Recently, according to various sources, the U.S. Special Forces were involved in what turned out to be a failed weekend raid against Ikrima; a Somali operator, mastermind and an important player in the Al Shabaab militant group. Analysts have confirmed that the man was either directly, or indirectly involved in a number relentless plots against Kenya and different regional territories.
Members of Kenya Special Forces Task Team
Ikrima is also believed to be the “link man” between two terrorist networks, i.e. Al-Qaeda and Al Shabaab Islamist Group. The last month Nairobi Mall incident which took the lives of 67 innocents was claimed by Al Shabaab. However, authorities are still investigating whether Ikrima had a role to play in this entire thing.
What is known as of this moment is that Ikrima came from Puntland region; a semi-autonomous clan in the country. He was involved in plotting the attacks against Kenyan parliament according to Reuters and the Kenyan intelligence leaks.
Matt Bryden, former coordinator of the U.N. Somalia & Eritrea Monitoring Group said, “He is one of the thinkers, planners, operations practitioners, who is relentless in coming up with operations in Kenya.”
Former Al Shabaab Defector Confesses:
A defector, name not known, from the Al Shabaab terrorist group told Somali intelligence that Ikrima is a man in his mid-30s; well connected, well informed and quiet capable to planning mass level attacks. Ikrima was known to be residing in Norway in 2004, where his last known location was in the Oslo area.
From time to time, Ikrima would go to Kenya and Somalia. His mentors are known to be, but not limited to, Al Qaeda operatives: Saleh Nabhan and Fazul Mohammed. Both of them are dead now. The latter was killed in 2011 when the Somali special services killed him in East Africa.
Where is Ikrima Now?
Intelligence agencies have not given a solid answer in regards to the whereabouts of the man in question here. It is not known when exactly Ikrima moved to Somalia. The last time he was spotted by the U.N. and U.S. investigations teams, it was in 2009. During that time, Ikrima was busy gaining trust at both sides, i.e. Al Qaeda and Al Shabaab. Matt Bryden also said, “Ikrima is known to have travelled back and forth between Somali and Kenya. Some of the people he associated with were known to be operations leaders of al Hijra (a recently founded militant group operating at a small level in Kenya).”
Westgate Security Document Leak Suspects Al Shabaab Militant Attack:
Whether it was leaked on purpose or someone blew the whistle, a recently discovered security document regarding the Westgate raid says that Al Shabaab militants are in the country. Ikrima is not alone in such operations. A female British Muslim convert, Samantha Lewthwaite, is also a known accomplice with an arrest warrant against her. She has been labeled: “White Widow” by the British Intelligence authorities.