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Al-Qaeda or ISIS? Shabaab militants fight

Sunday April 23 2017

Al-Shabaab Islamists

A file photo taken on February 17, 2011 shows Al-Shabaab Islamists doing drills at a village in Lower Shebelle region in Somalia. The group is loyal to Al-Qaeda. PHOTO | ABDURASHID ABDULLE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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Security agencies have been placed on high alert after fighting broke out among Al-Shabaab factions in Somalia, with some militants fleeing to Kenya.

Some Al-Shabaab commanders want to remain committed to Al-Qaeda while a new crop of leaders want to be allied to the Syrian-based Islamic State group.

The war broke on April 15 when Al-Shabaab executed Sheikh Said Bulbul and Abu Karim, who ranked high in the organisation’s hierarchy.

The two had sworn allegiance to IS.

Soon, Al-Shabaab, which years ago joined Al-Qaeda, started what security agencies described as cleansing of militants who could not be trusted, most of them foreign fighters.

Ahmed Yusuf Hassan, 26 and Ahmed Nur Abdi Osoble, 20 — both Kenyans — were executed by firing squad at Buq Aqable in Hiraan region on March 27.


Other Kenyans killed include a fugitive identified as Asum from Majengo, Nairobi, Omambia Jared, a former Moi University student, and Faraj Abdumajid from Mombasa.


Al-Shabaab squads also publicly beheaded four foreign fighters in Lower Juba, accusing them of spying for the Kenya Defence Forces and Somali National Army.

Civilians suspected of spying by the terrorists have not been spared either.

Security sources say at present, only one Kenyan is in the good books of the terrorist organisation.

Ahmed Iman, a former Kenyatta University student who grew up in Majengo, Nairobi, is in-charge of prosecutions and executions.

He was previously in charge of Al-Shabaab propaganda on the internet.

Iman is a common figure in internet videos, and if often seen wearing military fatigues and taunting the KDF and AU missions in Somalia.

Kenyan soldiers entered Somalia in October 2011 to neutralise the Al-Shabaab threat.


A confidential dispatch seen by the Nation says security agencies have been placed on alert after an audio recording by Abu Musab, an Al-Shabaab militant, was intercepted.

In the clip, he is seen castigating the execution of the two and pledging loyalty to IS.

The audio urges recruits to join a new faction of Al-Shabaab called Dini ya Kiislamu Super Power or DKSP.

Security agencies say the faction is headed by a Sheikh Mumin.

According to estimates, he has 1,035 followers in Kenya.

Seven are known to security agencies and are on the police list of the country’s wanted terrorists.