Al-Shabaab Names New Leader, Vows Revenge for U.S. Strike That Killed Its Commander

somali

Armed al-Shabaab fighters are seen on pickup trucks.  Associated Press

 MOGADISHU—Abdalle Ahmed Mumin reports: Somalia‘s al-Shabaab said Saturday the militant group had named a new leader, after its commander was killed in a U.S. drone strike.

“This is definitely a game changer for al-Shabaab and probably a turning point for the organization.”

The group said it had named Ahmed Omar Abu Ubeyd to succeed Ahmed Abdi Godane, who died of wounds sustained in the drone strike Monday in Somalia’s remote Lower Shabelle region, said the group’s spokesman, Abdiasis abu Mus’ab.

“This leader, Ahmed Godane, built the organization around himself for the past three years.”

— Abdi Aynte, head of The Heritage Institute, a Mogadishu-based think tank

“We will not sit alone,” he said, vowing revenge for a strike that appears to have killed not only Mr. Godane but several of his top aides.

[Also see – BOOTS + GROUND: U.S. Forces Carry Out Operation Against Al-Shabaab in Somalia – punditfromanotherplanet.com]

[More – REPORT: Al-Shabaab Claims Three Americans Among Gunmen in Kenya Mall – punditfromanotherplanet.com]

Analysts said it was too soon to tell if al-Shabaab was indeed still unified or attempting to forestall its fragmentation after the death of a charismatic leader, who had sidelined or eliminated other powerful figures in the group since taking over in 2008. Read the rest of this entry »