A leader of the Somali al Shabab insurgency, Abdul Qadir Mumin, has sworn loyalty to the Islamic State (IS), declaring a split between his faction and others of the armed group, battling the Mogadishu government, affiliated since 2012 to al Qaeda.
Mumin’s decision, according to sources close to al Shabab and US intelligence, was announced in a video in which the group’s spiritual leader appears with Jihadists. The video should soon be put in circulation. According to the online Soali independent Shabelle news agency, the secret police of the Islamist group, known as ‘Amniyat’, arrested the members who swore loyalty to ISIS.
The internal division is however more symbolic rather than numerically strategic: the members of the ‘secessionist’ faction in fact count around a hundred, and mostly youths, on the 1,400 combatants of al Shabab.
Sources close to al Shabab told CNN that the main motive behind the decision is discontent over the ‘iron fist’ of the current leader Ahmad Umar in commanding the group and hopes of obtaining more technological means and weapons from the movement headed by the ‘Caliph’ Abu Bakr al Baghdadi.