In the run-up to Ethiopia’s US-backed invasion of Somalia in 2006 Jendayi Frazer, the then US assistant secretary of state for Africa, helped to lay the groundwork for the attack by alleging that the Union of Islamic Courts was run by “East Africa’s Al-Qa’ida cell”.
Perhaps she was misquoted. Perhaps what she really meant to say was: “If the US backs this foolhardy invasion of Somalia by it’s Christian-dominated neighbour we will serve only to boost the extremists. Three years down the line most of Somalia will be run by East Africa’s Al-Qa’ida cell.”
From yesterday’s Sunday Times:
Mark Bradbury, an influential analyst on Somalia with Conciliation Resources, said this western support of Ethiopia’s intervention was the “real tipping point”. “That really escalated the situation,” he said. “Al-Qaeda, which had been relatively quiet there, started to speak up and there has been some clever work by them propagating their narrative and winning people over to their side.”