Shabaab, al Qaeda’s affiliate in Somalia, has issued a statement offering its condolences for the death of Hakeemullah Mehsud, the former emir of the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan. Hakeemullah was killed by the US in a drone strike in North Waziristan on Nov. 1.
In its statement released to jihadist forums on Nov. 14, Shabaab praised Hakeemullah as “a knight from among the knights of Islam and the lions of Tawhid.” In addition, the group offered its condolences for the loss of Hakeemullah to Mullah Omar as well as Ayman al Zawahiri.
According to Shabaab, the killing of those like Hakeemullah only strengthens the desire to push forward with their cause. “[T]he moment a leader rises [to Paradise] another comes in his place as if he were him,” Shabaab said.
In contrast to the statements of condolence from al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and Jaish al Ummah, Shabaab did not directly praise Hakeemullah and “the tribes of Waziristan” for fighting the “crusader enemy” in Afghanistan.
On Nov. 9, the Pakistani Taliban threatened to avenge the death of Hakeemullah Mehsud, in a statement released by its official media outlet, Umar Media.
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