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Pirate attacks drop but Somali threat remains high

LONDON — Pirate attacks dropped slightly in 2011 for the first time in five years thanks to increased security, but the situation off Somalia is a growing concern, a maritime watchdog said Thursday. Around the globe there were 439 recorded incidents of piracy and armed robbery last year, compared with…

Ex-US soldier charged with trying to join Shebab

A former American soldier with specialist intelligence training faces terror charges after allegedly trying to join Somalia’s Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab militants, US justice officials said Monday. Craig Baxam, 24, secretly converted to Islam after perusing an Islamic religious website while serving in South Korea and quit the army days later in July…

Fistfight in Somali parliament over speaker election

Fistfights erupted in Somalia’s parliament late Wednesday as lawmakers elected a new speaker in a move condemned by the troubled nation’s president as “null and void”. Several supporters of Sharif Hassan Sheikh Adan — sacked as speaker in a controversial move last month by 280 MPs — were injured in…

Somali groups suspend wire transfers from Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS (Reuters) – A group of businesses that provide money transfers between Minnesota and Somalia said they had suspended their services on Thursday, forced into the move after a U.S. bank decided to shut down what they call a vital lifeline to the war-torn African country. Somalia has appealed the…

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