Ahmed Iman Ali, the once prolific face of propaganda for the Al Shabaab, is now a marked man. Reports out of Shabelle Somalia suggest that a manhunt is on for the self-exiled Shabaab commander after rumors became rife that he had been sighted near the small town of Hosingow in Southern Somalia.
Ahmed Iman Ali is accused of treason by Al Shabaab top command together with his Kenyan comrades after his tip-off to the KDF in August 2017 led to the death of over 150 Al Shabaab militants mostly from Somali origin in November 21st of the same year after a deadly US airstrike.
His woes began when a KDF special forces team was tasked with wiping out Iman and his team sometime in mid-July 2017. He however somehow found out about the plot and fearing for his life, traded it and those of his team in exchange for information. In the subsequent deal, he gave out the positions of 3 other Al Shabaab training camps.
This led to several precision airstrikes by the US that killed over 150 Al-Shabaab militants, maiming dozens more. These events led to the trials and deaths of many Kenyans and other foreign fighters in the Al Shabaab on suspicion of espionage forcing Ahmed Iman Ali to go on the run.
His latest alleged sighting near the Somali town of Hosingow has led to pandemonium within the Al Shabaab ranks as calls for vengeance fill majority of their ranks. Intelligence reports suggest that not only is he being hunted by Al Shabaab fighters but also paid mercenaries from Yemen and the Middle East on orders from Al Shabaab spokesman Sheikh Ali Dheere.
Security forces have however extended an amnesty to the embattled former commander and his dwindling charges in exchange for information and it is yet to be seen if he will comply.
Multi-agency cooperation has led to the pacification of large parts of Somalia even as foreign powers increasingly provide support for local forces in the fight against Al Shabaab.