Monday, 27 May 2019 12:58 GMT

American, US resident extremists defect from Al-Shabaab in Somalia

(MENAFN - SomTribune) "We caught a man whose body complexion was white with a long beard, and when we interrogated him he told us that he has escaped from Alshabab and was willing to surrender himself to the Somali government, he has identified his nationality as an American", said commissioner Mohamed. He said that Hassan was part of a group of disillusioned foreign fighters who fled their homes after Al-Shabab forces started "hunting down those who pledged allegiance to ISIS", following the death of a top Shabab official in a drone strike earlier this month. Hassan, who went by the nickname

Hassan, who went by the nickname Miski when he lived in Minneapolis, was just 17 and a high school senior when he left the U.S. to join al-Shabaab, an al-Qaida affiliate in Somalia, in August 2008.

"I hated them because I found their ideology was totally wrong", John said, adding that he finally escaped the group six days ago.

Somali officials are holding an American citizen and an American resident who have been fighting alongside the radical Islamist group al-Shabaab after the men reportedly defected from the rebel fighters and surrendered to authorities. Jones is missing the index finger of his right hand, said the official.

Fearing execution, a Minnesota man who joined al-Shabaab in Somalia seven years ago turned himself into the Somalia government.

Despite losing key strongholds in Somalia, al-Shabab is fighting the Somali government and African Union forces and continues to carry out deadly bombing attacks across Somalia and neighboring countries.

Hassan is one of the FBI's most wanted terror fugitives and faces 2009 terrorism charges for allegedly providing material support to al-Shabaab. State Department spokesman Pooja Jhunjhunwala did not say why Hassan's November 6 surrender had not been announced, but did say that Hassan is a "lawful permanent resident of the United States".

The defections of two American Islamic extremist fighters in Somalia highlight tensions within the insurgent group al-Shabab over whether it should remain affiliated to al-Qaida or switch allegiance to the Islamic State group, according to an al-Shabab commander Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015.

With the relocation program now well over 20 years old, a new generation of Somalian-American citizens are growing up in America. Hassan, who was speaking from prison, said he wasn't tied to the Islamic State group.

Although he said he joined Al-Shabab, he said he left in 2013 "because of the oppression that they are doing on the people, the way they are killing people, and the imprisonment of innocent people and the torture without no evidence at all".

The Los Angeles Times reported that "the Federal Bureau of Investigation has become increasingly "intrigued with" Hassan, who became a recruiter for the Islamic State". The two defections show tensions within al-Shabab, according to Mohammed.

While news of his arrest is important, Katz said, there are many others who are willing to take his place online.


American, US resident extremists defect from Al-Shabaab in Somalia

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