Islamic religious bigot named President of Somalia

Bill Roggio:

Somalia's newly expanded parliament elected the former leader of the Islamic Courts Union as president of Somalia. The move comes just days after the Djibouti wing of the Alliance for the Re-Liberation of Somalia joined in a power-sharing deal with the now-defunct Transitional Federal Government.

Sheikh Ahmed Sharif was elected president of Somalia in the second round of balloting held in the capital of neighboring Djibouti. Sharif received 293 of the 421 votes cast, while Masalah Mohamed Siad, the son of a former president of Somalia, received 126 votes. The current and a former prime minister of Somalia withdrew from the race after poor showings in the first round of voting.

The Somali parliament has been meeting in Djibouti as the security situation continues to deteriorate. The Ethiopian military, which has occupied southern Somalia since January 2006 after ousting the Islamic Courts, completed its withdrawal from Somalia this week.

Shabaab and allied Islamist groups from the Asmara wing of the Alliance for the Re-Liberation of Somalia have overrun most of southern Somalia, leaving small pockets under TFG control. Baidoa, the seat of government, fell to Shabaab forces on Jan. 26, the day after Ethiopian forces withdrew from the town.

The Alliance for the Re-Liberation of Somalia is an offshoot of the Islamic Courts Union, which took control of Somalia during the summer and fall of 2006. Sharif partnered with wanted al Qaeda leader Hassan Dahir Aweys during the 2006 conquest of central and southern Somalia, including the capital of Mogadishu. But Sharif has always been viewed as a "moderate" Islamist but the European Union and the US State Department, despite his close associations with al-Qaeda linked Somali leaders.

...

These guys are Sharia law control freaks whom some in the media will call "moderates." They are bad news for Somalia and the rest of the world. Many are allies of al Qaeda and we can expect to see training camps and sanctuaries in Somalia as a result of this election.

They were meeting in Djibouti, because that was the closest place to US forces to protect the the former government. There are Marines and special forces troops in Djibouti and the operation there may need to be beefed up to deal with the new mess created by the religious bigots.

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