In a rare interview with a media organisations outside of its own circles, Al-Shabaab granted an exclusive interview to Dalsoor in which it called the international community sponsored ‘indirect’ elections in Mogadishu a selection of implanted agents on the part of the ‘infidels’ – meaning the western world.
Sheikh Ali Mohamoud Raghe “Sheikh Ali Dheere”, the most vocal spokesperson for the Islamist Somali militants, Al-Shabaab, spoke with Hamze Mohamed of Dalsoor.
Asked why an Al-Shabaab candidate was not among the contenders for the presidency of Somalia, Sheikh Ali Dheere, in his very first response, dismissed the whole elections exercise currently under process in Mogadishu as “you only associate with people that you think are good”.
He went to say that they saw what was ‘going on’ in Somalia as ‘falsehood so you never join hands with false things’.Speaking of how he and his group viewed the ‘elections’ process in Mogadishu, Sheikh Ali Dheere said the whole exercise was not of a Somali ownership.
“It is a selection where infidels and their puppets are choosing who they want. Somalis are not electing. It is the other guys who are doing (the) selection”, he said.
Speaking about women representation in the upper and lower houses of the Somali parliament, again, the spokesperson dismissed the inclusion of women in the political process as an outside-driven phenomenon.
“The other thing is about these women who claim to be the voice of Somali women. We say they don’t represent the Muslim-Somali women. They are being pushed and programmed by those infidels to achieve their goals,” Sheikh Ali Dheere told the reporter.
Responding to another question relating to the indiscriminate civilian deaths the group’s bombs and armed assaults caused, Sheikh Ali Dheere denied that their sole goal was terrorising locals to absolute submission.
“In fact,” he said “we prefer to let an infidel escape rather than letting a Muslim person die.”
He said wherever there were barricades and armed contingents of guards, there were the people they sought. He said normal people lived not behind fortifications, and that is why his group left them be. He said Al Shabaab never targeted such places.
“Whether they say it is an army base or a hotel, it is all the same to us,” he said.
Ali Dheere said normal people lived not behind fortifications, and that is why his group left them be. He said Al Shabaab never targeted such places.
“Al-Shabaab has never targeted those ordinary hotels where Muslim civilians stay,” he said.
In this denial, there was a very clear implication that bombings in small restaurants and teashops were not their doing at all.