Monday, July 22, 2013
SHEIKH Aboud Rogo Mohammed was probably
assassinated by American agents, according to the UN Monitoring Group on
Somalia. Sheikh Rogo, the ideological leader of the Muslim Youth Centre
in Pumwani, was killed in Mombasa on August 27, 2012 when gunmen in
another vehicle opened fire on his van. His wife was injured in the
The Muslim Youth Centre has since changed its name to Al
Hijra. "While Al-Shabaab experienced military reverses in Somalia,
across the border in Kenya, Al Hijra members were plagued by unexplained
killings, disappearances, continuous "catch and release" arrest raids
and operational disruptions under the Al-Shabaab/East Africa Al-Qaida
For instance, on 27 August 2012, the ideological leader of Al Hijra,
Sheikh Aboud Rogo Mohammed, was inexplicably killed in Mombasa, Kenya, a
month after the Committee designated him for targeted measures," the
"The Monitoring Group is aware of an initiative funded by the
Government of the United States, called "Al-Shabaab/East Africa Al-Qaida
Disruption Initiative" whose purpose is to assist East African security
services in combating terrorism", says the report.
The Monitoring Group report was presented to the UN Security Council
on Wednesday. It noted that active Al Hijra members like Sylvester Opiyo
alias Musa Osodo, Jeremiah Onyango Okumu and Steven Mwanzia Osaka aka
Duda Black and Duda Brown, also disappeared around the same time.
Rogo had been placed on a US sanctions list in July 2012 for
"engaging in acts that directly or indirectly threaten the peace,
security or stability of Somalia".
The UN Security Council had also imposed a travel ban and asset
freeze on Rogo, accusing him of providing "financial, material,
logistical or technical support to Al-Shabaab".
Rogo was accused of radicalisation and recruitment of youth to join
Al Shabaab in Somalia. The targeting of Al Hijra reduce the threat of
Al-Shabaab in East Africa, according to the report.
"Not only was Al Hijra's ability to radicalize and recruit new
fighters to be sent to Somalia weakened, but its operational ability to
pursue its declared war inside Kenya on behalf and in support of
Al-Shabaab declined," said the report.
The capture of Kismayu by AMISOM and
leadership struggles inside Al Shabaab further weakened Al Hijira,
according to the report. "Despite the setbacks, Al Hijra, like
Al-Shabaab, is striving to remain a credible threat to peace and
security both in Somalia and outside," says the report which says that
it is now trying to link up with the Ansar Muslim Youth Centre in
The Muslim Youth Centre based at the Pumwani mosque was set up by
Sheikh Ahmed Iman Ali in 2008. In 2011 he was named Al Shabaab's leader
and coordinator in Kenya.
"The lingering influence and leadership of Ahmad Iman, also
Al-Shabaab's representative for Kenya, inspired a wave of attacks by
grenade and improvised explosive device across Kenya, mostly against the
While this approach has had marginal success, both Al-Shabaab and
Ahmad Iman have repeatedly called from Somalia for sustained attacks in
the region and particularly in Kenya," says the report.
The report says that Al Hijra has sought operational guidance from
individuals with links to Al-Qaida in East Africa including Abubakar
Shariff Ahmed 'Makaburi' and UK national Jermaine John Grant.
The report says that the Pumwani Riyadha Mosque Committee has
provided clandestine financial support to Al Hijra, particularly to
fighters returning from Somalia to Kenya but are now more cautious
because of the new Kenya Prevention of Terrorism Act (2012).
"Despite its public and firm denial of funding or assisting
recruitment for Al-Shabaab, the Pumwani Riyadha Mosque Committee
continues to view its support of Al-Shabaab through Al Hijra as a
religious obligation," the report says.
On 31 July, 2012, a Pumwani Riyadha Mosque Committee worker was
arrested in Nairobi after collecting from DHL a package from China with
car key alarms and laser range finders used for making Improvised