NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 17 – Kenya is likely to continue facing a growing threat from radicals, after Al Qaeda announced the elevation of one-time Nairobi-based militant Amiir Ahmad Imam Ali to lead terror operations in the country. In a statement posted on the website of the Muslim Youth Centre, the Al Qaeda and Al Shabaab are vowing even more vicious attacks in the country under Ali’s leadership. The group now refers to Ali as its “supreme Amiir of Kenya.”
“There can be no doubt that Amiir Ahmad Iman Ali’s elevation to become the supreme Amiir of Kenya for Al Shabaab is recognition from our Somali brothers who have fought tirelessly against the kuffar on the importance of the Kenyan mujahideen in Somalia,” the statement said.
Ali was once accused by a United Nations report of leading a massive recruitment drive in Eastleigh and Majengo areas, besides fundraising money for terrorism activities.
He is also recorded on videos where he vows Jihad [holly war] in Kenya.
“Yes, the kuffar United Nations Group on Somalia (USEMG) has written many inaccuracies and lies about the Kenyan mujahideen due to the weakness of fellow Muslim brothers, and of Amiir Sheikh Ahmad Iman Ali,” the statement released late Monday reads in part. “But what matters above all, is the acknowledgement of our fellow mujahideen in Somalia.”
The group which has teamed up with global terror network Al Qaeda is now vowing an all-out war in Kenya, in protest against the military incursion “against our brothers in Somalia.
“Allah favours our beloved al Shabaab, and al Shabaab in return, has placed the responsibility of waging jihad in Kenya in the capable Kenyan hands of our Amiir Sheikh Ahmad Iman Ali,” the statement goes on to say.
It said Ali had already made his maiden speech in Nairobi where he urged the Al Shabaab to continue with their attacks.
The statement did not say where the speech by Ali was issued.
“In his seminal lecture delivered to the Ummah in Kenya last week, Amiir Ahmad Iman Ali noted “…but if they seek your help in religion, it is your duty to help them,” it said.
Police intelligence reports show Ali had been staying in Majengo, Nairobi and he is one of those wanted for his involvement in recruitment of terrorists, particularly in slum areas.
“Some years back our beloved brothers in al Shabaab called upon our Amiir to take up his duty and help the mujahideen in Somalia. Without hesitation or excuses like many of the other Sheikhs in Kenya our Amiir left Majengo and MYC to begin fighting in Allah cause. As a result, many of us in MYC and others in Kenya followed our dear Amiir to the land of Somalia,” the statement adds.
Today, we stand with our beloved brothers al Shabaab in defending the light of Islam. Our solemn duty is and will always be to not let the light of Islam be extinguished.
The group said upon Ali’s appointment, Kenya had been classified as “legal war zone.”
“It is Amiir Ahmad Iman Ali’s determination to not let the light of Islam be extinguished that has led our beloved brother’s in al Shabaab place upon him the responsibility of leading jihad in Kenya, which is legally a war zone,” it adds, quoting the newly appointed leader.
Kenyan security forces have been on high alert since the military was deployed to Somalia in October last year to fight Al Shabaab militants accused of a series of kidnappings and other criminal activities on its soil.
Al Shabaab has vowed reprisal attacks in the country, mainly targeting security forces in border towns of Garissa, Wajir and Mandera where dozens of people have been killed in land mine and grenade attacks blamed on the militant group.
The most recent attack occurred last week when Al Shabaab militants raided Gerille Administration Police camp in Wajir, killing six people including three officers.
They also kidnapped four people among them a District Officer, a chief and two other people who are now believed to be in Somalia. They also took away a four-wheel-drive vehicle the government had hired recently.
Police Spokesman Eric Kiraithe said at the weekend “everything is being done to trace the missing Kenyans.”
Al Shabaab has claimed responsibility for the attack and is even reported to have paraded the captives in Somalia a day after the attack.