A top US envoy has dismissed as "absurd" a reward of 10 camels for information about President Barack Obama's hideout by Somali militants.
Al-Shabab made the mock offer after the US announced rewards of $3-7m (£2-4.5m) for various militant commanders.
The al-Qaeda linked group offered chickens for information about US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Johnnie Carson became the first top US official in two decades to visit Mogadishu over the weekend. When asked about al-Shabab's offer at a news conference, the assistant secretary of state for African affairs said: "The question is so absurd it does not deserve a response." He said his trip to Mogadishu, which lasted a matter of hours, was to note the "significant progress" made against al-Shabab. However, the al-Qaeda group still controls much of the country. After the US put bounties on the heads of al-Shabab commanders, senior militant official Fuad Muhammad Khalaf announced: "Whoever reveals the hideout of the idiot Obama will be rewarded with 10 camels, and whoever reveals the hideout of the old woman Hillary Clinton will be rewarded 10 chickens and 10 roosters," he said after Friday prayers.
Mr Carson also announced that the US would impose sanctions on anyone standing in the way of the political process now under way. "The kind of action we must take against spoilers range from visa sanctions to travel sanctions to asset freezes," he said.
This item just makes me wonder so many things:
- Assistant Secretary of State "Johnnie Carson?" Really? I wonder if he was accompanied by Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Eddie McMahon? If not, we can only shake our heads regretfully over the missed opportunity.
- Was "senior militant official" Fuad Muhammad Khalaf awarded his rank for his way with words (which is impressive): "the idiot Obama," "the old woman Hillary Clinton?" If so, I have to wonder what lower standard a junior militant official must meet? Maybe his speeches start out with "a priest, a rabbi, and a horse walk into a bar" or some such. Anyway, thanks, Fuad -- I really enjoyed a chuckle today.
- If anyone's acquainted with Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson (aka "The Great Carnac"), maybe you could ask him where "the way of the political process now under way" lies, exactly, just so I can be sure I'm not standing there. He didn't exactly mention extrajudicial death-by-drone in his list of "the kind of action we must take," but we all know that for our wonderfully murderous current prexy, all options are perpetually on the table. And if the dark suits have decided that they're no longer amused by their semi-minority puppet and shift the strings over to the Mittster, nothing will change ... except to get even worse. Is it not ever so?