Zawahiri says Somalia’s Shebab joined al Qaeda


Somalia’s extremist Shebab fighters have joined ranks with Al Qaeda, the terror network’s chief Ayman al-Zawahiri announced in a video message posted on jihadist forums on Thursday.
“I will break the good news to our Islamic nation, which will… annoy the crusaders, and it is that the Shebab movement in Somalia has joined Al Qaeda,” Zawahiri said.
In the first part of the video, Shebab’s leader Ahmed Abdi Godane, also known as Mukhtar Abu Zubair, addressed Zawahiri, saying: “We will move along with you as faithful soldiers.”
“In the name of my mujahideen brothers, leaders and soldiers… I pledge obedience,” Zubair said.
“Lead us on the road of jihad and martyrdom, in the footsteps that our martyr Osama bin Laden had drawn for us,” he added, referring to Al Qaeda’s former leader who was killed last year in a covert US raid on his hideout in Pakistan.
The Shebab group proclaimed its allegiance to bin Laden in a video documentary distributed in 2009. The hardline Somali Islamists are fighting to overthrow a fragile western-backed transitional government in the war-torn Horn of Africa country.