The U.S. has openly said it believes al Qaeda has established itself
in Somalia, under the protection of the Islamic Courts. What was not said was
what American counter-terror forces in the region would do about it.
4, 2006: In order to avoid more car bomb attacks, the transitional government
has banned cars, driving up the road from Mogadishu, from entering Baidoa. In
the last two months, there have been three car bombings, including one failed
attempt, in Baidoa, all attributed to al Qaeda terrorists working for the
3, 2006: Peace talks resumed in Djibouti, including Ethiopia and Kenya.
Meanwhile, transitional government and Ethiopian troops moved off to re-capture
2, 2006: An Italian journalist, invited by the Islamic Courts to see the new
and improved Somalia, was arrested by a radical faction of the Islamic Courts.
The radicals were angry because the Italian had previously written unflattering
stories about Eritrea (which was now an ally of the Islamic Courts). After some
internal debate, the journalist was released, but the incident sent a message
to the journalism community.
1, 2006: Islamic Courts gunmen took possession of the town of Dinsoor, which is
270 kilometers west of Mogadishu. The pro-transitional government militiamen
holding the town, pulled out at the approach of the column of Islamic Courts
vehicles. That's how battles are often fought in Somalia.
30, 2006: At a checkpoint outside Baidoa, three car bombs went off, killing
eight people. Six of those were the occupants of the exploding cars, plus two
policeman. The Islamic Courts were suspected, as suicide bombers were involved
and the Islamic Courts are known to contain members of al Qaeda.