Hassan Dahir Aweys
Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys was born in the mid 30s’ in Somalia. He was a colonel in the Somali army during the Ogaden war with Ethiopia in 1977. Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys refer to himself as a “Salafi”.
In the 90s’ Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys headed the “Itihad al-Islamiya” (Islamic Union), a radical group, which operated in Southern Somalia and gave logistic support to the attacks on USA Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, on 08/07/1998. The group also carried out terror attacks in Ethiopia. The “Itihad al-Islamiya” became, in late 1999, a part of a new coalition – the Council of Islamic Courts (CIC).
Since the fall of Mogadishu in the hands of the Council of Islamic Courts (CIC) in 06/2006,, Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys headed the 90 member’s supreme council (Shura) of the organization replacing the more moderate Sheik Sharif Ahmed, while the eight-member executive committee remained in the hands of Sheik Sharif Ahmed.
After The 9/11 Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys was designated by USA, on 11/07/2001, as a 'supporter of terrorism'.
Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys resigned from the ICI on 12/28/2006, following the occupation of Mogadishu by Ethiopian troops in the Ethiopian-Somali War. During the rule of the Islamic Courts, Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys made clear his pan Somalis intentions, and urged the ICI fighters to re-liberate the Ethiopian occupied Somali region of Ogaden.
In 09/2007, Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys emerged in Eritrea, forming a new rebel movement - Hisbul Islam (Party of Islam) and allied his group to al-Shabab. On 04/23/2009, Aweys returned To Somalia declaring a war on the African Peace Keeping Forces – AMISO stationed in Somalia. He made clear that he would not meet the Somali President, his former colleague - Sheik Sharif Ahmed, saying that "Mr. Sharif's government was not elected by the Somali people and it is not representing the interests the Somali people".
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