Iran Sinks Its Teeth into Somalia

Iran has set its sights on Somalia as another forward base of subversion against the United States and a springboard for spreading its influence across Africa, DEBKA-NetWeekly’s counter-terror sources report.

Iranian arms consignments, guerrilla combat advisers and terrorist experts of the Revolutionary Guards crack al Quds Brigades are gathering in the war-torn land

Parallel Iranian thrusts are expanding in three more African states: Sudan, Chad and Zimbabwe.

Robert Mugabe has been invited to Tehran and offered material incentives to grant Iran a base for subversion in southern Africa.

Tehran does not only have its eye on subversion, terror and the export of the Islamic revolution, but also on Somali uranium. As its nuclear program develops, Iranian nuclear experts complain that domestic uranium supplies will not stretch to future phases of the program and more sources need to be found urgently. The uranium deposits in the Saghand region of central Iran near the city of Kashan were found to be of poor quality. Iran’s rulers were advised by experts that control of Somalia’s uranium resources could make up for the shortage.

The new Iranian arms consignments to the Islamic rebels of Somalia who have in recent weeks wrested more territory from government forces follow on past deliveries.

In a report to the UN Security Council, the Monitoring Group of Somalia identified three separate arms and ammunition deliveries from Iran.

DEBKA-Net-Weekly‘s sources in Tehran report that this is only the tip of the iceberg. Last week, three large military air transports landed at the Balli Doogle airfield 160 km northwest of Mogadishu and Islamic Courts operatives were seen unloading the crates.

Our sources in East Africa report that the deliveries were made to Sheikh Yousof Mohamed Siyad, “defense minister” of the Islamic Courts Union – ICU, and Sheikh Hussein Janagow, head of the ICU bureau.

Our Iranian sources add that two ships are being loaded now with military equipment at the military section of the Revolutionary Guards main port of Bandar Abbas on the Persian Gulf. In a few days, they will put in at El-Adde port on the Ras Xafun Peninsula of central Somalia.

This 40-km tongue of land, only 5 meters above sea level, is the easternmost point of continental Africa and the connecting link between the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean. It is linked to the Somali coast by a narrow sand spit which makes it easy for a small band to block out overland access.


Iran provides arms, training, indoctrination and clinics


In the past, the peninsula has been used as a safe retreat for al Qaeda operatives on the run. They arrived aboard fast boats. It has also been used as a haven for sea pirates after raiding passenger vessels – sometimes on behalf of al Qaeda.

DEBKA-Net-Weekly’s sources report that after the two Iranian freighters return home from Ras Xafun in the last week of December, they will very likely turn round and return with additional cargoes.

In its recent deliberations, Iran’s National Security Council took up a recommendation by its director, Ali Larijani, who is also the senior national nuclear negotiator, to use Somalia as a major point of attack to jeopardize the interests of the United States and its allies in East Africa. He explained that this could be achieved quickly for a relatively small investment.

DEBKA-Net-Weekly‘s Tehran sources have obtained some detail of the Islamic Republic’s Somali project.


Arms packages: They are made up of anti-air shoulder-borne missiles of Iranian manufacture, helicopters, anti-vehicle and anti-tank mines, Kalashnikov submachine guns, heavy machine guns, armored personnel carriers, armored vehicles with rear chains, pistols with silencers, recoilless propelled grenades, thousands of crates of ammo of different types and grenades.


Training and indoctrination: Iran has consigned three delegations of clerics and propagandists to Somalia to coach local Islamists in organizing anti-American, anti-Western demonstrations and disseminating propaganda.

They have already produced results. Somali demonstrators can be heard shouting such slogans as Death to America! with the best of the massed worshippers at Friday prayer sessions in Tehran.


Medical care: Three teams of Iranian medical doctors are in Somalia to open clinics in the areas controlled by the Islamist rebels. Another two teams are due next week. Tehran is repeating the mode of operation practiced in Lebanon in support of Hizballah campaign to buy popular affection by providing humanitarian services. Supplies of food, mattresses, household wares are coming into Somalia overland from Sudan and distributed to the Islamist rebels’ families.

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