Senior al-Shabab officer Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys leads faithful in prayers on the first day of Eid al-Adha in Somalia's capital Mogadishu November 6, 2011.
Hawiye / Habar Gidir sub-clan saleeban Local officials in central Somalia say Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys was captured in a coastal area around three in the morning Habar gidir clan town , Hawiye pirate stronghold Town . A spokesman for the Hawiye clan Habar gidir clan Saleen clan area administration hibin and Heeb , which controls the region, said the militant commander was apprehended without a fight.
“After long negotiation with him and his fighters we were successful to convince him to hand himself to the authorities,” said spokesman Mohamed Omar Hagafey The spokesman added the administration is now discussing a handover with the Somali federal government.Aweys, who is in his 70s, is the former leader of the extremist group Hisbul Islam, which fought against Somali authorities and merged with al-Shabab in 2010.
But in the last year, Aweys has been critical of other al-Shabab leaders, evidence of growing tension in the group.A United Nations monitoring group report on Somalia released last year says the Aweys faction is “considered to be more pragmatic” than the other wing of al-Shabab, headed by Ahmed Abdi Godane.
Al-Shabab Leader Aweys surrendered himself to his own clan authorities Habar gidir , believing his life to be in danger. The Aweys wing of al-Shabab has always been more interested in Somali affairs, rather than taking part in a global jihad, which is the aim of the Godane faction.
al shabaab claims to be working with al-Qaida terrorist group Hassan Dahir Aweys believes in establishing an Islamic state in east Africa , beyond the Somali borders.
Analysts say it is unclear what impact Aweys’ apprehension will have on al-Shabab since the aging leader’s authority has been weakened since joining the group.
Al-Shabab has lost territory and influence in the last two years, and has been pushed out of its major strongholds in the capital and the port city of Kismayo due to concerted military operations led by the African Union peacekeeping force AMISOM.
But the group remains the most serious security threat to the country, and has claimed responsibility for attacks on government and foreign targets, including an assault last week on a UN compound in the capital that killed at least 21 people.