Somalia: Puntland's Galgala militants 'join Al Qaeda' 26 Feb 26, 2012 - 1:09:46 AM
BOSSASO, Somalia Feb 26 2012 (Garowe Online) – Militants in Somalia's northern Puntland region have declared their allegiance to the Al Qaeda terrorist group.
A recording of Yasin Kilwe the self proclaimed ‘leader of the Galgala martyrs’ was aired on the Al Shabaab controlled radio Al Andalus. The nearly three minute recording of Mr. Kilwe who spoke in Somali and Arabic verified that the Golis Mountain range militia officially joined Al Shabaab and its parent group Al Qaeda.
“I Yasin Khalid Osman (Yasin Kilwe) leader of the Golis Mountain range have pledged my allegiance to the leader of the Al Shabaab Sheikh Mukhtar Abu Zubeyr,” said Yasin Kilwe.
The new leader of the Golis Mountain range militia, also called Galgala militia, expressed his contentment of the merge of Al Shabaab and Al Qaeda a unification of great importance for the Muslim people, said Mr. Kilwe.
Spokesman for the Al Shabaab insurgents in southern Somalia Sheikh Ali Mohamud Ragge released a recording accepting the pledge of loyalty by the Galgala militia to his terror cell. Mr. Ragge added that the unification of these two groups will strengthen the weight of the group.
Puntland government spokesman Ahmed Omar Hersi spoke to BBC on Saturday about the recording and announcement of a merge between the two insurgent groups. According to Mr. Hersi the two groups had worked together previously and the affiliation or merge is not something recent. “The announcement of a merge between the two groups is in fact not new the groups were working together for quite some time,” said Mr. Hersi.
Mr. Hersi added that Puntland is capable of defending itself from any insurgency that disrupt or upsets the tranquility of the Puntland people.
Mohamed Said Atom a known arms smuggler linked to Al Qaeda who declared war on the Puntland government in 2010 was the alleged leader of the Galgala militia and was reported saying that Al Shabaab are his ‘brothers’ in 2010.
Mr. Kilwe a Puntland native has declared that he is the leader of the militia but sources say the group has executive and managerial problems. The Golis Mountain range militias have been suppressed before by the Puntland military. In 2010, Puntland government forces launched a three-month military offensive targeting the Galgala militants whom security officials blamed for a string of assassinations and bombings in Puntland's port city of Bossaso.