Moktar Ali Zubeyr

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Moktar Ali Zubeyr
Mukhtaar Cali Zuubeyr
Born Ahmed Abdi aw-Mohamed
(1977-07-10)10 July 1977
Hargeisa, Somalia
Died 1 September 2014(2014-09-01) (aged 37)
Hawaay, Somalia
Nationality Somalia
Ethnicity Somali
Occupation Radical jihadi, terrorist, veteran of the Afghan Jihad
Title Emir (leader) of al-Shabaab[1]

Moktar Ali Zubeyr "Godane" (Somali: Mukhtaar Cali Zuubeyr, Arabic: مختار علي الزبير‎), born Ahmed Abdi aw-Mohamed, was the Emir (leader) of al-Shabaab, which currently is the most prominent insurgent group in Somalia. Godane, who received training and fought in Afghanistan, was designated by the United States as a terrorist.[2] He was publicly named emir of al-Shabaab in December 2007.[3] He was killed in a U.S. drone strike on 1 September 2014 in Somalia.[4]

Early life[edit]

Ahmed Abdi aw-Mohamed was born in Hargeisa on 10 July 1977.[5] He hailed from the Isaaq clan[6] of north Somalia,[7] like Ibrahim "al-Afghani" who was another key leader in Al-Shabaab before his killing by Godane loyalists in June 2013.[2] He studied Quran in Hargeisa and won scholarships to study in Sudan and Pakistan. He led a quiet, pious life, and reportedly wrote poetry.[8]

Godane was a veteran of the Afghan Jihad.[5] While in the Somaliland region of Somalia, Godane had worked for Al-Barakat, a Somali remittance company and the local franchise of Al-Itihaad al-Islamiya (AIAI).[6] Godane was accused of involvement in the murder of a British couple, Dick and Enid Eyeington, who ran a school in Somaliland.[8]

Islamic Courts Union[edit]

In 2006, Godane became the secretary general of the Executive Council of the Islamic Courts Union, an organization which was then lead by Sharif Ahmed who is the previous President of the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia.[6]

Al-Qaeda[edit]

In September 2009 Godane appeared in an Al-Shabaab video where he offered his services to Bin Laden.[9] The video appeared to be a response to a Bin Laden from March 2009 in which he urged the Somalis to overthrow the newly elected President of Somalia Sharif Ahmed.[10] In January 2010, Godane, speaking on behalf of Al-Shabaab, released a statement reiterating his support for Al-Qaeda and stated that they had "agreed to join the international jihad of al Qaeda".[11] For his allegiance to Al-Qaeda, the U.S. government announced a $7 million bounty for information leading to Godane's capture.[8]

Tensions within Al-Shabaab[edit]

Godane and his close friend Ibrahim Haji Jama Mee'aad (aka Ibrahim Al-Afghani) both rose to prominence within Al-Shabaab at the same time but, despite their close relationship, the two men had widely divergent views on what the future of Al-Shabaab should be. This resulted in tensions within the organization and the alienation of many of Godane's oldest friends as it became apparent that Godane's agenda was transnational.[12]

Death[edit]

On 2 September 2014, al-Shabaab confirmed that Godane was travelling in one of two vehicles hit by a U.S. AGM-114 Hellfire missile strike the previous day. It was not immediately confirmed if Godane himself was among the six militants killed. The vehicles were heading toward the coastal town of Barawe, al-Shabaab's main base.[13] On 5 September 2014, the Pentagon confirmed during the 2014 NATO summit in Wales that Godane had been killed in the attack.[14][15][16] On 6 September 2014, al-Shabaab officially confirmed Godane's death and announced Ahmad Umar as his successor.[4][17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Q&A: Somalia's conflict". BBC News. 4 October 2011. 
  2. ^ a b http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/docid/4d2d99562.html
  3. ^ http://www.rewardsforjustice.net/english/ahmed_aw_mohamed.html
  4. ^ a b "Shebab's new leader a devout, ruthless hardliner". Agence France-Presse. 7 September 2014. Retrieved 11 September 2014. 
  5. ^ a b http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2010/sc9904.doc.htm
  6. ^ a b c Hoehne, Markus Virgil. "Counter-terrorism in Somalia: How external interference helped to produce militant Islamism". Halle: Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology. p. 15. Retrieved 12 June 2014. 
  7. ^ Profile, wardheernews.com; retrieved 5 September 2014.
  8. ^ a b c McConnell, Tristan (1 October 2013). "Who is Al Shabaab leader Ahmed Godane?". GlobalPost. Retrieved 17 December 2013. 
  9. ^ Profile, fas.org; retrieved 5 September 2014.
  10. ^ Profile, Voice of America; retrieved 5 September 2014.
  11. ^ "Somali rebels unite, profess loyalty to al Qaeda". Reuters. 1 February 2010. 
  12. ^ Profile, Human Rights Watch; retrieved 5 September 2014.
  13. ^ "Al-Shabaab in Somalia confirms leader was targeted in US drone strike". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 September 2014. 
  14. ^ "Leader of Qaeda-Linked Somali Group Is Dead, U.S. Says". The New York Times. 5 September 2014. Retrieved 5 September 2014. 
  15. ^ Martinez, Michael (5 September 2014). "Top Somali militant killed in U.S. operation, Pentagon says". CNN. Retrieved 5 September 2014. 
  16. ^ "Leader of Qaeda-Linked Somali Group Is Dead, U.S. Says". The New York Times. 5 September 2014. Retrieved 5 September 2014. 
  17. ^ http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2014/09/shabaab_names_new_em.php