HARGEISA, 16 February 2010 (Somalilandpress) – Terrorism remains one of the major threats to global stability and security, it is also worth mentioning the global disagreements on its definition, furthermore, it is none the less imperative to, categorize Somalia as a failed state without laws that define terrorism and within that scope, of terrorism, clarify a situation in Eastern Sanag of Somaliland.
Allegations and counter allegation pertaining to terror networks are rampant in Somaliland and Somalia in general and, Puntland region in particular.
Mohamed Said Atam, a lone ranger, with a powerful clan militia got an international attention, when reports surfaced depicting him as Al-qaeda. Hence, before we engage ourselves in assessing “Atom”, his categorization as Al-qaeda should be treated as a campaign by Puntland clan, to paint him as such.
United Nations Somalia Arms Monitoring Group reported that, Mr. Atom, a businessman from Somaliland’s Eastern Sanag mobilized militia to fight off Puntland. That is correct for Majiyahan, a Warsengeli turf is an area rich in mineral deposits and Puntland’s intention of exploring and mining areas that aren’t in their jurisdiction, caused an armed struggle that brought death among hundreds of residents.
The same report also mentioned Mr Atom’s importation of arms. Potentially, the coastal areas on the Gulf of Aden could be a hub for any illegal transactions, but in actuality it only happens in Puntland. But on a fair note, Atom’s coastal strip of poignant lawlessness, free from Puntland’s claim as a domain and his turf war with that State, clearly makes him an arms trader and importer; but doesn’t necessarily make him a terrorist.
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The report also implicated him as a trans-shipper of arms to eastern Ethiopia and precisely to ONLF. However, his unadulterated mechanisms of delivering arms shipments to ONLF in Ethiopia is quite unrealistic, for it is possible for someone to ship arms to different parts of greater Somalia, we would question, however, the authenticity of the report, of involving ONLF; it is murky because the logistical parameters don’t support that option.
There is an opportunity cost to his emergence as a powerful leader; the Al-qaeda implications depicting him as a threat, is without a sound attestation on the part of Puntland, thus is a pure vengeance that needs to be brushed off.
Mr. Atom imports arms and is Union of Islamic Courts supporter, fighter and member with various shady affiliations of individuals of different backgrounds and political views. His means of diversifying “Atom”, in this observation makes him a very dangerous man.
Links to Piracy and Kidnapping
Mr. Atom and his affiliates lately demonstrated capabilities that transcend the intelligence circles of both Puntland and Somaliland. In this view, his dealings with Yemen and his unadulterated ability to cross over Somali made borders categorize him as a latent trouble that is about to explode.
The UN should consider him as such, only with an un-biased report on him with facts.
Therefore, we should look at the manner by which an act of terror or a terrorist is characterized accordingly.
Written By: Mohamoud H Ahmed