Islamic Courts Union
||This article needs to be updated. (November 2010)|
|Supreme Islamic Courts Council|
|Midowga Maxkamadaha Islaamiga (Somali)
اتحاد المحاكم الإسلامية (Arabic)
Ittihād al-mahākim al-islāmiyya
"There is no God but Allah; Muhammad is the messenger of God" (Shahada)
|•||Declared||6 June 2006|
|•||Abandoned||27 December 2006|
The Islamic Courts Union (ICU; Somali: Midowga Maxkamadaha Islaamiga; Arabic: اتحاد المحاكم الإسلامية Ittihād al-mahākim al-islāmiyya) was a group of Sharia courts that united themselves to form a rival administration to the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of Somalia, with Sharif Sheikh Ahmed as their head. They were also known as the Joint Islamic Courts, Union of Islamic Courts (UIC), Supreme Islamic Courts Council (SICC) or the Supreme Council of Islamic Courts (SCIC). Western media often refer to the group as Somali Islamists.
Until the end of 2006, they controlled most of southern Somalia and the vast majority of its population, including most major cities such as Jowhar, Kismayo, Beledweyne, and the capital Mogadishu. The ICU was supported by warlord Yusuf "Indho Ade" Mohamed Siad who ruled Lower Shabelle but later became defense chief of the ICU, who aided in the defeat of the Mogadishu warlords. Only the Northern regions (Puntland, Somaliland), and the furthest interior regions of the south were outside their control. In December 2006, the ICU lost much territory after defeats at the battles of Baidoa, Bandiradley, and Beledweyne, retreating to the capital, Mogadishu. On 28 December they abandoned Mogadishu, leaving the city in chaos while they moved south towards Kismayo, which allowed the TFG and Ethiopian troops to take over the city. After a stand at the Battle of Jilib, the ICU abandoned the city of Kismayo on 1 January 2007. Stripped of almost all their territory, it was speculated the ICU would pursue guerrilla-style warfare against the government.
The less-militant members of the ICU went into exile in Eritrea and Djibouti, where they formed the Alliance for the Re-Liberation of Somalia in September 2007. In the two years following the ICU's ouster from Mogadishu, the hardline Islamist groups concentrated their power in the south and west of Somalia, taking ground from both the TFG and ICU.
By January 2009, a reconciliation and powersharing deal was brokered between the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and the Djibouti contingent from the former Islamic Courts Union which resulted in the expansion of the Parliament and the election of Sheik Sharif Ahmed, former leader of the ICU, as President of the Transitional Federal Government.
- 1 History
- 1.1 Before the second battle of Mogadishu
- 1.2 Eritrean assistance
- 1.3 After conquering Mogadishu
- 1.4 War with Ethiopia
- 1.5 Resignation of leadership
- 1.6 Pursuit of the ICU
- 1.7 Islamist insurgency
- 1.8 Reconciliation with the Transitional Government
- 2 Structure and composition
- 3 Social policies
- 4 Greater Somalia
- 5 See also
- 6 Notes and references
- 7 External links
Before the second battle of Mogadishu
After the collapse of the Somali government in 1991, a system of sharia-based Islamic courts became the main judicial system, funded through fees paid by litigants. Over time the courts began to offer other services such as education and health care. The courts also acted as local police forces, being paid by local businesses to reduce crime. The Islamic courts took on the responsibility for halting robberies and drug-dealing, as well as stopping the showing of what it claims to be pornographic films in local movie houses. Somalia is almost entirely Muslim, and these institutions initially had wide public support. The early years of the courts include such outfits as Sheikh Ali Dheere's, established in north Mogadishu in 1994 and the Beled Weyne court initiated in 1996. They soon saw the sense in working together through a joint committee to promote security. This move was initiated by four of the courts - Ifka Halan, Circolo, Warshadda and Hararyaale - who formed a committee to co-ordinate their affairs, to exchange criminals from different clans and to integrate security forces. In 1999 the group began to assert its authority. Supporters of the Islamic courts and other institutions united to form the ICU, an armed militia. In April of that year they took control of the main market in Mogadishu and, in July, captured the road from Mogadishu to Afgoi. Their system of government, controlled by judges, is known as a krytocracy.
According to the United Nations and various sources, the Eritrean government has armed and financed the ICU for many years. Together (according to a 1999 BBC report) with some Ethiopian opposition groups such as the OLF, Eritrea sent "shiploads" of arms to the ICU and other rebels in Southern Somalia; it was also reported that the Eritrean government had sent "advisers" and "engineers and mine-laying experts." After many denials from the Eritrean government, Islamic Courts Union leader Aweys admitted that the Eritrean government had been assisting the ICU; although there was no mention of Eritrean troops or advisers. After the Somali transitional government defeated the Islamists and took Mogadishu, the Somali Prime Minister alleged that Eritrean soldiers had been captured in Mogadishu. Further Eritrean fighters were allegedly killed by Somali security officers in June 2007. A governor of one of Somalia's southern districts also confirmed the continued alliance of Eritrean fighters with Al-Qaeda & ICU militants.
According to the Los Angeles Times, various ICU fighters were caught as they tried to escape to Eritrea. Many of the ICU leadership and jihadist leaders are believed to have found refuge in Eritrea.
Other foreign fighters
Various foreign fighters were said to be helping the ICU. As suicide bombing tactics are rare even among extremist Somali Muslims, the use of such bombers suggested deeper foreign jihadist assistance. In January, Somali sources said they had defeated or arrested many Arab fighters. In June, numerous foreign pro-ICU fighters were detected trying to flee in boats from the Puntland region; the regional governor told the media that the Islamist fighters had arrived to cause trouble and that Puntland troops were searching for them. The U.S. military also targeted other jihadist and Al-Qaeda cells, particularly those affiliated with the bombers of the U.S. embassy in Kenya in 1998. The BBC reported a Pentagon claim that a senior Al-Qaeda member associated with the ICU had been captured in Somalia and transferred to the US military prison in Guantanamo Bay.
After conquering Mogadishu
In the year 2000, the courts formed a union of Islamic courts, partly to consolidate resources and power and partly to aid in handing down decisions across, rather than within, clan lines. Yet the ICU remained firmly established in the Hawiye clan.
As the courts began to assert themselves as the dispensers of justice they came into conflict with the secular warlords who controlled most of the city. In reaction to the growing power of the ICU, a group of Mogadishu warlords formed the Alliance for the Restoration of Peace and Counter-Terrorism (ARPCT). This was a major change, as these warlords had been fighting each other for many years. By the beginning of 2006, these two groups had clashed repeatedly, and in May 2006 it escalated into street fighting in the capital, claiming the lives of more than 300 people. On 5 June 2006, the ICU claimed that they were in control of Mogadishu.
Meanwhile, in the United States the Bush administration neither confirmed nor denied support for either side. However, it was reported that American officials had anonymously confirmed that the U.S. government was funding the ARPCT, due to concerns that the ICU is linked to al-Qaeda and is sheltering three al-Qaeda leaders involved in past terror attacks, including the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania.
On 6 June 2006, the ICU further claimed it was in control of all the lands up to 100 kilometers (62 mi) inland from Mogadishu. The warlords were reported to have either been captured or to have fled the city, abandoning most of their weapons, with the majority fleeing to Jowhar, which was taken by the ICU militia on 14 June. This brought the ICU in control of much of the weaponry in the country, which made a resurgence by the warlords difficult without outside support. The ICU also controlled significant territory outside the capital, including the important town of Balad. In mid-August, ICU militiamen swept into the port town of Hobyo, 500 kilometers north of Mogadishu, meeting no opposition. The ICU organized a clean-up campaign for the streets of Mogadishu on 20 July. This was the first time litter and rubbish had been collected in the entire city since it collapsed into chaos over a decade earlier.
On 15 July 2006, the Islamic Courts reopened Mogadishu International Airport, which had been closed since the withdrawal of the international forces in 1995. The first airplane chartered by the Arab League flew from the airport for the first time in 11 years picking up Islamic Courts delegates to the Sudanese capital of Khartoum.
On 24 August 2006, the ICU captured Harardhere, some 500 km northeast of Mogadishu, which had become a safe haven for pirates, who had forced shipping firms and international organizations to pay large ransoms for the release of vessels and crews.
In September, 2006, the Islamist Courts strengthened their control of Kismayo. The Somalis in Kismayo demonstrated against ICU, shouting "No to Al-Qaeda operatives" but the ICU took control, shooting at protestors, killing at least three people and dispersing the crowd.
On 5 October 2006 the Islamic Courts declared the formation of the supreme Islamic Sharia court of Banadir province, ending all tribal Islamic Courts in the capital.
War with Ethiopia
On 8 December 2006, the Islamic Courts Union claimed to have been involved in heavy fighting with Somali transitional government forces, backed by Ethiopian troops. On 21 December heavy fighting erupted between ICU forces and Ethiopian-backed forces. The battles happened initially in two areas - the military base of Daynuunay and the military base of Iidale.
The ICU lost a considerable amount of territory after defeats at the 20–26 December battles of Baidoa, Bay region, Bandiradley, in Mudug, and Battle of Beledweyne, Hiran region, retreating to the capital, Mogadishu.
Resignation of leadership
On 27 December 2006, after a brief skirmish earlier in the day at the Battle of Jowhar, the leaders of the ICU, including Sheiks Hassan Dahir Aweys, Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and Abdirahman Janaqow resigned in a capitulation recognizing the new state of affairs in Somalia. They issued the following decisions:
1. It is a national duty to protect the sovereignty and the integrity of Somalia and its people.
2. The ICU allows that Somalis should have the option to determine their future and would be ready for taking over the responsibility.
3. The Islamic Courts Union agreed not to allow anyone to create violence in Mogadishu and anybody that is found guilty would be brought before the law and would be taken for the suitable punishment according to the Islamic Sharia.
4. The ICU fighters are responsible for establishing the security and stability in the Somali capital Mogadishu.
5. Lastly, the ICU is calling on all the Islamic fighters in Somalia, where ever they may be, to maintain security and stability in their localities and get ready in the police stations and other security installations.
On 28 December, the ICU withdrew from the capital. Somali Prime Minister Ali Mohamad Gedi stated the legislature would shortly declare a period of martial law.
Pursuit of the ICU
After abandoning control of Mogadishu, leaders from the ICU proceeded to fortify the Jubba River valley area including the towns of Jilib and Kismayo. Days later, on December 31 Ethiopian and Somali forces attacked Jilib, after which ICU forces abandoned Kismayo.
In January 2007, as the ICU retreated, its leaders vowed to wage guerrilla war. They were pursued to Ras Kamboni, where they were militarily engaged by Ethiopian and Somali TFG forces. Kenyan and US forces enforced a border patrol and naval blockade, followed by US airstrikes against suspected Al Qaeda members embedded within the ICU militias.
On 10 January, a report by Somali presidential chief of staff, Abdirizak Hassan stated the US airstrikes had killed Al Qaeda member Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, and leaders of the Islamic Courts Union including Abduallahi Moalim Ali (former chief of security for Mogadishu), Abdirahman Janaqow, and a third unidentified person. The bodies had reportedly been recovered by Ethiopian military personnel. Fazul Abdullah Mohammed was later confirmed by US forces to have survived the US air raid on 8 January 2007. Abdirahman Janaqow survived those attacks and is currently the Justice Minister in his friend Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed's TFG government.
After their fall from power, many ICU militiamen went into hiding. Attacks were carried out against Ethiopian and TFG troops, and the group was reformed as the Popular Resistance Movement in the Land of the Two Migrations (PRM), known more commonly as al-Shabaab. Al-Shabaab would go on to capture large portions of the southern half of the country, leading to the beginning of Operation Linda Nchi in 2011, which saw Kenyan forces cross into Somalia.
Reconciliation with the Transitional Government
The Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia (ARS) was originally formed in September 2007 as a movement to militarily oppose the Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and their main military allies, Ethiopia. Since then, the group split into two major factions: those who sought reconciliation with the TFG and those opposed to reconciliation.
Djibouti Peace Agreement (May–June 2008)
In May–June 2008, the Djibouti-based wing of the ARS and the Transitional Federal Government met in a conference mediated by the U.N., which resulted in an 11-point peace agreement signed and announced on 9 June 2008.
Because of this, the ARS split into two major wings: those based in Eritrea, aligned with former ICU leader Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys, who are adamantly opposed to cooperation with the TFG or Ethiopia, and those who were based in Djibouti, aligned with former ICU leader Sharif Sheik Ahmed, who were open to reconciliation with the nascent national government.
Sharif Sheik Ahmed Elected President (February 2009)
On 1 February 2009, the ICU faction leader, and chairman of the ARS Sharif Sheik Ahmed was elected the President of the Transitional Federal Government. Al-Shabab declared war on him and pledged to continue their attacks on the TFG.
Structure and composition
Current Event: The ICU has undergone dramatic and rapid changes. Given their loss of control over Mogadishu and much of the rest of the country, this section may refer to the organization in the past tense. This reflects how the courts were run prior to their retreat from Mogadishu. However, the ICU is still an existing organization. The status of their leaders and their present organization may be subject to change and speculation.
The ICU is a union of Sharia law courts. These courts formed out of the chaos of the 1990s to administer justice in the districts in which they were established. Due to the chaos in Somalia, each court maintained a large militia to act as both police force and military. In February 2006, 11 of these courts chose to pool their military resources in order to take over Mogadishu. (See Second Battle of Mogadishu.)
Each member of the ICU is a Sharia judge in charge of a specified court in a particular district of Somalia, and it is up to him to determine how Sharia law is enforced. These interpretations can either be very literal or very broad, with various Hadiths being either regarded or disregarded, and correspondingly has led to varying levels of liberty and repression. Some courts do not enforce beyond what the Quran requires; others have beaten people for watching Bollywood films and Western movies or playing "licentious" music. One famous allegation that was cited numerous times, yet was denied by the ICU, was that there was a ban on the viewing of football (soccer) matches.
In order to organize the courts into a more coherent organization, rather than a like-minded collection of independent judges, a "Supreme Islamic Court of Banadir" was created, with the most senior judges forming this high court. This court dealt with wide issues, as well as foreign relations, and commanded the ICU military forces as a whole. The chairman of the Supreme Islamic Court is Sharif Sheikh Ahmed. A consultative Shura council chaired by Sheikh Hassan Aweys approved the decisions made by the Supreme Islamic Court, and therefore was called the "real power" in the ICU, though the Shura could not act unilaterally. In simplistic terms, this made Ahmed the "President" of the ICU and Aweys the "Prime Minister". When Ahmed was otherwise indisposed (visiting a foreign country, ill, etc.) Sheikh Abdirahman Janaqow was the Acting Chairman.
Below the Supreme Council and Shura Council are the regional courts spread throughout the country, which govern over the day to day issues of justice and law. These courts have enormous independence, and so the laws and regulations in ICU territory can vary wildly from town to town based on the particular moderation or radicalism of the local court.
ICU Chairman Sharif Sheikh Ahmed is seen as a moderate and repeatedly declared the objective of the ICU was the restoration of order after 15 years of violence. However, of the eleven courts composing the Union, two had reputations as radical. One was led by Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys, who is on the U.S. list of terrorism suspects as the former head of the al-Itihaad al-Islamiya (AIAI) group. Western diplomats are also concerned by a second leader, Adan Hashi Ayro, who was trained in Afghanistan and whose militia has been implicated in the deaths of five foreign aid workers and a BBC producer. Suspects from the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings are believed to be hiding in Somalia, and to be aided by the ICU. There were also been reports of foreign mujahideen fighting alongside the ICU. In response, the U.S. provided funding for the secular warlord alliance due to these fears. However, Somalia has little history of radical Islam and the ICU had not embraced the most extreme forms of Islamic law, such as amputation of thieves' hands.
Harakat al-Shabaab Mujahedeen
The Hizbul Shabaab, also known as Al-Shabaab, or simply as "Shabaab", is the Youth Wing of the ICU. It is a radical and somewhat independent organization under the ICU umbrella which is integrated quite tightly with the ICU armed forces, acting as a sort of "special forces" for the ICU.
The Shabab caused difficulties for the ICU in maintaining a good international image on a number of occasions due to their hot-headedness and zealousness, such as abducting critical journalists, harassing overly-hip youngsters, and murdering wounded JVA soldiers in a Bu'aale hospital.
The ICU formally apologized for each of the incidents and attempted to make it clear that these actions did not reflect ICU policy. Nevertheless, these incidents gave their opponents excellent propaganda ammunition and aided the global perception of the ICU being like the Taliban.
Relationship with other Somali powers
The major powers in Somalia included the Transitional Federal Government, the Juba Valley Alliance (JVA) in the south, plus the autonomous Puntland in the northeast and self-declared independent Somaliland in the northwest. In the midst of the conflict, Galmudug was formed in direct response to stem the rise of the ICU. The ICU was opposed by all the other factions, except for Somaliland, which remained generally neutral throughout the conflict.
As a result of the collapse of the warlords' power, the four warlord representatives in the transitional government were stripped of their cabinet posts. The transitional government was then based in Baidoa, 250 kilometers from Mogadishu. After the ICU victory in Mogadishu, the transitional government voted to request foreign peacekeepers from the African Union in a mission known as IGASOM. The African Union supports the transitional government, though it did not provide forces to defend it against the advances of the ICU. The ICU rejected the need for peacekeepers, arguing Somalia needs aid, not more external troops. The Interim Prime Minister Ali Mohammed Ghedi stated he wished to meet with the ICU leaders. This resulted in the Treaty of Khartoum of 5 September 2006, in which it was agreed the ICU and the Transitional Government would be merged; however, the ICU insisted on the precondition Ethiopian troops would leave the country beforehand. Ethiopian forces did not withdraw, and the treaty agreement fell apart.
The JVA was overrun in the south, and Kismayo was taken. The remaining JVA forces aligned themselves immediately with the TFG. In December 2006—January 2007, as part of the TFG's army, they retook the lost territory of the south.
In November 2006, the Islamic Courts said Puntland's forces had carried out a pre-emptive strike against their fighters who were gathering on the edge of Puntland near Galinsoor. The government of Puntland has vowed to resist any attack by the Islamic Courts. Later, Puntland entered into combat with the ICU at the Battle of Bandiradley, which expelled the ICU from the central interior.
Individual Islamic courts
|This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (January 2007)|
|Court name||Location||Clan representation||Judge||Ideology|
|Court of Banadir for Returning
Forcefully-Taken Fixed Assets
|Various||11 judges chaired by Omar Abdalla Ali||Various|
|Court for Verdict in Banadir||Various||12 judges chaired by Abdirahman Hassan Omar||Various|
|Court of Banadir Province||Various||12 judges chaired by Hussein Abdi Elmi||Various|
|Ifka Halan||Mogadishu, Banadir||Hawiye||Hassan Dahir 'Aweys'||Shafi'i|
|Suuq Xoolaha||Mogadishu, Banadir||Hawiye||?||?|
|SiiSii||Mogadishu, Banadir||Hawiye||Sharif Sheikh Ahmad||Sufi|
|Polytechnic||Mogadishu, Banadir||Reer Shabelle
|Gubta||Mogadishu, Banadir||Hawiye||Abdalla Ali||Salafi|
|Milk Factory||Mogadishu, Banadir||Hawiye|
|Al Bayaan||Mogadishu, Banadir||Rahanweyn
|Mohamed Ibrahim Bilal|
|Al-Furqan||Mogadishu, Banadir||Hawiye||Mohamud Mohamed Jimale Warsame 'Agaweyne'|
|Daynile||Mogadishu, Banadir||Hawiye||Abdirahman Janaqow|
|Shiirkoole (Circolo)||Mogadishu, Banadir||Hawiye||Abdilkadir Ali Omar||Salafi|
|?||Marka, Lower Shabelle||Hawiye||Yusuf Mohamed Siyaad 'Indha Adde'||?|
|Al-Cadaala||Laascanood, Sool||Darod||Shiikh Axmed Cabdulaahi Shanle||?|
|?||Balad, Upper Shabelle||Hawiye||Sheikh Yusuf Turhume||?|
|?||Wanlaweyn, Lower Shabelle||Digil-Mirifle||Mahad Mohammed||Liberal|
|?||Beletweyne, Hiraan||Hawiye||Farah Moallim Mohamud||Qutubi?|
|Alfaruq||Jalalaqsi, Hiraan||Hawiye||Mohammed Rashid Ibrahim||?|
|?||Afmadow, Lower Juba||Darod||?||?|
|?||Jilib, Middle Juba||Hawiye||Mohamed Omar Mursal||?|
|?||Barawe, Lower Shabelle||Dir||?||?|
|?||Buulo Barde, Hiraan||Hawiye||Hussein Barre Rage||Salafi|
|?||Bur Hakaba, Bay||Digil-Mirifle||Mustafa Ali Mohammed||?|
|?||South Galcayo, Mudug (Galmudug)||Hawiye||Abdullahi Siad Qeyre||?|
|?||North Galcayo, Mudug (Puntland)||Darod||Ahmed Yusuf||?|
|?||Kismayo, Lower Jubba||Darod||Hassan Turki||Salafi|
|Imamu Shafici||Abudwaq, Galgadud||Darod||Ali Bashir||?|
Noted ICU leaders
- Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys is the head of the shura council of the ICU. Aweys is former leader of al-Itihaad al-Islamiya (AIAI). Since November 2001, he has been named under Executive Order 13224 as a supporter of terrorist activities.
- Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed is the leader of executive the ICU. Ahmed was born in Chabila, Somalia and studied at Libyan and Sudanese universities. He is from the Abgaal branch of the Hawiye clan. He has also worked as a secondary school teacher of geography, Arabic, and religious studies. He speaks Arabic, Somali, and English.
- Sheikh Hasan Hersi "Al-Turki" used to be leader of Al-Itihaad al-Islamiya (AIAI); he goes by the name of "Al-Turki" or "The Turk". Since 2004, Hassan Al-Turki has been designated under US Presidential Executive Order 13224 for terrorist financing.
- Sheikh Yusuf Siad Inda'ade (or Inda Ade) served as deputy and financier for Hasan Dahir Aweys. He had been the chief of security of the Islamic Courts. He is controversial because he was a warlord who occupied Lower Shabeele in 2003. He later allied himself with the Islamic Courts. The Islamic Courts advanced to central and south Somalia regions, including the Kismayo area, before Inda'ade pledged his support, giving them control of Lower Shabelle region. In December 2006, during the intense fighting with Ethiopia, he was not present and was on pilgrimage in Mecca.
- Sheikh Mukhtar Robow who goes by the name of "Abu Mansur", was the deputy chief of security for the Islamic Courts. He had been credited with being instrumental in the victory of the Second Battle of Mogadishu against the ARPCT (CIA-backed warlords). In December 2006, during the intense fighting with Ethiopia, he was not present and was in pilgrimage in Mecca. He was trained in Afghanistan and was recently named a commander for the Al-Shabab.
- Professor Ibrahim Hassan Addow (M.Ed., Ph.D.) was the head of foreign affairs department for the ICU. He lived in the United States and worked as an administrator at American University in Washington, D.C., before returning to Somalia in 1999. He is the dean of Benadir University in Mogadishu and had represented the Islamic courts in its negotiations with the Somali transitional government.
- Sheikh Fuad Mohamed Qalaf was the head of the department of youth and education in the ICU. He lived in Sweden for ten years and was an imam at a mosque in Stockholm before returning to Somalia in 2006.
The Islamic Courts' claimed mission was to bring social justice and to combat iniquity. Thus, after capturing Mogadishu, it brought Sharia law back to Somalia and re-instituted the constitution.
In the year 2000, the courts formed a union of Islamic courts, partly to consolidate resources and power and partly to aid in handing down decisions across, rather than within, clan lines.
In an interview featured in the BBC Online Somali section in June 2006, Sheik Sharif Shaykh Ahmed said "the union of Islamic courts was established to ensure that Somali people suffering for 15 years would gain peace and full justice and freedom from the anarchic rule of warlords who refuted their people to no direction."
- On 5 October 2006, the Islamic Courts had declared the formation of the supreme Islamic Sharia court of Banadir province. The announcement ceremony was attended by all Islamic officials; both consultative and executive councils, intellectuals and civil society members and took place in the former Somali presidential palace in central Mogadishu. That announcement from the central Islamic Court was destined to end all tribal Islamic Courts in the capital.
- On 17 November 2006, the ICU had banned the use, sale and transportation of khat altogether and the Islamic Court of Kismayo banned the sale of cigarettes. This was a controversial move as it was the main source of income for many war widows and orphans and a huge import-export business.
- The ICU fought pirate activity at the Somali coast, which subsequently declined during its rule.
In reference to the Ogaden and the North Eastern Province, land traditionally inhabited by ethnic Somalis but now within the borders of Kenya and Ethiopia, the late leader of the ICU, Sheik Hassan Dahir Aweys, said that the ICU would do its best to incorporate said territories into a Greater Somalia:
"We will leave no stone unturned to integrate our Somali brothers in Kenya and Ethiopia."  Ethiopia and Kenya have historically resisted such Somali attempts before. While most African countries are made up of multi-ethnic societies, Somalia has been a rare exception where one ethnicity makes up almost 100% of the population. The Islamist leader said his group will "gain back the Somali provinces forcefully annexed to Ethiopia and Kenya."
Notes and references
- Hassan Yare (2006). "Troops dig in as Somalia war fears grow". Reuters. Retrieved September 9, 2007.
- www.chinaview.cn (2006). "EU concerned about risk of war in Somalia". www.chinaview.cn. Retrieved September 9, 2007.
- Warlord Yusuf "Indho Ade" Mohamed Siad, defense chief of the ICU[dead link]
- Alisha Ryu (2007). "Somalia's Islamic Courts Fighters Abandon Kismayo". newsVOA.com. Archived from the original on January 3, 2007. Retrieved September 9, 2007.
- "Former Islamic Courts Leader elected president of Somalia". Long War Journal. 2009-01-31. Retrieved 2009-06-07.
- Lara Santoro, (1999). "Islamic Clerics Combat Lawlessness in Somalia". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved September 9, 2007. Cite error: Invalid
<ref>tag; name "CSMonitor_1999" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
- Reuters (2006). "Somalia: Islamists refuse talks, acknowledge Eritrea". Mail & Guardian/Reuters. Retrieved September 9, 2007.[dead link]
- Patrick Gilkes (July 23, 1999). "The Somali connection". BBC. Retrieved September 9, 2007.
- Reuters (2007). "Somalia says captured foreign pro-Islamist fighters". Mail & Guardian/Reuters. Retrieved September 9, 2007.[dead link]
- Salad Duhul (June 3, 2007). "8 Militants Killed in Somali Fighting". Washington Post.com / Associated Press. Retrieved September 9, 2007.
- Garowe Online (2007). "Islamist supporters, al-Qaeda terrorists attacked us: Somalia governor". Garowe Online. Retrieved September 9, 2007.[dead link]
- Puntland administration detected Arab fighters in the coastal area[dead link]
- WNBC.com (2007). "U.S. Military Strikes al-Qaida Cells In Somalia". WNBC.com. Retrieved September 9, 2007.
- BBC (June 7, 2007). "'Al-Qaeda' arrest in East Africa". BBC News. Retrieved September 9, 2007.
- "Pentagon Holds Suspected al-Qaida Member Captured in E. Africa". KNX 1070 News/Associated Press. Associated Press. 2007. Archived from the original on September 28, 2007. Retrieved September 9, 2007.
- Kristina Nwazota, Islamist Control of Mogadishu Raises Concern of Extremist Future for Somalia[dead link], Online NewsHour, June 8, 2006
- "U.S. attacks may have killed Canadians in Somalia". Canadian Press. 2007-01-09. Retrieved 2007-01-09.[dead link]
- Lacey, Mark, Islamic militias take control of Somali capital[dead link], The New York Times, 5 June 2006
- Lacey, Mark, Somali Islamists Declare Victory; Warlords on Run, New York Times, 6 June 2006.
- Somali Islamists capture key town, BBC News, 13 June 2006.
- Somali Islamists seize key port[dead link] South African Mail and Guardian, 16 August 2006.
- Ethiopian troops on Somali soil, BBC News, 20 July 2006.
- Mohamed Abdi Farah, Somalia: Reopening of Mogadishu's airport welcomed[dead link], SomaliNet, July 15, 2006.
- Somalia: Transitional govt, Islamic courts agree to talks, IRIN, August 15, 2006.
- First ship arrives in Mogadishu, BBC, August 25, 2006.
- Islamists shooting kills people in Kismayo[dead link]
- Mohamed Abdi Farah, Somalia: Islamists set up central Islamic court in the capital[dead link], SomaliNet, October 2, 2006.
- Xan Rice. "Somali hardliner calls for foreign jihadists". the Guardian. Retrieved 27 February 2015.
- Somalia: ICU leaders resign as Ethiopian army nears the capital Archived January 10, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. SomaliNet
- "Terror war expanding to Somalia?". Associated Press. 2007-01-09. Retrieved 2007-01-09.[dead link]
- "Pentagon says Somalia attack not the end". 2007-01-10. Retrieved 2007-01-10.[dead link]
- Garoweonline.com[dead link]
- World Cup ban in Mogadishu denied BBC News
- "Hindustan Times - Breaking News, India, World, Bollywood, Sports, Business, Technology". Retrieved 27 February 2015.[dead link]
- Sorry is not enough for barbaric killing in hospital beds[dead link] at SomaliNet.com.
- Somalia: Islamic courts again warn of foreign troops in Somalia[dead link], SomaliNet News, 15 June 2006
- Islamic Courts clash with Puntland[dead link], Al Jazeera, 06 November 2006
- Puntland 'to fight Islamic courts'[dead link], Al Jazeera, 21 November 2006
- Designation of Hassan Abdullah Hersi al-Turki under Executive Order 13224 US Department of State
- Islamists extend authority in Somalia, Reuters , 30 Sept 2006
- Mukhtar Robow, Al shabab commander trained in Afghanistan[dead link]
- Edmund Sanders, Islamists bring order to Somalia, but justice is far from uniform[dead link], Seattle Times, October 15, 2006
- Farah, Mohamed Abdi (2005-10-11). "Somalia: abroad Somali communities urged to return home for Jihad". SomaliNet. Retrieved 2006-12-27.[dead link]
- Hiiraan.com, Associated Press, October 17, 2007"
- ICU plans to take over Ethiopian and Kenyan territories[dead link]
- islamists plans to take the Somali provinces "forcefully annexed to Ethiopia and Kenya"[dead link]
- Somalia's Struggle for Stability[dead link], Online NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.
- Conoco-Somalia Declassification Project, Conoco-Somalia Declassification Project, 2006.
- Violence Flares in Somalia (VIDEO)[dead link], ogrish.com (updated 28 May 2006).
- Somalia: a State of Need, IRIN(18 min streaming video), December 2006.
- Somalia's Islamists[dead link], International Crisis Group Report, 12 December 2005.
- ""The Rise and Fall of Somalia's Islamic Courts" (PDF).[dead link] (270 KiB), Chatham House, April 2007.
- "The Road Ahead: Violence and Reconciliation in Somalia" (podcast) with Idd Beddel Mohamed, Somalia's deputy representative to the UN and Somali scholar Abdi Samatar, hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations, April 27, 2007.
- "United States conducting secret war in Somalia". Chicago Tribune. 2008-11-24. Archived from the original on 2008-11-28. Retrieved 2008-09-28. mirror2[dead link]