that the nation is becoming a breeding ground for terrorists that the United States launched a preemptive strike yesterday. American troops landed in Somalia and attacked a group of Islamic militants. We're joined this morning by Nick Childs, defense and security correspondent for our partners, the BBC.

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The Takeaway

American Forces Kill Islamic Militant Nabhan

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

American forces have killed one of the most wanted Islamic militants in southern Somalia. Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan was the ringleader of a Qaeda cell in Kenya. For more details, we talk to Jeffrey Gettleman, who's covering the story for our partner, the New York Times.

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The Takeaway

A Long Way From Home: The Pirate's Day In Court

Thursday, May 21, 2009

After the U.S. Navy rescued the captain of the Maersk Alabama (he was being held hostage by Somali pirates), one lone pirate survived. The teenager, Abduhl Wali-i-Musi, is being indicted this week on ten counts including piracy and kidnapping. He has been in a Manhattan jail since he was captured on April 12 and flown to the U.S. His arraignment is today. Joining The Takeaway to talk about the first piracy prosecution in the U.S. in more than a century is Ron Kuby. He’s a criminal defense lawyer who’s been consulting on the case on behalf of the defendant’s parents. He is also the host of "Doing Time with Ron Kuby," a talk show on Air America Radio.

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The Takeaway

Beyond Black Hawk Down: U.S. involvement in Somalia

Thursday, April 23, 2009

A donor’s conference for Somalia is underway today in Brussels. The United Nations hopes to raise more than $250 million to improve security in the anarchic nation. This comes on the heels of United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, has said it is too dangerous to send UN peacekeepers to Somalia and that it could exacerbate the armed conflict there. Also attending the donor's conference is Somali President Sheikh Sharif, a former Islamist rebel leader elected in January at U.N.-brokered talks and widely seen as the best hope for restoring stability. While Somali gangs have made headlines seizing ships in the Indian Ocean, U.S. involvement in Somalia goes beyond our recent adventures with Somali pirates on the high seas.

The Takeaway is taking a deeper look at U.S. interests in Somalia with Bronwyn Bruton, a Somalia expert with the Council on Foreign Relations and with the BBC’s Mike Wooldrige in Brussels who is reporting on the donors' conference.
"We need to try hard to help the Somalis understand that we're not out to get them, and I'm not sure we're doing a good job of that right now."
—Bronwyn Bruton of the Council on Foreign Relations on U.S. relations with Somalia

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The Takeaway

Somali Pirate heads to his first day in court

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The only Somali pirate that Americans can look to for justice in the hostage taking of the cargo ship Maersk Alabama was walked into a federal court in New York yesterday— with a smile on his face. Many wondered whether his smile was one of pride or simply that of a teenager struggling to grasp the situation he’s gotten himself into. Partially because no one is sure how old the Somali Pirate suspect actually is. While a Magistrate ruled yesterday that the suspect, Abduhl Wali-i-Musi is old enough to be tried in federal court. His age will be just one of many thorny issues among for prosecutors and his defenders to hash out in court. Helping us understand the legal issues in play is Neil Quartaro, a lawyer with the International Litigation group and an adjunct associate professor at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs where he teaches Maritime Law.

Here is a CBS News report on the pirate's day in court:

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The Takeaway

Underhill, Vermont awaits return of hometown hero Captain Phillips

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

After the five-day standoff with Somali pirates ended at dusk on Sunday, and the ship’s captain Richard Phillips was released, the nation breathed a sigh of relief. But that relief was felt with even more fervor in the town of Underhill, Vermont where Captain Phillips lives with his wife and children. Steve Zind, editor and reporter for Vermont Public Radio spoke with residents who felt like they knew Captain Phillips, even if they had never met him. He joins The Takeaway to talk about community reactions to the captain’s capture and release.

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The Takeaway

The pirate's life: The romantic allure vs. the grim reality

Monday, April 13, 2009



The world breathed a sigh of relief yesterday when the captain of the cargo ship Maersk Alabama was rescued unharmed from Somali pirates who had held him hostage for five days. But though this one prominent case is over, the crews of about twelve other ships—more than two hundred people—are still being held by Somali pirates, according to the watchdog group the International Maritime Bureau. Author and broadcaster Nick Rankin made a three-part report on pirates for the BBC last year. He joins The Takeaway with a look at the menace of piracy and its hold on our imaginations. Because despite the harsh reality of armed impoverished Somalis on lifeboats, from Pirates of the Caribbean to the Dread Pirate Roberts, Captain Hook to Treasure Island, there is something about the pirate life that captures our imagination.

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The Takeaway

Captain Richard Phillips freed after fire fight with Somali pirates

Monday, April 13, 2009

For five long days Richard Phillips, the captain of the American cargo ship Maersk Alabama, was held captive on a lifeboat by Somali pirates. In a dramatic rescue yesterday U.S. Navy snipers freed him. The standoff was ended, but the bigger situation is far from over. Pirates are still holding a dozen ships with more than 200 crew members from countries around the globe. Add to that the fact that some maritime experts expect the number of pirate attacks around the Horn of Africa to actually increase after this capture. For an overview of the pirates' life we are joined by New York Times reporter Scott Shane.

For more, read Scott Shane's article In Rescue of Captain, Navy Kills 3 Pirates in today's New York Times.

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The Takeaway

Standoff with Somali pirates continues with American captain still a hostage

Friday, April 10, 2009

The Somali pirates seized an American cargo ship a few days ago and while the rest of the crew escaped and took control of the ship, the captain, is still being held prisoner in a small lifeboat. As FBI hostage negotiators rush to the scene off the Somali coast and U.S. Navy destroyer attempts communications with the pirates, more ships are moving into the area. The captain attempted an escape, but the bandits were able to re-capture him before he could reach the Navy vessel. For the latest we turn to the BBC's Africa Editor Mary Harper. We are also joined by Wangari Mathai, the Nobel Prize winning peace activist who can provide an African perspective on the pirates' actions.

Contributor's Note :

When Somali pirates seized a giant Saudi oil tanker, the Sirius Star, last November, I managed to get a hold of a phone number to call them. But every time I rang them, they would put the phone down as soon as I said I was from the BBC. I became so obsessed with calling them that I programmed their number into my mobile phone so that I could ring them anytime, from anywhere. My twelve year old daughter had seen me repeatedly ringing the pirates, and one day, when we were stuck in a long traffic jam, she asked if she could try. I refused, but she eventually wore me down, and I gave her the phone. She pressed P for Pirates and...the phone rang, and a bizarre conversation ensued between her and a pirate. This opened a crucial door, and the next day I was able to get a real scoop by interviewing not only the pirate, but the captain of the ship who had been taken hostage. All thanks to my daughter, who insisted on dialing P for pirates. — Mary Harper, BBC's Africa Editor

Here is the AP's report on the current status of the hostage situation:

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The Takeaway

Somali pirates take U.S. ship, Navy negotiates for captain's release

Thursday, April 09, 2009

After a group of Somali pirates seized a freighter sailing under an American flag, the U.S. navy and the FBI have moved in to negotiate for the captain's freedom. The captain is being held hostage in a small life boat after the rest of the crew was released. The New York Times' East Africa Bureau Chief, Jeffrey Gettleman has been following the dramatic twist and turns of the crimes of the Somali pirates for months now and he joins us from the scene of their latest hijacking.

For more from the New York Times, read the article, Navy Tracking Pirates and Their U.S. Hostage.

Here's the AP report on the American crew taking back the vessel from the pirates:

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The Takeaway

Somalian town falls to Islamist militia in ongoing struggles

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

This week, the U.S. is using diplomacy with Pakistan and Afghanistan to battle Islamic extremism, but on another front of that fight, tensions in Somalia boiled over. Today, an Islamist Somali militia has seized control of a town near the border with Ethiopia following days of fighting in the Somali capital of Mogadishu that has left dozens dead and over a hundred injured. Joining us now from London is BBC Africa Editor Martin Plaut.

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Studio 360

K'naan

Friday, January 12, 2007

The fighting and violence in Somalia today is painfully familiar to K'naan, a Canadian hip-hop artist who grew up in Mogadishu in the 1980's. K'naan says his path to music began after first hearing an album by the American rappers Eric B. and Rakim. Produced by

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