Shabaab celebrate al-Qaeda alliance
14 February 2012, 11:52
Mogadishu - Gun-toting Shabaab
insurgents staged rallies across Somalia on Monday to celebrate their
group's recognition by Osama bin Laden's successor as a member of the
Islamist al-Qaeda network.
"The unification of Al-Shabaab
with al-Qaeda breaks the hearts of the enemy," Shabaab spokesperson
Sheikh Ali Mohamud Rage told a crowd of several hundred in rebel-held
Afgoye, just outside Somalia's war-torn capital Mogadishu.
Extremists chanting anti-Western slogans ordered people to attend the rallies, witnesses said.
least 600 people gathered carrying placards supporting the unification
of the two groups - people chanted Allahu Akbar [God is great]" said
Abdikarin Adan, a witness.
"Businesses were shut after Shabaab
fighters in cars with loudspeakers ordered people to attend the
demonstration," said Mohamed Sufi, another witness.
chief Ayman al-Zawahiri announced in a video message posted on jihadist
forums last week that Shabaab fighters had joined ranks with the
Shabaab insurgents, fighting to overthrow the
weak Western-backed government in the war-torn Horn of Africa country,
proclaimed their allegiance to then al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in
"Mujahideen fighters worldwide, I promise you that the
unification is a sign of the return of the Islamic caliphate worldwide,"
Several demonstrations also took place across
Shabaab-held southern Somalia including the port city of Merka, where
the extremist gunmen ordered people to shut down businesses to attend
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