20 December 2009

Somalia: Ideologial Differences Split Somalia's Al-Shabaab

Photo: Atosh/IRIN
A scene from a past bomb attack in Somalia.

Somalia's hardliner insurgent group of Al-Shabaab is reportedly divided into splinter groups after ideological differences broke out among its top leadership.

Top officials who declined to be named have told Garowe Online that one group led by Sheikh Mukhtar Robeo Ali Abu Mansur, a top Al-Shabaab official in Southern Somalia is reportedly advocating for changes in the group's ideology to allow talks with rival parties in order to end the conflict in the war-torn country.

The other group led by Al-Shabaab Amir Sheikh Mukhtar Abdirahman Abu Subeyr who has the backing of about 1,200 foreign Jihadists, is reported to be in favour of escalation of the conflict 'until they erect an Islamic government in Somalia'.

The squabbling between the top officials, who are currently stationed in different parts of the restive capital Mogadishu, is coupled with the mix-up over the recent suicide hotel bombing in the capital, which killed more than 24 people including three ministers and innocent civilians.

The group has not yet publicly claimed responsibility for the attack; however, inner sources say a denial by the group's Spokesman Sheikh Mohammud Ali Dhere has agitated a section of Jihadists.

The group, which has alleged links with global terrorist network Al-Qaeda, has secretive structure of leadership with top organs including decision making and operations led by foreigners.


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