Al-Qaeda donates food, money to Somalis
Mogadishu - Islamist extremist group Al-Qaeda
has donated food, money and clothes to Somalia in an apparent publicity push
that shows its close ties with the Shebab rebels, a monitoring service said on Friday.
Citing photos released by the rebels, the
IntelCenter monitoring group said the aid was delivered at a high-profile
ceremony in the country in a bid to cement a stronger support base with the Somali
Aid agencies say regular deliveries of
much-needed aid in the poverty-stricken country are almost impossible due to
the security situation, as rebels routinely steal donated food and medicines,
and aid workers are threatened with kidnapping.
The Islamist Shebab rebels waged a four-year
battle in Mogadishu to topple the Somali government before suddenly abandoning
the majority of its bases in the capital in August. They still control much of
Analysts said internal dissent, dwindling
resources and popular support as well as their failure to dislodge the
government forced the rebels to give up the bloody campaign.