BREAKING: Al-Shabaab confirms killing of its leader Godane in US drone strike
Mogadishu (Harar24) – Days after US drone strikes which claimed to have targeted the leadership of Al-Shabaab, the group has finally broken its silence by distributing a statement to media outlets confirming their leader had indeed been killed in the drone strikes.
The statement issued in PDF format, which Harar24 obtained a copy of, eulogizes the slain Al-Shabaab leader, Ahmed Abdi Godane, detailing how he met his fate last Monday. “The Shaykh and two of his comrades were killed in an American Crusaders’ aerial bombardmenton the 7th of Dhul-Qa’dah 1435 Hijri, resulting in their martyrdom and heralding in yet anotherhistoric moment of glory for the Ummah of Islam, this time with the blood of Shaykh Abu Zubayr” the statement read.
The well-presented and slickly designed statement also briefly touches upon the background and jihadi credentials of the former Al-Shabaab leader stating that “His journey of Jihad first began in the landsof Afghanistan where he received his military training”, further adding that in “Somalia, the Shaykh oversaw theestablishment of the Islamic Wilaayaat and also founded the council for local tribal leaders.In addition to that, the Shaykh also played a major role in the propagation of Da’wahand Tawheedand the creed of al-Walaa wal Baraa(alliance and enmity) among the Mujahideen and the local tribes”
The statement spared no effort in naming the successor and heir to the group’s leadership, as it named Ahmad Umar Abu Ubaidah, a man said to have been very close to the group’s previous leader Ahmed Abdi Godane. According to the statement the leadership also “renews its pledge of allegiance to Qaa’idat al-Jihaad and its leader, Shaykh Ayman Adh-Dhawaahiri”, while also referring to the Taliban leader Mullah Umar as “the Commander of the Faithful”.
The death of Ahmed Abdi Godane, more commonly known as Shaykh Mukhtar Abu Zubayr, was previously claimed by the United States which views the Al-Shabaab movement, which was headed by Abu Zubayr, as a terrorist organization. It remains unknown how the killing of Abu Zubayr, who was believed to be the brains behind the group, will affect the future of the group’s existence, now already facing an AMISOM offensive in Southern and Central Somalia.