17 June 2011

Somalia: Al Shabaab Says It Will Cooperate With Al Qaeda's New Leader

Mogadishu — Al shabaab movement on Friday cordially welcomed the naming Ayman Al Zawahiri as al Qaeda's top spearhead.

In an interview with an al Shabaab run Radio, Sheikh Ali Mohamoud Rage, the spokesman of Al shabaab they will cooperate the new leader as much possible as they could.

He said his group announces its allegiance to Ayman Al Zawahir as it used to be under the control of the slain leader Osama Bin Laden.

On Thursday al Qaeda officially promoted the Egyptian-born eye surgeon, Ayman al-Zawahiri, to the top spot on its organogram, six weeks after US Navy Seals killed Osama bin Laden in his hidden-in-plain-sight hideout in Abbottabad, Pakistan. Al Jazeera TV quoted a media release in which al Qaeda announced that its general command had appointed al-Zawahiri as its new head.

Al Qaeda said, "We seek with the aid of God to call for the religion of truth and incite our nation to fight." Al Qaeda added that its general command, "after completing consultations, decided that the sheik doctor Abu Mohammed Ayman al-Zawahiri take the responsibility and be in charge of the group."

Al Qaeda didn't offer details about how it reached its decision - the terrorist group doesn't put its leadership debates live on CNN or hold caucuses and primary elections. But al Qaeda's organisational guidelines, according to copies held by West Point's Combating Terrorism Centre, do make it clear al Qaeda does have a formal chain of command and succession. According to the documents, if al Qaeda's leader is killed or captured, leadership transfers to his deputy, with an executive council vote following to confirm this, and al-Zawahiri was Bin Laden's deputy until his elevation to the top position.

The announcement of Al shabaab comes as al Qaeda's east Africa chief operator killed in Somalia's capital Mogadishu by Somali government forces.

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