Al-Shabaab persecuting Kenyan fighters within its ranks

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Moulid Mohammed Bilal

In the recent past, Al-Shabaab leadership has increasingly been persecuting Kenyan fighters over spying allegations, attempted desertions and pledging allegiance to the Islamic State (IS).

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Such persecutions have set fear among Kenyan Al-Shabaab militants, leading to more divisions between Muhajireen (foreign fighters) and Answar (native Somalis).

On 2nd April 2018, Ahmed Yusuf Hassan and Ahmed Nur Abdi Osoble, both Kenyan Al-Shabaab fighters, were executed by Al-Shabaab firing squad at Buq Aqable in Hiraan region after being accused of collaborating with the Somalia government and AMISOM forces.

Other Kenyan Al-Shabaab militants who have been executed recently by their Al-Shabaab masters over spying claims include former Moi University student Jared Mukaya Omambia alias Abdulaziz, a Nairobi recruit Abdallah Talal Musa alias manman and Faraj Abdulmajid from Mombasa.

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Credible security sources indicate that Al-Shabaab are currently looking for a key Kenyan commander within its ranks who has disappeared after being deployed to conduct operations along the Kenya-Somalia border.

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Moulid Mohammed Bilal, is believed to be in hiding, evading capture and possible execution by the Somalia-based terror group.

Bilal, a Kenyan Ogaden from Abdalla Abdi Karim sub-clan, was born in December 1972 at Hulugho Sub-County in Garissa County.

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He is married with two wives, one based at Tumtish and the other at Hulugho, both in Garissa County. During his stay in Kenya before joining Al-Shabaab, Bilal was a Duksi(Madrassa) teacher at Tumtish and Garabey areas in Garissa County.

While in Garissa, he is reported to have recruited some of his students and Ogaden clans men into the terrorist organization.

It is his background and thorough knowledge of Garissa that informed Al-Shabaab leadership to deploy him as a commander to lead a team of militants to conduct operations in the County and its environs.

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Recent security and media reports indicate that another senior Kenyan commander, Ahmed Iman Ali,has fallen out with Al-Shabaab leadership and is seeking to defect from the group or pledge allegiance to the Islamic State.

Earlier, in August 2017, Al-Shabaab’s second in command,Mukhtar Robow,defected to the Somalia Government.

The latest attempt by Iman to defect, the hiding of Moulid Bilal and the proven track record of persecution of Kenyan foreign fighters by Al-Shabaab could indicate that; there are divisions between Kenyan commanders and Al-Shabaab leadership, and the organization could be steadily losing Kenyan support.

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