Al Shabaab Kenyan fighters are living in fear with most of them looking to defect as persecutions over espionage, attempted desertions and pledge to Abnaa Ul-Calipha the ISIS affiliate in Somalia.
The unfounded persecutions have instilled fear, tensions, and fractures between Muhajireen (foreign fighters) and Answar (native Somalis). The defections and desertions by Kenyan-born fighters were especially heightened by the April assassination by al Shabaab firing squad of Ahmed Yusuf Hassan and Ahmed Nur Osoble, both Kenyan fighters in Hiiraan region. While the two are not the only Kenyan fighters to be executed without evidence, more have fled Somalia and sneaked back into Kenya to avoid being killed over suspicion of spying and selling out to ISIS.
Intelligence among al Shabaab intelligence top-level administration is that the terror organization is in pursuit of a key Kenyan commander who disappeared after being deployed for operations along the Kenya-Somalia border. Moulid Mohammed Bilal and Ahmed Iman Ali are in hiding to evade capture and possible execution by the Somalia-based terror group.
The effort by the two senior commanders is an indicator of deeper rifts between Kenyan and Somali fighters which could drive more Kenyan-born al Shabaab fighters to either defect to Kenyan authorities or join ISIS in Somalia which would increase the minimal threat posed by the terror group headquartered in Iraq and Syria. Analysts fear that the executions, doubled with the impoverished state of al Shabaab fighters, Kenyan fighters may jump ship and swear allegiance to ISIS province in Somalia.