West Covina's man in Mogadishu *

aidid.jpgHussein Mohammed Aidid, an ex-Marine who graduated from Covina High School and worked as a clerk in the West Covina planning department, is now the interior minister of Somalia's transitional government. He has ambitions to become president, but a Somalia scholar quoted in tomorrow's LAT says, "He's a lightweight. He's never had the gravitas of his father." His father was a warlord who fought the U.S. Aidid has taken to Somali culture pretty well: "He wears a dark Western suit and power tie, with bare feet. He acknowledges two wives and seven children, though an aide counts four wives and 20 kids."

* It was the Engineering department: Here's a San Gabriel Valley Tribune story by Fred Ortega on Aidid's Covina roots — from two weeks ago.

Photo: Peter Delarue / AFP-Getty Images at LATimes.com


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