A Video Shows Somalia Militants Swearing Allegiance to New IS Leader

IS in Puntland, Somalia

The Islamic State (IS) video released on December 17 by its Somalia affiliates claims that at least 36 IS fighters in Somalia have sworn allegiance to the group’s leader, Abu al-Hussein al-Husseini al-Qurashi.

The IS video, which lasts 5 minutes and 35 seconds, shows three groups of IS fighters from various locations in Somalia.

The largest group has over 24 fighters, all masked. Without mentioning Somalia, a masked member of the group identified as “brother Salman al-Muhajir” sends condolences for the death of the previous leader, Abu Hasan al-Hashimi al-Qurashi, with a message of defiance and threat.

The video also shows two other groups of around six men, each pledging allegiance to the new IS leader.

The Islamic State in Somalia emerged in 2015 when some fighters defected from al-Shabaab, led by Abdulqadir Mumin. The group’s leader in Somalia, Mumin, was missing in the swearing allegiance ceremony.