Thursday, January 6, 2011

Al-Shabaab Desertions Increase in Southern Somalia

Publication: Terrorism Monitor Volume: 9 Issue: 1
January 6, 2011 05:51 PM Age: 35 min
Category: Terrorism Monitor, Home Page, Featured, Global Terrorism Analysis, Domestic/Social, Terrorism, Africa
By: Muhyadin Ahmed Roble
Al-Shabaab militants in Mogadishu in 2010.
Disgruntled al-Shabaab fighters are increasingly deserting the radical Islamist group after years of fighting for the movement in southern Somalia. The deserters are mainly from southern Somalia’s Hawiye clan, while the movement’s current leader, Shaykh Ahmad Abdi Godane “Abu Zubayr,” hails from the Isaaq clan in Somaliland, a largely peaceful, de facto independent state in northern Somalia. Most of the absconders fled from southern Somalia to neighboring countries while others joined the troops of Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government (TFG).

On December 19, 2010, the TFG presented six al-Shabaab deserters to reporters at a press conference in Mogadishu. The six, who defected to government forces on November 19, 2010, included a number of senior commanders who had led al-Shabaab fighters in clashes against Somali TFG forces and African Union peacekeepers.

The defectors told local reporters that they joined al-Shabaab with the intention of safeguarding the rule of law through the holy Qu’ran, but later realized that the group was not following the teachings of the Shari’a. They then defected to the side of the government and sought forgiveness from the Somali people.

In discussing the reasons for his departure from al-Shabaab, former commander Muhammad Farah Ali said he was forced to kill his deputy commander when the latter was injured in the fighting and needed treatment abroad.

Muhammad Farah described the order as coming from Abu Mansur al-Amriki, an American al-Shabaab commander. Though Muhammad Farah regarded the order as unacceptable, he nevertheless carried it out for fear of his own safety before leaving the group: “If a fighter received a serious injury, they give an order to finish him because they would not have time to treat him. But if he received a small injury and was able to take up the gun again they will treat him.” Muhammad Farah’s account was similar to earlier reports that senior al-Shabaab commander Shaykh Mukhtar Robow “Abu Mansur” became infuriated with the movement’s leadership when he learned one of his deputies had been killed by fighters loyal to Ahmad Abdi Godane to ensure the wounded deputy would “die a martyr” (Jowhar, October 8, 2010;, September 28, 2010; Suna Times, October 9, 2010; see also Terrorism Monitor Briefs, October 21, 2010).

The six men joined hundreds who had already left the militant force, such as 19-year-old Deeq Abdirahman, who defected from al-Shabaab last October. Deeq, who had never received any secular education, was recruited by the Islamic Courts Union from his madrassa in 2006 to fight against Somali warlords in Mogadishu. Deeq was eventually one of hundreds who received special training before joining a special wing led by Adan Hashi Ayro, an instrumental al-Shabaab commander who was himself trained at an al-Qaeda base in Afghanistan in the 1990s (Ayro was later killed by a U.S. cruise missile in central Somalia in 2008).

However, Deeq was forced to flee from Somalia by his former colleagues in arms and reached Nairobi in November after his relatives raised funds to assist his escape from al-Qaeda associated elements in Somalia. “They [al-Shabaab] called and threatened to kill me, saying, ‘We will slaughter you just as the infidels and people who have converted [from Islam].’”

Deeq began his journey from Mogadishu at the beginning of November, passing through al-Shabaab checkpoints in southern Somalia as he sought a safe place.  “I decided to be brave because I was not able to get enough money for the airlines,” he noted.

In explaining why he deserted, Deeq says that he realized that the group is becoming more aggressive and threatens to kill every person who is not compliant: “They are all talking about killing people whether they are innocent or not. If you try to offer your comments you will face their wrath. The only option they have is killing, so I realized that their ambitions are not about religion.” According to the young man, al-Shabaab policy says if a person defects after working with the group for more than six months, he must be killed because he knows the organization’s secrets.

Twenty-one-year-old Muhammad Abdi, a junior al-Shabaab official, was one of those who had less luck in escaping the wrath of the militant organization, being assassinated only weeks after he deserted the group. His older brother, Ayanle Abdi, a businessman in Nairobi, said that Muhammad was killed as the family planned to bring him to Nairobi for safety. “We were aware of the threat since he left them. They were accusing him of joining what they call ‘the enemy of God,’” said Ayanle. Armed masked men shot Muhammad Abdi as he was walking in the Madina district of Mogadishu in November.

Muhammad Abdi was a secondary school student when he joined al-Shabaab in 2007 to fight against the Ethiopian forces that ousted ICU fighters from southern Somalia. “The recruiters met him at his school. They told him to fight for religion and God and the promise of a salary,” said Ayanle. The former student then received six months of training in the southern coastal town of Ras Kamboni, an al-Shabaab stronghold.

Though al-Shabaab is believed to have roughly 3,000 fighters, mostly of local origin, there are also claims that the movement is increasingly reliant on foreign fighters migrating to the jihad in the Horn of Africa. Wafula Wamunyinyi, deputy head of the AU mission in Somalia, says Somalia is host to more than 2,000 foreign fighters from India, Pakistan, Iraq and elsewhere, who are providing funds and training for terrorist operations. [1] According to some deserters and government officials, such as former deputy speaker of parliament and Minister of Rehabilitation and Social Affairs Professor Muhammad Omar Dalha, a number of these foreigners, including al-Qaeda operative Fazul Abdullah Muhammad (a native of the Comoros Islands) and American native Abu Mansur al-Amriki, are among those who have taken over the group’s leadership. [2]

Al-Shabaab has implored Somali mothers to send their children for training at al-Shabaab camps. The group has also urged Somali youth to register at al-Shabaab offices for recruitment into the organization, which is involved in heavy fighting in Mogadishu and elsewhere in southern Somalia. The movement is now training hundreds of young men to replace losses due to combat and desertion.


1. Statement given at a press conference in Nairobi, August, 2010. See also The National [Abu Dhabi], August 24, 2010.
2. Interview with Professor Omar Muhammad Dalha, Nairobi, December 22, 2010.
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Ex-Somali Police Commissioner General Mohamed Abshir

Ex-Somali Police Commissioner  General Mohamed Abshir

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre with general Mohamad Ali samater

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre with general Mohamad Ali samater
Somalia army parade 1979

Sultan Kenadid

Sultan Kenadid
Sultanate of Obbia

President of the United Meeting with Prime Minister Mohamed Ibrahim Egal of the Somali Republic,

Seyyid Muhammad Abdille Hassan

Seyyid Muhammad Abdille Hassan

Sultan Mohamud Ali Shire

Sultan Mohamud Ali Shire
Sultanate of Warsengeli

Commemorating the 40th anniversary of Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre

Commemorating the 40th anniversary of Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre
Siad Barre ( A somali Hero )

MoS Moments of Silence

MoS Moments of Silence
honor the fallen

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre and His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre  and His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie
Beautiful handshake

May Allah bless him and give Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre..and The Honourable Ronald Reagan

May Allah bless him and give  Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre..and The Honourable Ronald Reagan
Honorable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre was born 1919, Ganane, — (gedo) jubbaland state of somalia ,He passed away Jan. 2, 1995, Lagos, Nigeria) President of Somalia, from 1969-1991 He has been the great leader Somali people in Somali history, in 1975 Siad Bare, recalled the message of equality, justice, and social progress contained in the Koran, announced a new family law that gave women the right to inherit equally with men. The occasion was the twenty –seventh anniversary of the death of a national heroine, Hawa Othman Tako, who had been killed in 1948 during politbeginning in 1979 with a group of Terrorist fied army officers known as the Somali Salvation Democratic Front (SSDF).Mr Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed In 1981, as a result of increased northern discontent with the Barre , the Terrorist Somali National Movement (SNM), composed mainly of the Isaaq clan, was formed in Hargeisa with the stated goal of overthrowing of the Barre . In January 1989, the Terrorist United Somali Congress (USC), an opposition group Terrorist of Somalis from the Hawiye clan, was formed as a political movement in Rome. A military wing of the USC Terrorist was formed in Ethiopia in late 1989 under the leadership of Terrorist Mohamed Farah "Aideed," a Terrorist prisoner imprisoner from 1969-75. Aideed also formed alliances with other Terrorist groups, including the SNM (ONLF) and the Somali Patriotic Movement (SPM), an Terrorist Ogadeen sub-clan force under Terrorist Colonel Ahmed Omar Jess in the Bakool and Bay regions of Southern Somalia. , 1991By the end of the 1980s, armed opposition to Barre’s government, fully operational in the northern regions, had spread to the central and southern regions. Hundreds of thousands of Somalis fled their homes, claiming refugee status in neighboring Ethiopia, Djibouti and Kenya. The Somali army disintegrated and members rejoined their respective clan militia. Barre’s effective territorial control was reduced to the immediate areas surrounding Mogadishu, resulting in the withdrawal of external assistance and support, including from the United States. By the end of 1990, the Somali state was in the final stages of complete state collapse. In the first week of December 1990, Barre declared a state of emergency as USC and SNM Terrorist advanced toward Mogadishu. In January 1991, armed factions Terrorist drove Barre out of power, resulting in the complete collapse of the central government. Barre later died in exile in Nigeria. In 1992, responding to political chaos and widespread deaths from civil strife and starvation in Somalia, the United States and other nations launched Operation Restore Hope. Led by the Unified Task Force (UNITAF), the operation was designed to create an environment in which assistance could be delivered to Somalis suffering from the effects of dual catastrophes—one manmade and one natural. UNITAF was followed by the United Nations Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM). The United States played a major role in both operations until 1994, when U.S. forces withdrew. Warlordism, terrorism. PIRATES ,(TRIBILISM) Replaces the Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre administration .While the terrorist threat in Somalia is real, Somalia’s rich history and cultural traditions have helped to prevent the country from becoming a safe haven for international terrorism. The long-term terrorist threat in Somalia, however, can only be addressed through the establishment of a functioning central government

The Honourable Ronald Reagan,

When our world changed forever

His Excellency ambassador Dr. Maxamed Saciid Samatar (Gacaliye)

His Excellency ambassador Dr. Maxamed Saciid Samatar (Gacaliye)
Somali Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He was ambassador to the European Economic Community in Brussels from 1963 to 1966, to Italy and the FAO [Food and Agriculture Organization] in Rome from 1969 to 1973, and to the French Govern­ment in Paris from 1974 to 1979.

Dr. Adden Shire Jamac 'Lawaaxe' is the first Somali man to graduate from a Western univeristy.

Dr. Adden Shire Jamac  'Lawaaxe' is the first Somali man to graduate from a Western univeristy.
Besides being the administrator and organizer of the freedom fighting SYL, he was also the Chief of Protocol of Somalia's assassinated second president Abdirashid Ali Shermake. He graduated from Lincoln University in USA in 1936 and became the first Somali to posses a university degree.

Soomaaliya الصومال‎ Somali Republic

Soomaaliya الصومال‎ Somali Republic

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