A seven-day meeting gathered the pro al-Qaeda al-Shabaab council of clerics, founded in February 2009 and chaired by Sheikh Nor Maalim Abdirahman. "We know those who claim to be Sheikhs are against the Jihad, causing confusion among Somali people,” Sheikh Nor said in a speech. “Jihad is compulsory, let us fight and teach lessons to those who invaded our Muslim country.”
Somali Jehadest Al-Shabaab senior leaders, including Swedish-Somali military leader Sheikh Fuad Mohamed Khalaf (Shangole) and the group’s Banadir region commissioner, attended the meeting.
Shangole told the clerics that their voices and preaching could gather more popularity for al-Shabaab, but also accused some of the clerics of not encouraging Jihad among their communities.
Farhan Dol, a scholar at the Mogadishu University told Somalia Report that efforts must be made to counter extremist ideology lest it woo impressionable youngsters into joining the insurgency.
“Instead of paying millions of dollars for security issue which have progressed little, why is the world blind to the possibility of initiating awareness programs against the so-called Jihad that has caused thousands to die meaninglessly?" he asked.