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the History of hasan daahir aweys by bashir farayare) During the regime of Siad Barre, Aweys was a colonel in the Somali National Army (SNA) during the 1977 Ogaden War against Ethiopia[7] during which he was decorated for bravery.[8] He is a member of the Ayr (clan), which is part of the Habar Gidir group, which is a Hawiye sub-clan.[9] ↑Jump back a section 1994-2002: Al-Itihaad al-Islamiya (AIAI) Main article: al-Itihaad al-Islamiya In the 1990s, Aweys headed al-Itihaad al- Islamiya (AIAI),[10] an Islamist group that was responsible for terrorist attacks on hotels and markets in Addis Ababa, Dire Dawa, Jijiga, and Harar,[11] and was originally funded by al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden which was linked to the 1998 United States embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania.[12] Dahir Aweys was part of AIAI leadership which took over large parts of Somalia immediately following the collapse of the Somali Central Government. From 1991 to 1998, AIAI’s Gedo Region branch led by former Somali High Court Judge Mohamed Haji Yusuf maintained formidable forces. Gedo district seats of Lugh, Balad Hawo and Burdubo were all run by IAIA forces. Lugh was entirely governed by AIAI. At the time, there were other regional military authority Somali National Front (SNF) running parts of Gedo. Dahir Aweys settled in Lower Shabelle when some disputes came of light in Lugh’s Al-Itahad leadership. On 18 September 1996, the Ethiopian army invaded Lugh and forced out most of the AIAI forces. The following two years, the war front changed into what was later to become the Mountains War of Gedo. And the war this time was between SNF and AIAI. The Ethiopian regime just armed SNF militias. Ethiopians gave SNF an estimated 800 to 1000 small arms and around a dozen heavy weapons. The Gedo war ended when both sides agreed on a truce, and general peace with a peace conference held in El Ade on December 1998 was concluded. AIAI was destroyed later in the 1990s by a force led by Abdullahi Yusuf and funded by Ethiopia.[2] On 7 November 2001, Aweys was named a ‘supporter of terrorism’ in a supplement of Executive Order 13224 of United States President George W. Bush.[13] Aweys is also on the terrorist list of the United States Department of State.[14] When Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed was elected President in 2004, Aweys declared that he would support the new leader, even if he pursued former elements of al-Itihaad, as long as the country was ruled according to Islam. ↑Jump back a section 2004-2006: Islamic Courts Union (ICU) Main articles: Islamic Courts Union and Rise of the Islamic Courts Union (2006) After the defeat of AIAI Aweys played a key role in setting up a system of courts according to the shari’a by local businessmen desperate for order, becoming its spiritual head. The Courts brought relative stability to areas under its control, after years of turmoil. The Courts’ notion of order was strict, including stonings for serious crimes such as rape and murder. At first it only controlled the area of north Mogadishu, but it gained support from many Somali’s following the random violence committed by the warlords who controlled southern Mogadishu. Beginning 2004, eleven of these courts folded into an umbrella organization, the Islamic Courts Union, which fielded a formidable militia. A UN report in early 2006 stated that Aweys was receiving military support from Eritrea, as part of the ongoing conflict between it and Ethiopia, though Eritrea denies the claim.[2] Following the Union’s victory in Mogadishu in June 2006, Aweys rose to be the head of the shura committee, replacing Sharif Sheik Ahmed.[15] The Courts’ second-in- command Sheikh Abdulakdir Ali stated day- to-day matters would be handled by Sharif Sheikh Ahmed’s executive committee.[4] [16] On July 21, 2006, Hassan Aweys, in a radio broadcast, urged holy war on Ethiopian troops stationed in Baidoa to support the UN-backed government of Somalia.[17] On November 17, 2006, the Sheik spoke to Shabelle Radio about the formation of a Greater Somalia, uniting the Somali people scattered across the Horn of Africa. He stated, “We will leave no stone unturned to integrate our Somali brothers in Kenya and Ethiopia and restore their freedom to live with their ancestors in Somalia.”.[18] He is wanted by interpol for terrorism charges and there is reward of US $5,000,000 on him and his family Regional concern had been heightened since November 2, 2006, when the US Embassy in Nairobi issued a terrorist warning of suicide attack threats in Kenya and Ethiopia.[19] On December 19, 2006, he received medical treatment in Egypt just before the beginning of the war against the UN- backed Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and Ethiopian troops.[20] On December 21, 2006, as the fighting intensified with Ethiopia, he took a flight to an undisclosed location with Yusuf Mohammed Siad Inda’ade, and rather than news of medical treatment, it was said he was on the hajj.[21] On December 27, 2006, Aweys, along with a group of several hundred fighters from the Hizbul Shabaab wing of the ICU fled Mogadishu, presumably to the former AIAI base at Ras Kamboni.[22] On December 31, 2006, he vowed to fight on, and called for others to create an insurgency against the government. Meanwhile, a heavily armed column of government and Ethiopian troops advanced from Mogadishu through Lower Shabelle towards Kismayo. They reached Bulo Marer (Kurtun Warrey district) and were heading to Baravo.[23] In January 2007, his whereabouts remained generally unknown, but it was believed he was ailing.[20] ↑Jump back a section 2007-2009: Alliance for the Liberation of Somalia (ARS) Main articles: Alliance for the Liberation of Somalia and War in Somalia (2006–2009) In September 2007, he emerged in Eritrea forming a new rebellion. The Djibouti peace-talks between the ARS and the TFG, however, led to a split in the organisation, with the Djibouti-based “moderate” faction led by Sheikh Sharif Ahmed eventually signing the agreement and joining the TFG and the Eritrea-based “hard-liner” faction led by Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys refusing to do so and advocating continuation armed resistance. [24] ↑Jump back a section 2009-2010: Hizbul Islam (HI) Main articles: Hizbul Islam and War in Somalia (2009-) In early 2009, four major rebel groups, Sheikh Aweys’ Asmara-based wing of the ARS, Sheikh Hassan Abdullah Hersi al- Turki’s Ras Kamboni Brigade, Jabhatul Islamiya and Muaskar Anole joined together to form a new group called Hizbul Islam, vowing to continue the rebellion against the new government of Sheikh Shair Ahmed.[25] Although the group was initially led by Sheikh Omar Iman Abubakar, he stepped down on 26 May 2009 in favour of Sheikh Aweys taking the position of chairman.[26] On April 23, 2009, Aweys returned To Somalia declaring a war on the African Peace Keeping Forces AMISOM[27] He made clear that he would not meet Somali President sheikh Sharif Ahmed saying: He also accused the President of being an instrument of the International Community [28] and on 9 May 2009, Hizbul Islam and al- Shabaab and tried to topple the Government of President Shiikh Shariif Shiikh Ahmed[29] by opening the 2009 Battle of Mogadishu, which lasted for months, in which the Islamists managed to gain territory but failed ultimately to topple the regime. Mogadishu residents reported that they saw foreign fighters in the frontline of the battle, raising concerns that Somalia may become the next terrorist safe haven after Iraq and Afghanistan.[29] In June 2009, it was rumoured he had been killed during the Battle of Wabho. He later dismissed reports that he was killed or heavily injured.[30] After the Battle of Kisimayo (2009) the group was involved in an unsuccessful power-struggle with al-Shabaab in which Hizbul Islam was ultimately forced to surrender,[31] after which they merged with al-Shabaab on December 20, 2010 under the banner of al-Shabaab, dropping the name Hizbul Islam.[9][32] ↑Jump back a section 2010-present: Al-Shabaab (HSM) Main article: al-Shabaab Since joining al-Shabaab, he was involved in the power struggle between Sheikh Mukhtar Robow (Abu Mansoor) and Sheikh Moktar Ali Zubeyr (Godane), during which he supported Abu Mansoor in demanding that Godane would step down as the group’s Emir.[33]

History
During the regime of Siad Barre, Aweys
was a colonel in the Somali National Army
(SNA) during the 1977 Ogaden War against
Ethiopia[7] during which he was decorated
for bravery.[8]
He is a member of the Ayr (clan), which is
part of the Habar Gidir group, which is a
Hawiye sub-clan.[9]
↑Jump back a section
1994-2002: Al-Itihaad al-Islamiya
(AIAI)
Main article: al-Itihaad al-Islamiya
In the 1990s, Aweys headed al-Itihaad al-
Islamiya (AIAI),[10] an Islamist group that
was responsible for terrorist attacks on
hotels and markets in Addis Ababa, Dire
Dawa, Jijiga, and Harar,[11] and was
originally funded by al-Qaeda leader Osama
bin Laden which was linked to the 1998
United States embassy bombings in Kenya
and Tanzania.[12]
Dahir Aweys was part of AIAI leadership
which took over large parts of Somalia
immediately following the collapse of the
Somali Central Government. From 1991 to
1998, AIAI’s Gedo Region branch led by
former Somali High Court Judge Mohamed
Haji Yusuf maintained formidable forces.
Gedo district seats of Lugh, Balad Hawo
and Burdubo were all run by IAIA forces.
Lugh was entirely governed by AIAI. At the
time, there were other regional military
authority Somali National Front (SNF)
running parts of Gedo. Dahir Aweys settled
in Lower Shabelle when some disputes
came of light in Lugh’s Al-Itahad leadership.
On 18 September 1996, the Ethiopian army
invaded Lugh and forced out most of the
AIAI forces. The following two years, the
war front changed into what was later to
become the Mountains War of Gedo. And
the war this time was between SNF and
AIAI. The Ethiopian regime just armed SNF
militias. Ethiopians gave SNF an estimated
800 to 1000 small arms and around a dozen
heavy weapons. The Gedo war ended
when both sides agreed on a truce, and
general peace with a peace conference
held in El Ade on December 1998 was
concluded.
AIAI was destroyed later in the 1990s by a
force led by Abdullahi Yusuf and funded by
Ethiopia.[2]
On 7 November 2001, Aweys was named a
‘supporter of terrorism’ in a supplement of
Executive Order 13224 of United States
President George W. Bush.[13] Aweys is
also on the terrorist list of the United
States Department of State.[14]
When Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed was elected
President in 2004, Aweys declared that he
would support the new leader, even if he
pursued former elements of al-Itihaad, as
long as the country was ruled according to
Islam.
↑Jump back a section
2004-2006: Islamic Courts Union
(ICU)
Main articles: Islamic Courts Union and Rise
of the Islamic Courts Union (2006)
After the defeat of AIAI Aweys played a
key role in setting up a system of courts
according to the shari’a by local
businessmen desperate for order,
becoming its spiritual head. The Courts
brought relative stability to areas under its
control, after years of turmoil. The Courts’
notion of order was strict, including
stonings for serious crimes such as rape
and murder. At first it only controlled the
area of north Mogadishu, but it gained
support from many Somali’s following the
random violence committed by the
warlords who controlled southern
Mogadishu. Beginning 2004, eleven of
these courts folded into an umbrella
organization, the Islamic Courts Union,
which fielded a formidable militia. A UN
report in early 2006 stated that Aweys was
receiving military support from Eritrea, as
part of the ongoing conflict between it and
Ethiopia, though Eritrea denies the claim.[2]
Following the Union’s victory in Mogadishu
in June 2006, Aweys rose to be the head of
the shura committee, replacing Sharif Sheik
Ahmed.[15] The Courts’ second-in-
command Sheikh Abdulakdir Ali stated day-
to-day matters would be handled by Sharif
Sheikh Ahmed’s executive committee.[4]
[16]
On July 21, 2006, Hassan Aweys, in a radio
broadcast, urged holy war on Ethiopian
troops stationed in Baidoa to support the
UN-backed government of Somalia.[17]
On November 17, 2006, the Sheik spoke to
Shabelle Radio about the formation of a
Greater Somalia, uniting the Somali people
scattered across the Horn of Africa. He
stated, “We will leave no stone unturned
to integrate our Somali brothers in Kenya
and Ethiopia and restore their freedom to
live with their ancestors in Somalia.”.[18]
He is wanted by interpol for terrorism
charges and there is reward of US
$5,000,000 on him and his family
Regional concern had been heightened
since November 2, 2006, when the US
Embassy in Nairobi issued a terrorist
warning of suicide attack threats in Kenya
and Ethiopia.[19]
On December 19, 2006, he received medical
treatment in Egypt just before the
beginning of the war against the UN-
backed Transitional Federal Government
(TFG) and Ethiopian troops.[20]
On December 21, 2006, as the fighting
intensified with Ethiopia, he took a flight to
an undisclosed location with Yusuf
Mohammed Siad Inda’ade, and rather than
news of medical treatment, it was said he
was on the hajj.[21]
On December 27, 2006, Aweys, along with a
group of several hundred fighters from the
Hizbul Shabaab wing of the ICU fled
Mogadishu, presumably to the former AIAI
base at Ras Kamboni.[22] On December 31,
2006, he vowed to fight on, and called for
others to create an insurgency against the
government. Meanwhile, a heavily armed
column of government and Ethiopian
troops advanced from Mogadishu through
Lower Shabelle towards Kismayo. They
reached Bulo Marer (Kurtun Warrey
district) and were heading to Baravo.[23]
In January 2007, his whereabouts remained
generally unknown, but it was believed he
was ailing.[20]
↑Jump back a section
2007-2009: Alliance for the
Liberation of Somalia (ARS)
Main articles: Alliance for the Liberation of
Somalia and War in Somalia (2006–2009)
In September 2007, he emerged in Eritrea
forming a new rebellion.
The Djibouti peace-talks between the ARS
and the TFG, however, led to a split in the
organisation, with the Djibouti-based
“moderate” faction led by Sheikh Sharif
Ahmed eventually signing the agreement
and joining the TFG and the Eritrea-based
“hard-liner” faction led by Sheikh Hassan
Dahir Aweys refusing to do so and
advocating continuation armed resistance.
[24]
↑Jump back a section
2009-2010: Hizbul Islam (HI)
Main articles: Hizbul Islam and War in
Somalia (2009-)
In early 2009, four major rebel groups,
Sheikh Aweys’ Asmara-based wing of the
ARS, Sheikh Hassan Abdullah Hersi al-
Turki’s Ras Kamboni Brigade, Jabhatul
Islamiya and Muaskar Anole joined
together to form a new group called Hizbul
Islam, vowing to continue the rebellion
against the new government of Sheikh
Shair Ahmed.[25] Although the group was
initially led by Sheikh Omar Iman Abubakar,
he stepped down on 26 May 2009 in favour
of Sheikh Aweys taking the position of
chairman.[26]
On April 23, 2009, Aweys returned To
Somalia declaring a war on the African
Peace Keeping Forces AMISOM[27] He
made clear that he would not meet Somali
President sheikh Sharif Ahmed saying:
He also accused the President of being an
instrument of the International Community
[28] and on 9 May 2009, Hizbul Islam and al-
Shabaab and tried to topple the
Government of President Shiikh Shariif
Shiikh Ahmed[29] by opening the 2009
Battle of Mogadishu, which lasted for
months, in which the Islamists managed to
gain territory but failed ultimately to topple
the regime. Mogadishu residents reported
that they saw foreign fighters in the
frontline of the battle, raising concerns that
Somalia may become the next terrorist safe
haven after Iraq and Afghanistan.[29]
In June 2009, it was rumoured he had been
killed during the Battle of Wabho. He later
dismissed reports that he was killed or
heavily injured.[30]
After the Battle of Kisimayo (2009) the
group was involved in an unsuccessful
power-struggle with al-Shabaab in which
Hizbul Islam was ultimately forced to
surrender,[31] after which they merged
with al-Shabaab on December 20, 2010
under the banner of al-Shabaab, dropping
the name Hizbul Islam.[9][32]
↑Jump back a section
2010-present: Al-Shabaab (HSM)
Main article: al-Shabaab
Since joining al-Shabaab, he was involved in
the power struggle between Sheikh
Mukhtar Robow (Abu Mansoor) and Sheikh
Moktar Ali Zubeyr (Godane), during which
he supported Abu Mansoor in demanding
that Godane would step down as the
group’s Emir.[33]

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