THE mother of an Islamic jihadist, who the Australian Government believes was killed fighting alongside terrorists in Somalia, says her son is alive and working with al-Qa’ida.
Khadra Nimale’s son Ahmed Ali went missing in December in east Africa while fighting against the Ethiopian-backed Somalian military.
Ms Nimale said relatives in Somalia believed her 25-year-old son had changed his name and was working as an interpreter with al-Qa’ida.
She has broken her silence to tell The Australian that her son was radicalised by Melbourne-based hardline clerics.
* Are there any other ones?
She accused Mohammed Omran – the head of the fundamentalist Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jammah association, who believes Osama bin Laden is a “good man” – of turning Mr Ali into a hardliner.
Mr Ali went missing in the Somali capital of Mogadishu on December 22, two weeks after he arrived with his pregnant wife, Aisha, and one-year-old girl, Hafsa.
Mr Ali told his mother he was going to Dubai, where he and his family stayed for a week with friends before making the secret trip to Somalia. They have not spoken since.
On January 7, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed Mr Ali’s death to The Australian.
But Ms Nimale said she refused to accept that he was dead because none of her relatives and government contacts back home had evidence to prove it.
She said her son began attending Sheik Omran’s classes with some of his friends about six years ago.
* Alright everybody: Lets blame the US, GWB and John Howard.
“He was talking all the time about Sheik Omran,” she told The Australian in an exclusive Arabic and English interview at her Braybrook home, in Melbourne’s west.
“I lost him,” Ms Nimale said as she cried.
She said Mr Ali would not have been radicalised had she and her 10 children remained in Somalia and not migrated to Australia in 1994, two years after her husband was killed in the African region while working as an army commander with the Somali Government.
“I wish I did not come to Australia because he got in trouble in this country … they (radicals) took my son.”
* Unlikely. In Somalia they teach from the same Koran and same sunnah. Besides, everyone runs around with AK 47’s and rocket lounchers. But it is true that Australia would have been better off without these refugees.
A spokesman for Sheik Omran rejected Ms Nimale’s accusations against the spiritual leader.
“Sheik Omran is a popular person for people to blame for everything,” said Abu Yusuf, who denied ever seeing Mr Ali at the cleric’s classes.
“If she has evidence (that Sheik Omran radicalised Mr Ali), provide it to the authorities to shut us down.”
* Standard procedure: Lie and deny. Intimidate and blackmail, if all fails, (try to) assassinate her…
Ms Nimale said relatives in Somalia told her al-Qa’ida had recruited her son as an interpreter because he spoke fluent English, and gave him a “secret al-Qa’ida name”, which she did not want published.
“The extremists in Somalia or maybe the terrorist in Somalia, al-Qa’ida, they need someone with (a good) education,” she said.
* There you go. Andrew Bolt comments: It confirms that the next generation of jihadists are at universities, not on production lines, and are privileged, not marginalised. We also find again that bringing in people from a tribalised nation radicalised by war carries significant risks. And then there’s the inevitable clash of cultures, which multiculturalism if anything worsens.
Ms Nimale, 48, said some relatives spotted Mr Ali working with the terrorist network several weeks after his wife, Aisha, gave birth to their son, Majahid (“holy warrior”) in mid-January.
Ms Nimale said she isolated herself from Melbourne’s Somali community following her son’s disappearance.
Ms Nimale was angered by some community figures who expressed their sense of pride following news of Mr Ali’s death while fighting jihad alongside the Islamic Courts movement.
“They said, ‘Your son go to jihad, he’s going to go to Jannah (Paradise)’,” she said. “I said ‘where is Jannah, where is heaven? Kismayo, or Mogadishu?”‘
Ms Nimale said her son embraced Wahabism – a fundamentalist interpretation of Islam espoused by bin Laden - shortly after the September 11 attacks in the US in 2001.