The Last Stand of Somalia’s Jihad


December 17, 2012

By James Verini

KISMAYO, Somalia — Incredibly, this small port city, a study in ruin in a country that is a parable of ruin, boasts two airports. There is the new airport, as it’s known, laughably to all who touch down there, which lies 10 miles inland and consists of a couple of mostly tarmacked runways and the carcass of a terminal. Kismayo International Airport, in blue block letters, is just barely visible above the building’s sun-bleached cornice. Stencil-painted on the wall below that, and more legible, is the flag of the Islamist insurgent movement that until recently controlled Kismayo, Harakat al-Shabab al-Mujahideen, or al-Shabab — a black rectangle over white classical Somali script that reads “There Is No God But God.” See Full Story