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Shabaab names new emir, reaffirms allegiance to al Qaeda


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shabaab_names_new_em.phpLong War Journal:

Thomas Joscelyn

September 6, 2014


Less than one week after Shabaab leader Ahmed Abdi Godane was killed in an American airstrike in Somalia, the group has named a new emir and reaffirmed its allegiance to al Qaeda.


Shabaab has selected Sheikh Ahmad Umar, also known as Abu Ubaidah, to serve as Godane's successor, according to a statement issued by the group.


"The leadership also renews its pledge of allegiance to al Qaeda and its leader, Sheikh Ayman al Zawahiri, may Allah protect him," the statement reads, according to a translation by the SITE Intelligence Group.


As expected, Shabaab heaps praise on Godane. The group, which is a formal branch of al Qaeda, sends its condolences to the Muslim community, as well as Taliban leader Mullah Omar and Zawahiri "regarding the martyrdom of their son, the noble knight, the scholar, the military general, the leader and founder of" Shabaab.


According to SITE's translation, Shabaab refers to Mullah Omar as the "commander of the faithful," a title usually used to reference the leader of an Islamic caliphate, or caliph. Other al Qaeda leaders, including Zawahiri, address Omar in the same manner. The title is also rendered as the "emir of the believers."



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