Publication: Terrorism Focus Volume: 4 Issue: 3


Somalia’s newly declared insurgent group, al-Harakah al-Muqawamah al-Sha’biyah fi al-Bilad al-Hijratayn (The Popular Resistance Movement in the Land of the Two Migrations, PRMLTM), issued a warning to Ugandan troops, threatening them with “bullets from heavy guns, exploding cars and young men eager to carry out martyrdom operations” if they deploy in Somalia. The statement, which was released on the Islamic Courts Union website at, argues that Somalia needs to be “liberated” from “the fascist regime in Ethiopia.” The PRMLTM is believed to consist of former ICU fighters and is blamed for some of the attacks against Ethiopian and Transitional Federal Government (TFG) troops. Weeks after Ethiopia routed the ICU from Mogadishu and the rest of the country, violence is flaring in the capital and throughout Somalia. While some of this violence is being instigated by the Islamists who lost power, there is evidence that warlords who have returned to the country after being defeated by the Courts movement are also to blame (, February 22). Reports coming out of Mogadishu claim that some warlords are rearming their militias and planning attacks on Ethiopian and TFG troops. These warlords—such as Mohamed Dheere, Muhammad Qanyare Afrah and Abdi Nur Siyad, who have allegedly formed an alliance—are angry over their role in the TFG government that is now controlling Somalia; the three warlords were reportedly seen purchasing large supplies of arms at the Bakaara weapons market (Shabelle Media Network, February 22). Other warlords were seen purchasing heavy and small arms at Mogadishu’s main arms bazaar known as Irtokte (Shabelle Media Network, February 22). Meanwhile, TFG and Ethiopian troops allegedly arrested a handful of individuals who have been linked to the Courts movement. One of the arrested was Sheikh Sharif Abdi Ulusow, the imam of the Isbahaysiga Mosque (Mogadishu’s largest), who had been the caretaker of the mosque for the past 17 years (Radio HornAfrik, February 22). In the midst of this violence, Mogadishu residents have reportedly been fleeing from the more chaotic sections of the capital in order to escape the fighting.


According to a report by Pakistan’s The News on February 26, a new insurgent group has been formed in Afghanistan. The group, which calls itself Tora Bora Nizami Mahaz (Tora Bora Military Front), will allegedly undertake attacks against U.S.-led forces in Nangarhar Province in the east of the country. The group is supposedly led by Anwarul Haq Mujahid, the oldest son of the late Mawlawi Yunis Khalis, a former leader of Hezb-e-Islami. Khalis split from Hezb-e-Islami in 1979 to create his own Hezb-e-Islami faction and took much of the party’s support in Nangarhar with him (Terrorism Monitor, September 21, 2006; Terrorism Monitor, June 3, 2004). While Khalis swore allegiance to the Northern Alliance, reports in 2002 claimed that he had a close relationship with various al-Qaeda leaders who he had become close with during the 1980s jihad against the Soviet Union (Daily Times, November 29, 2002). It appears that his son, in forming Tora Bora Nizami Mahaz, is tapping into some of his father’s assets. Nangarhar is located on the border of Pakistan and is a known transit route for insurgents and war materiel. On February 11, for instance, the Nangarhar security force detained two men who were attempting to cross from Pakistan into Afghanistan after finding explosives hidden in their vehicle (Pak Tribune, February 11). Also in early February, U.S.-led coalition forces arrested two suspected al-Qaeda operatives in Nangarhar on suspicion that they were passing messages between top al-Qaeda leaders (Khaleej Times, February 7).