Kenyans who had joined Somali-terror outfit Alshabaab are in turmoil following the death of their leader Ahmed Iman. Until his killing, Ahmed has been in charge of the propaganda department. Through his videos, he urged and motivated his countrymen to join the outfit making him the single source of inspiration for the Kenyans inside Alshabaab.
Kenyans who make up to 40 percent of Alshabaab are now contemplating on where to surrender; either to AMISOM in Somalia or return and surrender in Kenya. “Surrendering is a matter of when and where but not if,” said one returnee who escaped from Alshabaab. The returnee who surrendered to Anti-Terrorism Police Unit in Garissa also said that Kenyans in Somalia have been frustrated with unfulfilled promises and hence the change of mind. “People would have left a long time ago, but Sheikh Ahmed kept urging us on, now that he is dead Kenyans in Alshabaab have no one to look up for”.
Ahmed Iman, who is also known as Abu Zinira Al-Kenyi was among the highest ranking Kenyan in Alshabaab’s rank and file. He hails from Majengo in Nairobi where he was the leader of Muslim Youth Centre (MYC) and is a former student of Kenyatta University.
During his heydays, Ahmed would record propaganda video in Swahili urging Kenyans to cross over to Somalia, saying Alshabaab was ready to take over major cities in Kenya. Because of his influence, he rose from a mere radicalizer to the head of media in a short span of time. However, things have not been rosy for him as Kenyans were suspected of spying for Kenyan government-him included. Reports spread that he had fled from Alshabaab who wanted to kill him and he was ready to surrender to the Kenyan government. His fate was sealed on 22nd March when unidentified aircraft targeted a building in Bu’aale in Middle Juba where several Alshabaab commanders were killed.