Al-Shabaab’s latest video, threat to Muslim figures?
By Harar24’s Editorials team
The video released by Al-Shabaab regarding the Woolwich attack has raised concern amongst the British public and in particular prominent figures and leaders.
The video released by Al-Kataib, Al-Shabaab’s media arm, praised the Woolwich and encouraged others to carry out similar attacks. The whole video seems to have been targeted at Britain, and in particular Britain’s Muslim youth. Everything in the video is almost related to Britain, it evens tells future attackers if they can’t get hold of a gun “then a simple knife from your local B&Q will do the job”.
The video drew worldwide attention, especially from the British media and public. Different British news outlets are reporting that prominent figures who were shown in the video have police protection or warned that their lives may be in imminent danger. According to the Guardian, police are regularly patrolling around the residence of Mohammed Ansar who was shown in the video, and making contact with him hourly. Others such as Ajmal Masroor & Usama Hassan were visited by police to warn them and given security precautions.
However, our analysts after watching the video and reviewing it believe that the video’s message was bigger & beyond than just threatening Muslim figures. After careful analysis they believe the video rather to be a direct threat to the British government for its foreign policy, rather than just merely threatening certain Muslim figures. This is supported by the use of a short clip in the film of Al-Qaeda leader Al-Zawahiri, who in the video threatens: “And just as they made rivers of blood flow in our countries, so shall we with the help of Allah, make volcanoes of anger erupt in their countries”.
It also uses footage of Anjem Choudary, a known heavy critic of Britain’s foreign policy, who’s shown in the video blaming the attack on Britain’s “vile” policy, their occupation of Muslim lands, slaughtering tens of thousands of innocent people and for supporting the “biggest terrorist” in the world, the American regime.
It also features Michael Scheuer saying: “They’re attacking us because of what and our allies do in the Muslim world”.
Harar24 also contacted a well known jihadi sympathizer, who preferred to stay anonymous, who said the following: “I believe this film was a message to the British public as an eye opener to the result of the foreign policy of their regime. And unlike how Western & British media are portraying that the video is threatening the lives of Muslim personalities, the video really carries a message that as long as the British government continues to act as it does in Muslim countries actions like these will continue to happen. This whole “threatening prominent UK leaders” idea is just an attempt by the media to hide the true message of the film”
Our analysts further added that this video was intended to further fuel the tension and frustration already present amongst Muslims in Britain, particularly the youth, from whom amongst numerous of them went to Somalia. “Al-Shabaab wants a war within Britain. It wants Muslims to rise up against non-Muslims, against those whom they see as enemies of Islam. It doesn’t just want them coming to Somalia and then risking going back to Britain, it wants them to carry out attacks without even coming to Somalia to begin with. And this is exactly the message this video carries and what it encourages” said our analysts.
Al-Shabaab which has recently carried out the Westgate attack is very keen on attracting and luring Muslim youth into its folds. According to many reports by major news outlets Western youth were from amongst those who carried out the attack, such as the recently unveiled Norwegian, Hassan Abdi Dhuhulow who was identified in CCTV footage from the mall as taking part in the attack.