It has not been a bed of roses for the Kenyans in Al Shabaab ever since their god-father Sheikh Ahmed Iman was killed by the American troops early 2019. With more than five executed in a span of 3 months, Kenyan Al Shabaab fighters now wobble between a rock and a hard place with very limited options on where to seek refuge. Torn between escaping from Somalia back home and staying to fight for their lives, the militias are now regrouping to open communication lines with Islamic State popularly referred to as IS.
It leaves the Kenyan Al Shabaab fighters in a more precarious position considering that Al Shabaab declared their allegiance to AL Qaeda with IS being deemed a threat. More than 20 Kenyan fighters are already in custody of the Somali militias awaiting sentencing for conspiracy to ditch the outfit. It is highly likely, just like previous cases, they might face public execution if found guilty of the offense.
The number of Kenyans crossing over to join the ragtag militias Al Shabaab has decreased to a negligible decimal since the death of Ahmed Iman. This comes as a consequence of Al Shabaab executing more Kenyans than before and exposing them to extreme torture away from the glare of the media. Some reports on the ground indicate that sometimes Al Shabaab practice spiritual cleansing by performing human sacrifices, and Kenyans are their most preferred choice.
After the death of Ahmed Iman, a big vacuum was left especially the foreign fighters coherence. This has given room for IS to increase their activities in Somalia to try to get as much loyalty as possible from the orphaned militias who are neither here nor there. Most of them are even moving to Syria to join ISIS as fighters. ISIS now riding on the clannism factor in the Al Shabaab file and ranks, they are convincing foreign fighter to move to Syria because they are not welcomed in Somalia. The exodus of foreign fighters to Syria has weakened Al Shabaab, further decreasing its presence and effect in the terrorism world.