Saturday, August 10, 2013
Al-Shabaab leaders Friday took advantage of Eid-el-Fitr prayers
to urge more Somalis to join jihad (holy war) against forces protecting
the federal government in Mogadishu.
Accompanied by their heavily armed lieutenants,
the militants said their push for an Islamic state would not be stopped
by African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) troops.
Sheikh Fu’ad Mohamed Khalaf alias Shongole, a
senior leader within Al-Shabaab ranks, joined hundreds of faithful for
the prayers to mark end of the holy month of Ramadhan at the coastal
town of Barawe.
Shongole, who is wanted by the US sponsoring and
spreading terror in Somalia and beyond, called on islamists to maintain
unity. Last year, the US State Department offered a $5 million reward
for information leading to his capture and conviction.
“We have to defend our push to establish an
Islamic state where Sharia laws are implemented,” the hard-line cleric,
who has been leading awareness campaigns for Al-Shabaab, said.
His statement comes at a time internal rifts are
reportedly plaguing the movement. Indeed some of Shongole’s own
colleagues— Ibrahim al-Afghani and Abdihamid Hashi Olhaye alias Moalim
Burhan— died in an intra-Al-Shabaab confrontation in Barawe Town in
In central region, Sheikh Hassan Yakoub,
Al-Shabaab’s Wali (governor) in Galgadud, joined worshippers in Eelbuur
town for the special prayers.
Sheikh Yakoub, a former governor of Kismayu, urged the public to join jihad.
“The war will continue until the troops supporting the (Somali) government are kicked out of the country,” he said.