Modal close

Dear Democracy Now! visitor,

You turn to Democracy Now! for ad-free news you can trust. Maybe you come for our daily headlines. Maybe you come for in-depth stories that expose corporate and government abuses of power. Democracy Now! brings you crucial reporting like our coverage from the front lines of the standoff at Standing Rock or news about the movements fighting for peace, racial and economic justice, immigrant rights and LGBTQ equality. We produce our daily news hour at a fraction of the budget of a commercial news operation—all without ads, government funding or corporate sponsorship. How is this possible? Only with your support. Right now, a generous funder will match your donation dollar for dollar. That means when you give $10 to Democracy Now!, we'll receive $20. So, if you've been waiting to make your contribution to Democracy Now!, today is your day. It takes just a couple of minutes to make sure that Democracy Now! is there for you and everybody else in 2017.

Non-commercial news needs your support.

We rely on contributions from you, our viewers and listeners to do our work. If you visit us daily or weekly or even just once a month, now is a great time to make your monthly contribution.

Please do your part today.


U.S. Seizures of Somali Businesses in U.S. and Abroad Threatens to Devastate One of World'spoorest Countries

StoryDecember 04, 2001
Watch iconWatch Full Show

This weekend War Secretary Donald Rumsfeld left open the possibility that Somalia could be a military target as theU.S. seeks to expend its so-called war on terrorism.

Rumsfeld said ``Somalia has been a place that has harbored al-Qaida and, to my knowledge, still is."

The warnings by Rumsfeld and President Bush have caused intense anxiety among allies from Britain to Egypt, who havewarned of an intense backlash if the U.S. widens the scope of its military action.

In many ways, however, the U.S. has already begun to target Somalia, one of the few countries that matchesAfghanistan in the depth of its poverty and suffering.

Since early November, federal authorities have sought to close Somali businesses abroad and have raided locally ownedSomali businesses and US branches of Somali financial institutions such as Barakaat Enterprise.

Barakaat operates what are known as Hawalas, basically low-budget Western Union operations often tucked into the backof Somali grocery stores. The Hawalas are virtually the only means for thousands of Somali refugees and immigrantsliving in the U.S. to send money back home. Millions of Somalis are utterly dependent on the Hawalas for theirsurvival.

U.S. officials have accused Barakaat and other Somali businesses of funneling millions of dollars to Osama binLaden’s al-Qaida network.

But U.S. actions, according to UN officials and Somali activists, are having a devastating impact on what is alreadyone of the world’s poorest countries, and compounding the suffering of its most vulnerable citizens.


  • Asha Samad, Professor of African and Caribbean Studies at City College of New York and the ExecutiveDirector of the Somali Association for Relief and Development.
  • Randolph Kent, United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia.

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

Non-commercial news needs your support

We rely on contributions from our viewers and listeners to do our work.
Please do your part today.

Make a donation