Al-Qaeda Leader Fazul Abdullah Killed, Shabab Silent

Fazul, the Comoros national wanted for the 1998 bombings of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania was killed, apparently by luck on early wednesday morning in Ex-Control Afgoi (the road that leads from Mogadishu to Afgoi). He had a South African passport and was driving in a 4×4 with another man who was a Somali with a Canadian passport. Shabab have not yet commented on this, perhaps because takes time to reach their spokesman with the confirmation. (Update: a Shabab-linked site says that Fazul is alive, according to Shabab sources. Since they consider him a Martyr, and Martyrs are not dead according to the Quran, this should not be taken to mean that they are denying his killing)

I had blogged a few months back about how the AMISOM takeover of the Defense Ministry building was going to endanger the sand roads used by Shabab to circumvent the front lines and go to Elasha Biyaha and beyond (this path is now also used by Mogadishans wanting to go to the Shabab side of the city). It was this sand path that the two men wanted to take but they apparenty failed to take the correct left turn and continued straight towards ex-control, which is manned by TFG soldiers. If they had been driving during the day they would have not have been lost.

Also, the fact that Fazul was riding with a Somali with a foreign passport who it seems was not very familiar with the greater Mogadishu roads shows that Al-Qaeda is not as close with Al-Shabab as many believe. This is because most, if not all, of the foreigners are either Al-Qaeda or staunchly believe in their global agenda, whereas many of the Shabab have a local agenda. It seems Fazul was more comfortable with the former group.

According to news and TFG sources, Fazul’s passport had the name Daniel Robinson and  was issued in the thirteenth of April 2009, and he used it to travel to Tanzania in 19th March of this year. There are no other visas or entry stamps after that, indicating he used other passports to travel to Kenya, and from there he may have just crossed the border, because he looked like a Somali and Somalis don’t use passports to cross the border.

If it turns out to be true that his passport is authentic, then this just shows how he travelled widely and appears not to have been crippled by his wanted status.  He was also not financially affected : he had 40,000 USD with him when he was killed. In one of the accounts, he is said to have tried to buy his freedom but last-minute disagreements resulted in his killing.

I wonder who will take the 5 million USD put on his head by the USG. If they decide to give it to the men who killed him through the TFG, I would not be surpised if it ended up in a corrupt TFG official’s bank account. The men who killed him need the money. It will help them stop extorting public vehicles for money.

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