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al-Shabab (almost) strikes again

August 4, 2009

Following up on the earlier post on the Somali group al-Shabaab, they almost strike again — this time, in Australia.

Australian police said Tuesday they have thwarted a terrorist plot in which extremists with ties to an al-Qaida-linked Somali Islamist group planned to invade a military base and open fire with automatic weapons until they were shot dead themselves.  Some 400 officers from state and national security services took part in 19 raids on properties in Melbourne, Australia’s second largest city, before dawn Tuesday, arresting four men and detaining several others for questioning, police said.  Australian Federal Police Acting Commissioner Tony Negus said the raids followed a seven-month surveillance operation of a group of people with alleged ties to al-Shabaab, an Islamist organization based in that country’s south that has been fighting to overthrow Somalia’s transitional government.

The question is now whether these guys were directed to attack in Australia by AQ, or whether they just saw the country as a target of convenience.

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