Somalilandsun – Al-Shabaab’s top leader Ahmed Abdi Godane has been using my photo as his own picture for a long time, former Hisbul-Islam militant member told Somali Investigative Reports (SIR).
Mr. Shuuke Abdirahman Odowa was the leader of Hisbul-Islam’s Elasha Biyaha base, near Mogadishu and friend of Hassan Dahir Aweys, and lives in Somalia. “I defected to the government of Somalia in 2009 when Alshabaab militants killed my younger brother and refused to bring the perpetrator to justice.
That is when I realized that their ideology is not based in Islam,” he said in an Interview with Somali Investigative Reports (SIR). “So, I and other colleagues of mine held a press conference in Mogadishu’s presidential Palace so as to tell clearly that the actions of Hisbul-Islam and their partner Al-Shabaab has no religious grounds. During the press conference, the local media have taken our photos and published them on different outlets.
After a while I came across my photo with Godane’s speech on some websites used as the group leader’s photo,” Said Mr. Shuuke “Now it has widespread to the world and people believe that it is him, and other media are using it as well”.He added.
In the interview, he stated that he had never met with Ahmed Godane and have no contact with him, “But, he utilized my photo to use so as to mislead the world, because that can convert the attention from him” Shuuke said. “and that can bring a problem to me. I’m hereby declaring to the world that the photo is mine not the Godane’s” he concluded.
Ahmed Abdi Godane, known as Muktar Abu Zubeyr was trained in Afganistan and became the leader of Al Shabaab in May 2009 after the group’s former leader, Adan Hashi Ayrow was killed in 2008 by US missile strike in Central Somalia. Recently, rivalry among the group resulted the killing of its top commanders by Ahmed Godane, the Alshabab leader using the Amniyat division of the group.