Al-Shabaab intended to replace Al-Qaeda soon

In East and West Africa, the belligerence of Al-Shabaab and Jamaat al-Nusrat al-Islam -wol- Muslims under the umbrella of Al-Qaeda has intensified at a time when Al-Qaeda has yet to appoint a new leader after the killing of its second leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri. Based on the intelligence information from the Zahadan area of ​​the eastern border of Iran, a security meeting was held in Sistan and Balochistan, the joint border region of Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan, on August 13.

 Afghan and Pakistani scholars participated in the meeting. The meeting was held in relation to the successor of the former leader of Al-Qaeda, but the outcome of the meeting has not been known yet. The Al-Qaeda group became more renowned at the international level after the attacks on American commercial buildings and the Ministry of Defense after September 11, 2001, and the activities of this group became demised  and faded out, when the founder and leader of this group, Osama Bin Laden was killed by the American Special Forces in Pakistan in 2011.

Well along, when Afghanistan fell into the hands of the Taliban for the second time, this group rejuvenated its activities. The AQ deceased leader Dr. Zawahiri  had a plan to relocate the (Afghan) Taliban from South Asia to the Middle East for Jihad.  Ayman al-Zawahiri, the leader of the al-Qaeda group, was killed on July 31, 2022, in the capital of Afghanistan, as the result of MQ9-Reaper aerial strike of CIA. Moreover, after July 31, Al-Qaeda has remained in an uncertain position, but the Jihadi organizations under the patronages of this group have been strengthened and accelerated their activities in East and West Africa.  If there is a delay or any obstacle in the selection of a new leader for Al-Qaeda group in such sensitive circumstances, so the Al-Shabaab organization is ready to declare its government in East Africa as a strong Jihadi organization separate from Al-Qaeda under the leadership of its leader Ahmad Omar.

 In order to achieve this goal, Ahmed Omar has made a secret meeting with the newly appointed minister of religious affairs of the Somali government, Mukhtar Robo, on the joint border between Somalia and Ethiopia, and Mukhtar Robo also cooperates with al-Shabaab in rising up to the government in Somalia, and participates in the new government in East Africa. Sheikh Mukhtar Robo is one of the founders and partners of al-Shabaab group in Somalia and he was the former deputy of this group. Mukhtar Robo separated from Al-Shabaab due to internal differences with the former leader of Al-Shabaab, Ahmed Abdi Godan, who was killed in 2013, and surrendered to the Somali government in 2017.

In 2018, before he was arrested by the Federal Government of Somalia, he ran for the presidency of the South West Province of Somalia. However, after being under house arrest by the Somali government for three years, Robo was appointed the Minister of Religious Affairs of Somalia on August 2, 2022, two days after the killing of Al-Qaeda’s second leader Ayman Al- Zawaheri.

 Now, Ahmad Omar, the leader of Al-Qaeda in Somalia is trying to overthrow the federal government of Somalia with the help of Robo.  If there is a delay or obstacle in the selection of the leader of the Al-Qaeda group, Ahmad Omar will declare Al-Shabaab as a separate and independent jihadist organization from the Al-Qaeda group, and the center of the new government of Al-Shabaab will be in East Africa. He will extend his group to the Middle East so that this organization gains fame in the Middle East and appears to substitute  Al-Qaeda.

In any case, after the death of al-Qaeda leader al-Zawahiri, from August 7th to 14th, I render a report on the destructive goals of jihadist organizations under the umbrella of al-Qaeda in African countries as a tip of iceberg. On August 7, three Somali soldiers were injured and two were killed after the attack by al-Shabaab fighters on the capital of Somalia, Mogadishu. On the 8th of August, the Somali al-Shabaab rebels attacked Hoden headquarters in the capital Mogadishu, including the killing of Colonel Hassan Farahi, And Jelli, the deputy commander of the state militia in Wajar district, was also killed in a battle with al-Shabaab fighters on the morning of August 8. There was a simultaneous battle by al-Shabaab group on eight military bases in Mandera city in the northeast of Kenya, and a number of these bases were selected for the Kenyan elections. Al-Shabaab fighters also attacked the center of Ugandan forces, the capital of Mogadishu, and the cities of Janali. Another security unit of the Al-Shabaab movement killed a guard of the ballot boxes in the ongoing Kenyan elections near the capital. There were also attacks in Canton District, Garfarar District, Wajir County, and North East Kenya and 20 Kenyan soldiers were killed.

In addition, on August 7, 2022, a bloody attack was carried out by Jamaat Nusrat al-Islam Walmuslim in Mali between Kosala and Kouri on Mali soldiers, And besides this attack, the war in South Sikaso area started with the destruction of an armored military vehicle and ended with the killing of five Malian soldiers. As the result of that war five Kalashnikovs, 5 pistols and 12 armored tanks were captured and 432 people were captured alive.

 On August 9, six security guards of the parliament building were killed by Al-Shabaab fighters in the Somali parliament building in the capital of Mogadishu. On the 9th of August, a colonel of Somalia’s intelligence agency, named Muhammad Abbas Jars, was killed by al-Shabaab fighters at Banadir intersection. On August 11th, 11 mortar shells were fired at a base of Ethiopian soldiers by al-Shabaab fighters in the city of Qanshadiri in the southwest of Somalia, and as a result, 9 Ethiopian soldiers were killed. Four Somali soldiers have been killed as a result of attacks on two bases of the Somali army by the al-Shabaab group in the cities of Badawa and Densoor.

On August 11, two Somali soldiers were killed in Shabelle province. August 12th: The former deputy security affairs of Afjawi city, Hussain Jibril, along with his two bodyguards were killed by al-Shabaab fighters in the southwest of the same city. Furthermore, Geno Muhammad Ibrahim, a member of the Somali government’s parliamentary election committee was killed by the al-Shabaab movement in the Harawa area of ​​Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia.

Al-Shabaab group was ordered by the Sharia court to execute six American, Kenyan and Somali spies who were responsible for the air operations under the orders of the American forces.  August 14, a military officer named Abdo was killed along with four soldiers because of an attack on the base of the Somali army by al-Shabaab group in Yarkad area of ​​Loq city in the west of Somalia.

Al-Shabaab is presumably a franchise of Al-Qaeda, which has doubled down the jihadi terrorist undertakings under the auspices of Al-Qaeda in the entire African continent supposed to declare its independence from Al-Qaeda, while performing as an imminent jihadi terrorist group worldwide. 

Al-Shabaab hoist in the international geopolitical arena will be a major blow to the counterterrorism and counter intelligence agencies at the global level.

Ajmal Sohail
Ajmal Sohail
Ajmal Sohail is a graduate in terrorism and extremism studies from both Leiden University in the Netherlands and Maryland University in the United States; he works in the meantime as an intelligence analyst and Counter-terrorism expert. He does remain well connected with the political players in his country, both those physically in Afghanistan and those working from outside, allowing him to gain insights into the extremely complex geopolitical situation in Afghanistan and in the South Asia region. He is the co-founder and co-president of the Counter Narco-Terrorism Alliance Germany, directing its intelligence and counter-terrorism portfolios. His analysis is regularly featured in various international news outlets, print and television and he even runs his own sources to get the most classified Intel. His analysis and other content can be accessed at his personal website: