Violence has broken out between a faction of the Al Shabaab and ISIS in Somalia. According to reports, several ISIS militants were captured and publicly executed in the small town of Maas by Al Shabaab operatives.
They were said to be transporting a cache of weapons meant to arm their comrades further north of the town. ISIS has been accused of subversion by the Somali based terror group, with rumours of a grand plot to depose Al Shabaab leader Abu Ubaidah.
Reports cite an alliance between Maalim Osman, Al Shabaab’s Military wing leader and ISIS top leadership in a bid to become the new emir. This is all part of a grand plan by ISIS to eventually merge the two organisations.
A captured defector cited torture and execution of militants from both sides with Al Shabaab resorting to guerrilla tactics. He also revealed that more and more Al Shabaab militants with Kenyan origins have opted to join ISIS following accusations of espionage by Al Shabaab. Recent utterances by Abu Ubaidah have further escalated the situation with his call to allies Al Qaeda, a long-time nemesis of ISIS.
This has led to a spike in operations by the latter with their presence now visible as far south as Mogadishu. It is expected that massive casualties will be incurred on both sides even as the conflict escalates.
Despite having similar motivations, the two groups have been at loggerheads, despite ISIS attempts to lure Al Shabaab into its fold. This has not materialised however as Al Shabaab pay allegiance to Al Qaeda, a terror networkwith clear ideological differences.
Amisom troops have extended an amnesty to militants from both sides with a promise of rehabilitation and re-integration and it is left to see how many of them, if any will accept the offer.