A Kenyan who rose through Al Shabaab ranks to become the poster boy for the terrorist organisation is on the run after a falling-out with other commanders who want him executed, Kenya’s Daily Nation reports.
The tables have reportedly turned on Ahmed Iman, alias Kimanthi, who appeared in Al Shabaab propaganda videos taunting Kenyan security forces fighting in Somalia, as he appeals for an amnesty from Kenyan forces.
Iman has apparently fallen out with Al Shabaab leaders Ahmed Diriye, and Mahad Karate who were in command of the group’s intelligence wing when gunmen stormed Garissa University College and killed 147 students in April 2015.
In one of his propaganda videos, which were subsequently pulled down by YouTube, Iman explains that the massacre of the students was in revenge for the killing of radical Muslim clerics Aboud Rogo, Samir Khan and Sheikh Abubakar Shariff, alias Makaburi.
According to international security sources operating in Somalia, Iman had been the head of a group of foreign fighters who together with him, are now on the run from the main group loyal to Diriye and Karate.
A number of Kenyans and other foreigners who joined Al Shabaab in Somalia have since been captured and executed.
Killings carried out by Al Shabaab include a 25-year-old Kenyan from Garissa, who was among four people who were publicly executed in Somalia, in early November.
Omar Adar Omar was also killed by an Al Shabaab firing squad on accusations of spying for the Africa Union Mission in Somalia.
The infighting in the jihadist group has been further complicated following the emergence of a faction that has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State in Syria, while Diriye’s group maintains its formal partnership with Al Qaeda in Afghanistan.
- African News Agency (ANA)