Bin Laden Takes Interest in Somalia

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Osama bin Laden denounced Somalia's new president, Thursday, and urged militants to overthrow the more moderate government the country now has.

In an 11-and-a-half minute message posted online, bin Laden claimed President Sheik Sharif Ahmed's election was "induced by the American envoy in Kenya" and that he must be "dethroned and fought" as a result.

Click play for more of CBN News Terrorism Analyst's Erick Stakelbeck's insight on the current state of Somalia and why bin Laden has grown a new interest in the country. 

Ahmed was elected Jan. 31 to lead Somalia as part of a peace push. The African country had not seen a functioning government since warlords overthrew a dictator in 1991, and then turned on each other.

CBN News Terrorism Analyst Erick Stakelbeck says those years of lawlessness in Somalia are what make it a country of interest to bin Laden and al Qaeda.

"Without a functioning government... functioning military [and] police forces, al Qaeda and terrorist groups have free reign not only to set up shop there [and] start training camps, but to recruit disaffected Somalis to their cause," he explained.

Stakelbeck added that Somalia is headed to being a complete Islamic state even with Ahmed's moderate rule.  The president is already making moves to implement Sharia law in the country and has the backing of several Islamic groups.

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