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Young Somalis lured home by Al-Qa'ida

YOUNG Somalian Muslims are secretly travelling back to their homeland to fight alongside al-Qa'ida-backed terrorists at the urging of hardline spiritual leaders in Australia.

Somalian spiritual leader Hersi Hilole yesterday warned that young men returning from their jihad mission against the Ethiopian-backed Somalian Government were more likely to consider becoming involved in a terrorist attack on Australia.

"Now when they come back, how are they going to join the rest of society?" Sheik Hilole said. "There is a great danger that they could carry out any kind of terrorist activity here."

Sheik Hilole, chairman of the Somali Community Council of Australia, said hardline clerics in Melbourne continued to "prey" on young Somalian men, whose welcoming attitudes to Wahabism - a puritanical interpretation of Islam espoused by Osama bin Laden - were a result of the ideology's prevalance in their home country.

He said the Somalian spiritual leaders preaching Wahabism had gone further "underground", following an Australian Federal Police investigation into claims that some Somalian community members were sending money home to assist the Islamic Courts movement that has been accused by the US of harbouring al-Qa'ida operatives. The AFP investigation, revealed in The Australian in April, is continuing.

"Some of these religious leaders who are teaching these radical ideas to the young people now have gone underground," Sheik Hilole said.

The Australian revealed yesterday that a Somalian man from Melbourne, Ahmed Ali, who travelled to Somalia in December to fight alongside the Islamic Courts movement after telling his mother he was going to Dubai, was believed to be working as an interpreter with al-Qa'ida.

Mr Ali's mother also accused Melbourne's ultra-radical Islamic spiritual leader Mohammed Omran of radicalising her son. A spokesman for Sheik Omran rejected her claims.

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While it is good that Sheikh Hilole opposes jihadist preachers, what has he done to keep his congregants moderate? And if he has tried, why has he failed and is there any influential moderate sheikh in Australia? If there is no influential moderate, what steps are being planned to protect our way of life?

Posted by paul2 on 2007-10-02 13:19:31 GMT

Once again we have approx 1.5% of the Australian population makeing daily headlines in our media for all the wrong reasons. I am hopeful our leaders understand the very real threat of Islam, especially the Wahabism form of Islam. This is orthodox Islam and should be treated with "respect". There is no room for compromise within this sect of Islam, and it follows the teachings of Muhammed and allah to the letter. Any infidel is treated with contempt and scorn at best and is expendable especially when that "infidel" stands up pointing out the evil of Islam. The Hitler experience, readily comes to mind, when we view the threat of Islam with a sober mind. Will the Islamic challenge be handled differently, we hope so. Do we dare to imagine the headlines in our media when the Islamic population grows to 10%; while some may take issue with this question, it is one we will and must face if changes are not made quickly. Research shows that it is the "hardline" Wahabism leaders who have control. Make no mistake, this spells trouble for our nation.

Posted by Philip Hammond on 2007-10-02 10:52:43 GMT