Intelligence reports (INTREPs) have revealed of imminent fallout within the Somali based jihadist group, Al-Shabaab. Following the recent killing of the Kenyan-born commander and group’s propagandist, Ahmed Iman in a drone raid, there has been a growing mistrust, desertion and defections of foreign fighters within Al-Shabaab.
INTREPs indicate that the Kenyan-born leader was killed on March 25 in a U.S. drone raid in Lower Shabelle region of Somalia alongside dozens of other mid-level commanders. Since his death, anarchy, suspicion, defections have occurred in the Al-Qaeda affiliated terror group.
Rifts between Somali fighters and their foreign counterparts have emerged following confirmation that the engineering graduate had been killed. Foreign fighters believe there was a sell-out and a traitor within the group citing the accuracy and precision of the strike that killed the commanders who were attending a high profile meeting.
The foreign fighters, especially the Kenyan-born fighters are uneasy with their Somali counterparts accusing them to have set-up Ahmed Iman just as they did with Abdul Fazul, the 1998 US Embassy bombing mastermind, who was killed at a roadblock in Mogadishu.
It is alleged the then Al-Shabaab Emir, Abdi Godane organized Fazul’s killing over fears of being dethroned and citing that the foreigner was gaining popularity among the group’s fighters. Fazul’s killing saw a fall-out between local and foreign fighters leading to desertion by American fighter Al Amriki.
Now, a similar situation is unraveling within Al-Shabaab camps following the killing of the Kenyan-born commander who was making inroads into the group’s leadership. Iman was behind the group’s propaganda and his charisma rose through propaganda videos against Kenyan troops serving under AMISOM killed in El Adde attack.
Iman’ influence within Al-Shabaab’s ranks could have been causing jitters among the Somali-born fighters who are of the idea that the group’s leadership is a preserve of the Somali-born militants only. This notion has been key catalyst of the distrust among the many foreign fighters, intelligence report reveals.