Al Shabaab is struggling to put up face after members of the militia came out to denounce news that their leader is dead.
In a statement on his health and ability to lead the militia outfit, Al Shabaab came out to discredit its rivals in a move seen as unusual. Sources confirm that the militia group, now severely split is going through serious leadership wrangles with mountingpressure to step up from allied Al Qaeda group for losing ground in East Africa.
Leaders within the Shura Council are said to be scrambling for power as they try to winthe hearts and minds of the militants in a bid to gunner support for themselves. This is after Al Qaeda issued an ultimatum to the seemingly defunct Al Shabaab, asking them to get their house in order or they would lose support completely.
The wrangles are said to have birthed tortures and assassinations within the group causing infighting among foot soldiers that have been forced to take sides as some defect from the Shabaab rag tag militia.
Leader in hiding
The power wrangles that involve influential members of the Shura; Ali Dheere, MahadKaratey, Maalim Osman and Ali Fidow in the campaign against Abu Ubaidah, has seen the long-ailing leader go into hiding.
Abu Ubaidah is said to be hiding in the vast jungles of Gedo region with reports suggesting this as a strategy to avoid further divisions. The militia group is now at risk of losing its militants to ISIS, a terrorist group that has been courting Al Shabaab for a long time now.
The factions that have caused smearing campaignswithin the group have completely shut down Al Shabaab’s operations, as security forces continue to make arrests. Ali Fiddow, one of the leaders in the Shura and head of finance and administration is said to be largely in control of operations and funding, and thus holds the core of the militia group.
Fidow is reported to have plotted an assassination against the sick Abu Ubaidah hence the need to flee to South of Somalia. The head of administration has been eyeing the seat for a long time and is said to be more influential than his counterparts Ali Dheere, Mahad Karate and Maalim Osman.
His threat to influence slashing of funds from sponsors and sympathisers has seen many stranded militants move to his camp. The militia group is currently operating from different factions under their preferred leaders, a situation that continues to make the divisions even bigger.
By turning to the media to deny claims that the leader is no more, Al Shabaab is just playing victim and trying to save face.