International News Desk
Terrorists in Somalia last night threatened reprisals on Britain’s streets if the West mounts military action in the country, following a London summit initiated by the British Prime Minister David Cameron.
The London conference on Somali provoked the President of Somalia Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed to call for bombing attacks on the positions of al-Shabaab, which recently merged with al-Qa’ida. The Somalian President said he “would welcome”air strikes against the threat of the insurgents adding : ‘This isn’t a Somali problem, it has to be addressed globally.’
David Cameron made clear his preference for a lasting political settlement, keeping open the option of sanctioning action against al-Shabaab which controls much of Somalia.
Sheikh Ali Dhere, the spokesman for the Islamic group warned last night of a barrage of attacks in the West if countries such as Britain and the US get involved in Somalia.
‘Your peace depends upon us being left alone. If you do not us live in peace, you will not enjoy peace either’ he told Channel 4 News.
Al Shabaab was not invited to yesterday’s conference, but Mr Cameron insisted its fighters could be brought into the political process provided that they left the weapon aside and discard violence.
Several dozens of Britons are believed to be fighting for Al-Shabaab and intelligence circles are afraid that they could return to this country on UK passports having all the expertise and motivation to launch attacks. The UK maintains that Somalia, Yemen and Pakistan are now the world’s main nurseries for Islamic terrorism.
Representatives of the 55 governments and international organizations, including the United Nations secretary Ban Ki-moon and the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were present at the conference. They agreed and signed a renewed action to disrupt terrorists travelling to and from Somalia and urging countries to prevent money laundering and the financing of militant groups. They also supported a fresh attempt to catch the pirates operating near the coast of Somalia and find the people behind them as the power vacuum in the country has allowed pirates to disrupt important shipping lanes and kidnap several western tourists. It is estimated that £110m was earned by Somali pirates last year.
The conference also called for changes in the political process agreeing that a permanent government should replace Somalia’s temporary regime by August.