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Somalia’s Al-Shabaab denies link to terror plot in Australia

MOGADISHU, Aug. 6 (Xinhua) — The radical Islamist group of Al-Shabaab in Somalia on Thursday denied any connection with a terror plot in the southern Australian city of Melbourne.

“We have nothing to do with that and we believe it is meant to blackmail the (detained) youths into spying for the enemies of Islam,” Sheikh Ali Mohamoud Rageh, Spokesman for the Al-Shabaab told reporters in Mogadishu.

Last week, Australian police arrested several men of Somali and Lebanese descent after they were suspected of planning to carry out a suicide attack on an army base in the southern city of Melbourne following months of surveillance.

Al-Shabaab, which means “youth” in Arabic, is one of the main insurgent group fighting Somali government forces and African Union peacekeeping forces in Mogadishu.

The movement, which controls large swathes of territory in the south and center of the war-ravaged Horn of Africa country, is accused of having links with Al-Qaida and being behind most of the suicide attacks against government forces and the AU peacekeepers.

Al-Shabaab wants to topple the Somali government and replace it with an Islamic State, implementing a strict form of the Islamic Sharia law, which it imposes in areas under its rule.

Meanwhile, Al-Shabaab condemned the meeting between Somali President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, saying the meeting was meant to harm the Somali people rather than help them.

“The U.S. want to use another tactic to harm the Muslim nation so they have sent this woman representing the Pharaoh of today,” an Al-Shabaab spokesman told reporters.

President Ahmed and Clinton met Thursday in the Kenyan capital Nairobi after attending a U.S.-Africa economic forum.

Editor: Mu Xuequan

Source: China View

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