Controversies surround the death of the former propagandist and middle-level commander Ahmed Iman months after his life was cut short by an airstrike attack by the United States military. Reports indicate that the former head of Alshabaab media was eliminated by the Somalis in the Al Shabaab after he posed a serious threat in the succession politics in the ranks and files. A plot to eliminate him was planned way before he rose in ranks to become a middle-level commander in charge of media propaganda.
Clannism is a major factor in the Al Shabaab leadership set-up. Top seats are only reserved to the locals while the foreign fighters are expected to do the low ranking jobs like going on suicide missions and combat attacks. Ahmed Iman found lots of favor from foreign fighters who seemed to front him in top commander’s role due to his charisma and leadership style, a factor that did not go well with some of the top commanders in the group. It is then that a plan to betray him to the US troops lurched.
Ali, who was declared a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) by the US in March 2018 and with a Ksh. 2 million bounty on his head has been successful in dodging the authorities’ nets for almost over 5 years, until recently when they decided to leak top-secret information about his movements to the US. It is reported that with the militia group struggling with finances, 2,000 dollars would come in handy to resuscitate their financial constraints. After Ahmed was killed, reports indicate that a section of the commanders who betrayed him were paid the Ksh. 2 million shillings in cash by the United States for a job well done.
After the foreign fighters got wind of the story, it is said that it is not business as usual in the training camps. The foreign fighters- also known as ‘Ansaris’, are now regrouping under an umbrella body ‘Iman Brigade’, with a solo mission to avenge his death. Top Al Shabaab leaders are struggling to bring the house in order but things seem to be getting out of hand at an alarming rate. The ‘Iman Brigade’ being led by a Kenyan is said to be mobilizing support from the West and North to assist them in assembling tools to revenge the death of their own. They are said to have established a secret training ground where plans are underway for the final rebellion and assault. Pundits have it that if the plot goes well as planned, Al Shabaab will be facing the greatest inter-cannibalism of all times in their history.