Somali insurgents have called on Al Qaeda terrorist network to 'come to Somalia' and join what the insurgents called 'East Africa jihad', Radio Garowe reports.
Al Shabaab insurgent spokesman, Sheikh Ali Mohamud Rage "Ali Dheere," told a press conference in Mogadishu on Friday that Al Qaeda fighters should come to Somalia to "expand the East Africa jihad."
"We call on our brothers [Al Qaeda] to come to Somalia and to help us expand the East Africa jihad," Ali Dheere said, who was sitting alongside former Hizbul Islam insurgent spokesman, Sheikh Abdifatah Mohamed Ali.
Last week, Somalia's two main insurgent groups, Al Shabaab and Hizbul Islam, declared their unity under Al Shabaab name and declared to continue the insurgency against the UN-recognized Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and the 8,000-strong African Union force (AMISOM) that projects it in Mogadishu.
Sheikh Ali, the former Hizbul Islam spokesman and now member of Al Shabaab, told reporters that Hizbul Islam "compromised" for the sake of uniting all Islamist fighters in Somalia.
"The TFG and AMISOM have failed to expel our fighters [insurgents] from Mogadishu and our unity is to prevent that," Sheikh Ali said.
Somalia's recognized TFG administration, regional powers and the international community considers Al Shabaab a terror group linked to Al Qaeda. The group is accused of hosting hundreds of foreign fighters from countries like Yemen, Afghanistan and the West.