Last Updated (Thursday, 09 February 2012 17:36)
Mukhtar Abu al-Zubeir, the leader of the Shabaab al-Mujahideen Movement, pledged to al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in a video released by al-Qaeda's media arm, as-Sahab. The 14 minute, 41 second video, which features an audio speech from Zubeir and footage of an address by Zawahiri, was posted on jihadist forums on February 9, 2012. On behalf of the Shabaab, Zubeir pledged allegiance to Zawahiri and told him that the group enjoys success and "great fortune" in its jihad in Somalia. Additionally, he congratulated the al-Qaeda leader for the "defeat" of US-led forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, a defeat that Zawahiri acknowledged in his portion. Zawahiri stated about the unity of the groups: "Today, I have pleasing glad tidings for the Muslim Ummah that will please the believers and disturb the disbelievers, which is the joining of the Shabaab al-Mujahideen Movement in Somalia to Qaedat al-Jihad, to support the jihadi unity against the Zio-Crusader campaign and their assistants amongst the treacherous agent rulers."
Zawahiri also called to Somalis, telling them to follow the example of jihadi ideologues such as Abdullah Azzam and the "Blind Sheikh" Omar Abdul Rahman, as well as former al-Qaeda leader Usama bin Laden. He added: "I remind them that we are one Ummah that is waging one battle against the arrogant Crusaders and their oppressive, corrupting followers. Thus, they should carry the worries of their Muslim Ummah everywhere and help their Muslim brothers with what they can, even if through supplication, because it is one of the most effective tools of victory. And [I ask them] not to forget their captive brothers and sisters in the prisons of the Crusaders and the corrupt oppressors, and to lie in wait for the Crusaders and the Zionists wherever they can get them, to use them to release the captive Muslim men and women."