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A look at Ethiopia's support of Al-Qaeda terrorists against Eritrea

Ethiopian-backed Al-Qaeda terrorists, the Eritrean Islamic Reform Movement, formerly known as the Eritrean Islamic Jihad Movement. Their ideology (Wahhabism) comes from Saudi Arabia; their attire known as "Perahan Tunban" comes from Afghanistan and their support comes from Ethiopia & Saudi Arabia. There is nothing Eritrean about them.

The so-called Eritrean Islamic Reform Movement (EIRM), which up until 2003 was known as the Eritrean Islamic Jihad Movement (EIJM), is an Ethiopian-backed Al-Qaeda terrorist group that aims to establish an Islamic Caliphate in Eritrea by overthrowing the secular Eritrean government.

With the support of the Sudan and Saudi Arabia, EIJM formed in the early 1980s, in Gedaref, Sudan. The group was originally comprised of Islamist members of the Eritrean Liberation Front (ELF), which had many of its senior members participate in the Soviet–Afghan War.

Since its formation, a number of Islamist groups split from EIJM to form their own jihadi groups. Among the biggest split came from the Eritrean Islamic Salvation Movement (EISM), which left EIJM in 1998. EISM went on to gain Ethiopian support after it changed its name to the Eritrean Islamic Party for Justice and Development, a change critics say was Addis Ababa's poor attempt of putting lipstick on an Al-Qaeda pig.

In 1994, after a series of terrorist activities such as planting of land mines in Eritrean territory; bombing of hotels; attacks on civilian buses and killing of innocent passengers; arson against farms and destruction of water pumps, the Eritrean army launched two major offensives into Eastern Sudan that devastated the EIJM of which it has yet to recover from. The Eritrean military also attempted to kill or capture Osama bin Laden, who was actively funding and supporting EIJM's activities while he was living in the Sudan.

As a result of Eritrea's salient actions to curb regional terrorism and for its efforts to hunt down Osama bin Laden, who was then hailed as a "freedom fighter" in the mainstream media, Donald Rumsfeld, the former U.S. Secretary of Defense, acknowledged the United States can learn a lot about battling terrorism from Eritrea.

"Rumsfeld noted the history of Eritrea when he said that the country of about 4.5 million people "has considerably more experience than we do over a sustained period of time" in battling terrorism. He said the United States can benefit from that experience."

Similarly, in 2007, when Ethiopia's Melez Zenawi and Susan Rice were hatching up a lie of Eritrean support for Al-Shaabab in order to place unjust UN sanctions on the country, Ted Dagne, the then African affairs specialist at the Congressional Research Service, praised Eritrea as a country that played an important role in fighting terrorism. He said:

If there is one country where the fighting of extremists and terrorists was a priority when it mattered, it was Eritrea,” said Ted Dagne, an Africa specialist for the Congressional Research Service.

After Eritrean-Sudanese relations improved in 2006, EIJM opened an office in Addis Ababa in 2006, and in 2007, the organization joined the Eritrean Democratic Alliance (EDA), which is registered with the group under the name of its political wing, the Eritrean People's Congress (EPC).

EDA is an Ethiopian-created umbrella group consisting of Islamists and ethnic-centric political parties each seeking to turn Eritrea into mini Sharia-governed chiefdoms loyal to Addis Ababa and Riyadh.

Unlike Sudan and Saudi Arabia, who seek the Islamization of Eritrea for geopolitical and ideological reasons, Ethiopia's support for the Al-Qaeda-linked organization has to do with forming a rift between Eritrean Christians and Muslims, whom are evenly split 50/50. In doing so, it seeks to erode Eritrean nationalism by artificially creating the conditions for a Lebanon-style civil war, in which Ethiopia plays the part of Syria and micromanages Eritrea, with the end goal of annexation of the country.

Unfortunately for Ethiopia and Saudi Arabia, the high degree of fragmentation of the EJIM coupled with the Eritrean army's successful counter terrorism measures over the years, has severely crippled the terrorist organization's capacity. The regional spoilers bet on Al-Qaeda-linked groups to destabilize Eritrea has been a costly and ineffective one.

When Osama bin Laden lived in the Sudan, he was hailed as a warrior and freedom fighter by Main Stream Media, even though he was openly supporting EIJM to conduct terrorists attacks against Eritrea.

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A look at Ethiopia's support of Al-Qaeda terrorists against Eritrea Reviewed by Admin on 1:21 AM Rating: 5

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