By Staff Reporter
In a statement the defecting Islamist commander says that he left the group because he could not “tolerate the misleading of Al- Shabaab and its leader.”
“I have been tolerating the misleading of Ahmed Abdi Godane (Al- Shabaab Emir) and his group towards the Sharia (Islamic law) and Muslims. I have today decided to leave Al-Shabaab,” Sheik Atom said.
Somali government welcomed the extremist commander’s move, saying it hoped defection will inspire others to reject Al-Shabaab and “embrace peace and unity” in the country.
“Sheik Atom has exposed the reality of Al-Shabaab: un-Islamic and un-Somali, the puppets of foreign masters and riven by internal feuds,” the Somali government said in a statement.
Somali government officials have offered an amnesty to Al- Shabaab members and leaders who it says “realized the error of their ways and who renounce violence.”
The radical commander listed several reasons for his decision to leave Al-Shabaab including misleading the youth, killing of innocent people including Muslims leaders. He accused the Islamic extremist group of blocking aid to displaced people.
Al-Shabaab have not so far officially reacted to the defection of Atom but pro-radical media have downplayed the importance of the changing of sides saying the commander was “merely an ally” of the group rather than key official within the Jihadist Al-Shabaab in Somalia.