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Slain Somali Icon's Son Targets Terror Funds Dahabshiil.

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Friday December 11, 2015 - 07:28:29 in Articles by Super Admin
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    Slain Somali Icon's Son Targets Terror Funds Dahabshiil.

    Waagacusub.net - The son of a slain Somali protest singer claims in Federal Court that a British money-transfer company bankrolled his mother's assassination and other al-Shabaab terror.

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Waagacusub.net - The son of a slain Somali protest singer claims in Federal Court that a British money-transfer company bankrolled his mother's assassination and other al-Shabaab terror.

Days before the end of Ramadan last year, musician Saado Ali Warsame's car pulled up to her hotel in Mogadishu and two unknown assassins opened fire on her and her driver. Al-Shabaab - the al-Qaida affiliate in Somalia - soon claimed responsibility for the attack, and the men who killed them were identified, convicted and executed.

     In a 24-page complaint, Warsame's son Harbi Hussein claims that a company pulling the strings has never been brought to justice.

     The lawsuit traces Warsame's musical career from her song that helped dethrone Somali strongman Siad Barre to the one that allegedly put her in the crosshairs of an international bank.

     "Her famous song 'Land Cruiser,' which ridiculed the military junta for exchanging donations of corn for expensive cars, led to Ms. Warsame's arrest and is largely credited for taking down the Barre regime," the complaint states. "She was one of the few Somali female musicians to go on stage without covering her head and she sometimes wore pants, which is unusual for women in Somalia."


     After fleeing Somalia's civil war in the 1990s, Warsame spent time in Minneapolis and New York before returning to her native land three years ago to run for the federal parliament. She won a seat representing the northeastern Puntland but she continued her musical career to oppose Dahabshiil, a British company derived from the Arabic word for "gold smelter."

     In 2012, a United Nations report found that al-Shabaab used Dahabshiil to plot a "large-scale assassination operation" targeting "national intelligence officers and members of the federal parliament."

     Playing on this name, Warsame urged her listeners to boycott the company in the song "Don't Do Business With the Blood Smelter," according to the complaint.

     "They call him 'Blood Smelter' to manipulate the public," one lyric says. "He has lot of money to make sure Mogadishu will never be at peace."

     The YouTube video of this song shows still frames of Warsame belting out those words along with blistering images of the company's name dripping with blood from an assault rifle and a protester holding a sign "Dahabshiil Stop Genocide."

     "In response to her song, 'Don't Do Business With the Blood Smelter,' Dahabshiil placed a multi-million dollar bounty on Ms. Warsame's life," the complaint states.

     Hussein, who is now living in Minnesota, is suing Dahabshiil Transfer Services Ltd. and three of its subsidiaries on behalf of his late mother's estate and himself under the Anti-Terrorism Act.

     "The murder of his mother by international terrorists has caused him severe mental anguish, extreme emotional pain and suffering, and the loss of his mother's society, companionship, comfort, advice and counsel," the lawsuit says.

     His lawyer Joshua Arisohn, from the firm Bursor & Fisher, spent nine years representing the plaintiffs of the first Anti-Terrorism Act case to go to trial, against Arab Bank. Arisohn said in a phone interview that he believes this civil lawsuit is the first to target al-Shabaab financing in general, and Dahabshiil in particular. 

     Dahabshiil did not immediately respond to an email request for comment.

By ADAM KLASFELD 

Source: courthousenews.com


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