TOPNEWS-Who is the US-designated ‘terrorist’ leading ISIS in Somalia?

Nairobi – A middle-aged Somali-born cleric with a bright orange beard was this week put on a US terror list, accused of heading the Islamic State group in East Africa.

The US State Department on Wednesday said Abdulqadir (also Abdiqadir) Mumin is “the head of a group of ISIL-linked individuals in East Africa,” using another term for ISIS, and branding him a “global terrorist”.

Here’s what we know about the man, and the threat he poses.

British links 
Mumin was born in the semi-autonomous Somali region of Puntland and lived in Sweden before moving to the UK in the 2000s, where he was granted British citizenship.

In London and Leicester, he developed a reputation as a firebrand preacher at extremist mosques and in videos posted online.

Monitored by MI5, Britain’s domestic intelligence agency, Mumin is thought to have known Mohamed Emwazi, the ISIS executioner nicknamed ‘Jihadi John’, and Michael Adebolajo, one of two people convicted over the 2013 murder of British soldier Lee Rigby in London.

In 2010, Mumin travelled to Somalia to join the Shabaab, the al-Qaeda-aligned militant group – which both Emwazi and Adebolajo had tried to do, but were unsuccessful.

On arrival, he reportedly burned his British passport then served as a Shabaab propagandist and imam – “an ideologue not a commander”, according to Matt Bryden, director of Sahan Research, a Kenya-based think tank.

Defection to ISIS
Mumin was dispatched to mountainous eastern Somaliland on the border with his home region of Puntland in 2012 to bolster the fervour of fighters under the command of local Shabaab leader and Warsengili clan militia leader Mohamed Said Atom.

Defection to ISIS
Mumin was dispatched to mountainous eastern Somaliland on the border with his home region of Puntland in 2012 to bolster the fervour of fighters under the command of local Shabaab leader and Warsengili clan militia leader Mohamed Said Atom.

Largely abandoned in the inhospitable Golis mountains, Mumin reimagined himself as a commander, despite lacking any experience on the battlefield, and announced his defection to IS, along with a handful of fighters, in an audio message last October.kenyaiii


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