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Israel to help Kenya fight terrorists

Israel will likely provide anti-terror training to Kenyan security forces.
Kenya israel 2011 11 14Enlarge
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with Kenya's Prime Minister Raila Odinga at Netanyahu's office on Nov. 14, 2011, in Jerusalem, Israel. (Avi Ohayon/Getty Images)

In a move that will surely please the Al Qaeda-linked extremists in command of Somalia’s Al Shabaab rebel group, Kenya’s prime minister has won the support of Israel to defend his country against terrorist attack.

Since sending its troops into Somalia last month, Kenya has handed a number of PR gifts to the Shabaab, first by being an invading foreign force from a Christian country, then by accidentally bombing a refugee camp, and now by hooking up with every jihadis' favorite enemy: Israel.

“Kenya got the backing of the top leadership of the State of Israel in its war to rid its territory of fundamentalist elements,” said a statement from Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s office.

The support will likely take the form of specialist anti-terror training for Kenya’s security forces. Useful as this might be, the initiative will give the Shabaab yet another opportunity to claim that Kenya’s invasion is part of a grand anti-Islamic alliance.

Israel and Kenya have a shared history as victims of terror attacks.

In 2002 Fazul Abdullah Mohamed, an Al Qaeda man who became a liaison between Osama bin Laden’s group and the Shabaab, organized the bombing of an Israeli hotel in Mombasa and the simultaneous (failed) attempt to shoot down an Israeli passenger jet.

More from GlobalPost: Eritrea denies arming Shabaab

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/africa-emerges/israel-help-kenya-fight-terrorists