Somalia: Al-Shabaab's Linkman to Al Qaeda Killed in Air Strike

African Mission for Somalia (Amisom) soldiers fighting the al-Shabaab insurgents in the front line in Mogadishu on June 20, 2011 (file photo).

Al Shabaab's communications coordinator between the group and al Qaeda has been killed in allied airstrikes in Jilib district in the Middle Juba region. The man who coordinated the communication between al Shabaab and al Qaeda was identified as Ibrahim Abu Hamza and was the target for the airstrikes that killed him and several of his aides.

Officials said Abu Hamza was targeted while traveling in a convoy outside Jilib district, although other high-ranking militants had accompanied him on the trip, only the death of the communications chief was confirmed.

The attack was coordinated with a ground offensive targeting the militants camp killing several others in the compound.

The death of the link between al Shabaab and al Qaeda is such a strategic killing seeing as the groups take years to build a relationship for liaison and as such it is likely to stall major plans and attacks by the terror organization. The death of high-ranking officials in al Shabaab is gradually putting a strain on the activities of the groups especially as it creates rifts brought about by succession politics.

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