Aidid says Somalia is full of Islamic terrorists

Saturday, January 26, 2002

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia -- If Somali warlord Hussein Mohamed Aidid is to be believed, Somalia is crawling with terrorists.

But Aidid, a onetime U.S. Marine whose father was America's most wanted Somali before being killed in factional fighting, claimed "Islamic terrorists" already control the economy.

"They control the ports and all the exports ... They are preparing for the introduction of Islamic rule," said Aidid, who was interviewed in a hotel in Ethiopia where he has been holed up for two months.

So far, the United States has shown no indication it buys Aidid's dire scenario, and most outside analysts are skeptical of it. But he is eagerly pushing it nonetheless, as are a handful of other Somali faction leaders who oppose the country's fledgling government and claim it too is riddled with terrorists.

Aidid is the son of Mohamed Farah Aidid, the warlord who angered the United States when U.S. troops were in the country in the early 1990s. The father was killed in factional fighting in August 1996.

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