Through an audio recording Abdiqadir Mumin, Al Shabaab top figure based in Somali’s Puntland region recently pledged fealty (oath of allegiance) to the leadership of Islamic State.
For months Islamic State have been trying to woo Somali jihadists via propaganda videos to switch their allegiance from al Qaeda head Ayman al Zawahiri to self-proclaimed ‘caliph’ Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, the emir of the Islamic State.
Islamic State seems to have made headway by this faction of Abdiqadir Mumin who pledged his loyalty together with a group of 20 other Al Shabaab fighters. But in response, the al Qaeda affiliated Al Shabaab leadership has come-out to fight Islamic State’s attempt to expand its territory in East Africa.
So far the Islamic State wooing al Qaeda branch in East Africa has had little success but on the other hand its possible a substantial number of Al Shabaab fighters may defect citing the youthful militants are viewing Ayman al Zawahiri the leader of al Qaeda as ‘moderate’ as compared to Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, the emir of the Islamic State.
SUMMARY & FORECAST
The jihadist supremacy battle continues and now al Qaeda leadership is aware that Islamic State is attempting to poach it fighters. As its leadership vows to remain loyal to parent faction, al Qaeda, an action to send a warning signal has already been sent as hunting down of defectors is on.
Al Shabaab leaders have time and again repeatedly made known of their loyalty is behind al Qaeda’s leadership. Even few days after death Al Shabaab chief, Godane, the group reaffirmed its bayat (oath of fealty/allegiance) to Zawahiri and all Al Shabaab propaganda messages and videos throughout routinely are pro-al Qaeda.
Senior intelligence analyst at Strategic Intelligence Service worried that a section of Al-Muhajiroun who are in constant conflict with Al-Hijra, Al Shabaab affiliated branch in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and even Burundi may switch allegiance to Islamic State.
But in a statement later obtained by Strategic Intelligence Service in part reads, “the Emigrants of East Africa remain united behind our beloved brothers in Al Qaeda and (Al Shabaab),” Al Muhajiroun’s propaganda arm wrote; meaning the Tanzania and Kenyan based terror faction pledged to remain loyal with al Qaeda affiliated Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mujahideen Movement.