Today, Zakariya Ismail Ahmed Hersi has formally and publicly renounced violence and disavowed the Somali-based terror group, Al Shabaab. He did this when he spoke to the media. Mr.Hersi was formerly a key operative of Al Shabaab before he defected to the government side. He was paraded before the media today by Somalia’s NISA (National Intelligence and Security Agency).
Mr.Hersi accused the helm of Al Shabaab leadership of adopting a foreign agenda and executing it to the detriment of ordinary Somalis. He also stated that he defected from the group after he realized that the terror group leaders had abandoned the group’s original objectives and were now advancing an alien agenda. He also accused the group of violating basic human rights and desecrating Islam by distorting its teachings and precepts.
Mr.Hersi also urged with his former comrades to renounce violence and quit the terror group. He asked his former comrades to seek peaceful resolutions to conflicts; and try to achieve their goals peacefully and in a manner that will help Somalia restore the rule of law.
Al Shabaab has recently faced a string of battlefield defeats after AMISOM and the Somalia National Army expelled them from some of their most highly valued territories. The terror group has also seen some of its fighters defect to the government and others abandon terrorism altogether. This has put a considerable human resource strain on the terror group. KDF and NIS have also put considerable effort to dry the financial resources of the terror group.
Mr.Hersi had been a useful intelligence asset to regional intelligence agencies – especially the Kenyan and Ethiopian intelligence agencies – before his cover was blown by Somalia’s NISA. This action by NISA was seen as a hostile move to impede the flow of intelligence (on Al Shabaab and Somalia in general) to Kenya’s NIS.