Jihadist rivalry in Somalia continues with recent reports showing that Harakat Shabaab Mujahideen (HSM) gunned down a pro-Islamic State commander in the town of Bu’ale, southern Somalia.
Corresponding OSINT reports indicate that Yahya Haji Fiile, also known as Abu Zakariye, was killed after the Al-Shabaab Amniyaat (intelligence wing) linked him to the Islamic State in Somalia (ISS).
Report further reveal that Fiile, who was a former top Al-Shabaab commander, fell out with the Al-Qaeda linked jihadist group in 2016 after it killed Bashir Abu Numan.
Harakat Shabaab internal security operatives killed Abu Numan in late 2015. Abu Numan was one of the first Al-Shabaab commanders to defect to the Islamic State.
Since then, Shabaab’s Amniyaat has hunted down and killed dozens of former Shabaab fighters and leaders who defected to the Islamic State or who avowed pro-Islamic State sympathies.
Intelligence reports indicate that prior to assassination of Fiile, Shabaab and ISS-loyal fighters clashed near the borders with Kenya late last month.
In 2018, mid-December, the Islamic State Somalia claimed that its soldiers battled with Al-Shabaab “southwest of Qandala,” and that it had killed 14 members.
The unfolding event
prompted the declaration of war by HSM against the Islamic State Somalia.
Security experts forecast that with Shabaab Mujahideen continuous target on ISS members and pro-ISS members within its own ranks, it is with no doubt that Fiile will be the last pro-commander that will be killed by the Al-Qaeda branch in Somalia.