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Somalia: Al-Qaeda

Volume 479: debated on Thursday 17 July 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment has been made of the operations of al-Qaeda in Somalia and the influence of Abu al-Libi. (218329)

Al-Qaeda has a long history of terrorist activity in east Africa, from the Nairobi and Dar es Salaam bombings in 1998 to more recent activity in Somalia.

We believe that while al-Qaeda has exploited the absence of effective governance in Somalia to use the country as a base for both terrorist training and planning, the organisation has never established a formal franchise in Somalia.

Abu-Yahya al-Libi is a propagandist for al-Qaeda. He has released statements indicating al-Qaeda's continued support for the Islamic insurgency in Somalia, recognising the conflict as part of the “global jihad”.