Al-Shabaab faction pledges allegiance to ISIS
A high-ranking member and spiritual leader of Al-Shabaab has pledged allegiance to ISIS, a move that further fractures the Somali-based jihadi group and spreads the reach of ISIS farther into Africa.
The report that formerly UK-based Abdul Qadir Mumin had sworn loyalty to ISIS came from a source familiar with Al-Shabaab and was supported by a U.S. intelligence source, who said Mumin’s pledge came in a video that is expected to be released online.
In the video, Mumin, along with several other jihadis based in Somalia’s Central Region, swear their allegiance to ISIS. Some known Al-Shabaab members have already done so online.
Al-Shabaab’s leadership pledged loyalty to al Qaeda in 2012.
The Al-Shabaab-linked source told CNN that members of the group now fear for their lives as other political leaders systematically try to root out possible ISIS supporters within their ranks.
Sources within Al-Shabaab say the announcement is not totally unexpected. For weeks, Al-Shabaab’s secret police, known as the Amniyat, have been arresting and jailing members within the insurgent group who they believed would switch their allegiance from al Qaeda to ISIS. The source close to the jihadi group told CNN from inside Somalia that the situation within the group is “tense,” and likened it to a “state of emergency.”
Mumin is thought to be currently based in the mountainous Puntland region of northern Somalia, and thus unlikely to be persecuted or reached by the Amniyat, which operates mostly in southern Somalia.
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