On 24 September the BBC reported that a spokesman for Hizbul-Islam, a Somali Islamist group that was led by Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys and forcibly incorporated into al-Shabaab in December 2010, had announced a split between the two groups. This story generated considerable interest due to previously reported tensions between Sheikh Aweys and other senior leaders of al-Shabaab over the groups strategic direction and tactics. It should be noted that similar stories of Sheikh Aweys splitting from al-Shabaab have proven false in the past.
In response to this story al-Shabaab has released an audio message by Sheikh Abu Mus'ab Abdul-Aziiz that denied this story and sought to assure listeners of the continued strength and unity of the 'mujahideen'.
Despite the fact that this appears to be yet another false report the tensions between Sheikh Aweys and other al-Shabaab leaders, in particular Ahmed Abdi Godane, continue to remain unresolved. For a good overview of these issues please consider reading the article "Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys and the Politics of the al-Shabaab Split" by al-Jazeera journalist Abdi Aynte.
The audio of this announcment (in
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. All praise be to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad.
Allah the Exalted says:
"الذين يتربصون بكم فإن كان لكم فتح من الله قالوا ألم نكن معكم وإن كان للكافرين نصيب قالوا ألم نستحوذ عليكم ونمنعكم من المؤمنين فالله يحكم بينكم يوم القيامة ولن يجعل الله للكافرين على المؤمنين سبيلا"
(Those (hyprocrites) who wait and watch about you; if you gain a victory from Allah, they say: “Were we not with you,” but if the disbelievers gain a success, they say (to them): “Did we not gain mastery over you and did we not protect you from the believers?” Allah will judge between you (all) on the Day of Resurrection. And never will Allah grant to the disbelievers a way (to triumph) over the believers.) Qur’an Nisaa 131
The Muslim people know that the Muslims or Mujahideen fighting in Somalia against the crusader enemy have passed through many phases and were able at last to unite their ranks, and for the past two years, the Muslims have been enjoying that unity and goodness and the Mujahideens’ united force. The disbelievers weren’t able to tolerate that blessing, bounty and the united strength; they couldn’t bear seeing that and would love to divide the Muslims and to disperse them.
Yesterday, as many people heard, they said in a released report that they would break the unity the Mujahideen achieved, unity that brought happiness to all the Muslims. These people, what forced them to resort to that tactic precisely in this moment can be attributed to two things.
The first thing is that they want to enter into negotiations with the disbelievers so that they can be given political appointments and seats.
The second is that they saw or rather convinced themselves that the Mujahideen have been weakened now and their power has dwindled.
Those two matters have made them announce that they will destroy the unity and pull back from it.
The negotiations, it’s not the first time we are seeing it. We have seen people who claim to be looking for a solution or to be leaders of those seeking to solve the problem. We can remember that Sharif Murtad started by saying that he would enter into negotiations to look for the problems facing the Muslim Somali population. We then saw him on top of the tanks killing Muslims, shelling and bombing them with what the infidels provided him. That is not a new thing, for people who are clad in the cloth of religion to enter into negotiations with the kuffaar. We have seen many and I expect no one is surprised by this.
As regards the claim that the strength of the Mujahideen has declined, it holds no water, because the Mujahideen hand in hand with the Muslim population are facing strong enmity and the greatest alliance of crusaders in recent times, they are fighting against almost six crusader countries who have invaded the country together with the apostate militias, inflicting on them heavy losses and defeat. That shows that their strength has increased and has made the Muslims to become one and face the enemy together, a force that the enemy hasn’t been able to break through, the enemy being confined to a certain towns while the banner of the Prophet stands in all the other parts of the Wilayahs where they are administered with the Islamic Shari’ah. This is proof that the strength of the Mujahideen has increased.
After leaving the matter concerning that report, I want to reiterate the stance of the Mujahideen on this issue. The stand of the Mujahideen regarding everything that is done in order to break the unity of Muslims, where new groups are formed to deceive the Muslims, the Mujahideen previously released a report by the leadership of the Mujahideen on 26-3-2012, which stated that everyone who tries to divide the Muslims will be seen as an enemy of the Muslims who wants to deceive them and will be confronted with heavy opposition.
So, as soldiers of the Mujahideen, we won’t just oppose this report by words only, but we’ll follow it with action God-willing against all who want to disunite the Muslims and divide them.
All the Muslims who are listening to me in and outside the country, I tell them that Allah has bestowed on them and blessed them to have unity, one leadership, and one flag and to face the same direction. That hasn’t brought happiness to a lot of people, mainly hypocrites and the infidels. You are supposed to strengthen that unity and to stand shoulder to shoulder with the Mujahideen, and to oppose anyone who tries to break that unity by words of mouth and every way possible. That is what is required of you.\