What you need to know:
- Clip released by self proclaimed militia leader in Kenya, Sheikh Ali calls for retaliatory attacks
Al-Shabaab has released a propaganda video declaring war against Kenya.
The video was released by Sheikh Ahmed Iman Ali, the self-proclaimed de facto leader of Kenyan Al-Shabaab fighters in Somalia.
Sheikh Ali in the video recording entitled: If they seek your help in religion, it is your duty to help them, says war or Jihad should now be waged in Kenya in response to the military operation in Somalia.
“Kenya has declared war against Somalia and Jihad should now be waged inside Kenya which is legally a war zone,” Sheikh Ali says in the video. Read (Al-Shabaab forcing youth to join army).
The video which was initially posted on YouTube but has since been withdrawn can still be viewed on other social media networks.
He says the war Kenya is fighting in Somalia is not against Al-Qaeda, Al-Shabaab or terrorists but the terms are being used to camouflage the truth.
The report of the UN Somalia and Eritrea Monitoring Group indicates that Sheikh Ali, a former chairman of Muslim Youth Centre in Pumwani, Nairobi, was central in the recruitment of non-Somalis in Nairobi to join Al- Shabaab fighters in Somalia.
The report says Al-Shabaab “has extensive funding, recruiting and training networks within Kenya” and has “established connections with jihadist groups across the continent.”
The UN investigation that focused on the youth centre claims that the organisation was involved in the recruitment of Al-Shabaab operatives. Officials of MYC have since distanced themselves from Sheikh Ali and the recruitment of Kenyans to join Al-Shabaab.
“Officially, the MYC Constitution defines the group as a ‘community based-organisation’ that aims to provide youth with religious counselling ... In practice, members of the group openly engage in recruiting for Al-Shabaab in Kenya,” the report claims.
“Ahmed Iman’s success in recruiting fighters and mobilising funds for the cause, appear to have earned him steady ascendancy within Al-Shabaab. The Monitoring Group believes that he now intends to conduct large-scale attacks in Kenya.