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|Cameras On Somali Island "To Monitor Terrorists"|
By Ali Halni, IOL Correspondent
MOGADISHU, January 13 (IslamOnline.net) – Fishermen from the Somali southern city of Raas Kambooni stumbled Monday, January 12, onto cameras and other electronic devices installed in a remote island in the country's territorial waters, with one official believing it is the work of U.S. intelligence.
Four cameras linked to solar cells and state-of-the-art equipment had been found on the depopulated rocky island of Burr Gaabo near the Kenyan borders, Houg Ogal newspaper reported Tuesday, January 13.
"Keep Distance…Dangerous" was emblazoned on rocks encasing the equipment in both English and Somali.
The devices are believed to be used for transmitting information on the region via satellites, said the paper.
A government source told IslamOnline.net he has no doubts the devices are the work of U.S. intelligence as part of the U.S.-led "global war on terror" in tandem with some bodies in the Horn of Africa.
The source, who asked not to be named, said that the U.S. was hunting down remnants of Al-Qaeda or members of the Islamic Somali Federation (ISF).
Residents in Raas Kambooni told IOL that local fishermen were afraid of being detained and interrogated by American forces patrolling the water off Somalia after discovering the devices.
Raas Kaambooni has been the bastion of the ISF before the dismantling of its armed wing in 1996 following massive air raids by the Ethiopian army.
In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, the city has been placed under close scrutiny from the CIA.
The U.S. Navy sent patrols to Somalia's coastlines following the deadly attack on an Israeli hotel in the Kenyan city of Mombassa in November 2002, which was claimed by Al-Qaeda.
Ten Kenyans and three Israelis were killed in the attack on the Paradise Hotel when three bombers detonated a car bomb outside the building.
Somalia-bound ships have since been frequently intercepted and stopped for search.
There are reports that several hundred U.S. Special Forces are active in east Africa to capture or kill suspected Al-Qaeda fugitives and other targets as a new front in the so-called war on terror.
Between 200 and 500 Special Forces moved to a French military base at Djibouti in 2002.
The U.S. is currently conducting military drills with the Kenyan army near the Somali-Kenyan borders.