British Muslims 'recruited to fight for Al Qaeda in Somalia'
LONDON - Dozens of radicalised British Muslims are being trained by militant Islamists to fight in a "holy war" for Al Shabaab, the Al Qaeda-inspired Somali terrorist group, it has emerged.
Intelligence experts believe that up to 50 British "volunteers" - including white Christian converts and British-Somali men - have been recruited to fight for the terror outfit in Somalia. They form the core of an international force of foreign fighters drawn from the United States, Canada, Europe and East Africa.
Government officials now fear that the failed state is rapidly becoming a recruiting ground for British jihadists in much the same way as Afghanistan was in the 1990s.
The MI5 intelligence agency already ranks Somalia as one of the top three countries in the world, alongside Yemen and Pakistan, that poses a potential terrorist threat to Britain.
And the Security Service fears that British volunteers who survive the bloody civil war may return home as hardened terrorists eager to launch attacks against the United Kingdom.
The warning comes ahead of an international summit to be hosted by Prime Minister David Cameron this week on the future of Somalia, a country he recently described as "a failed state that directly threatens British interests" through kidnapping, piracy and the radicalisation of young Britons. (...)