Shabaab’s “Then Fight the Leaders of Disbelief” video series features clips of various al Qaeda figures from the past and present. Shabaab argues that Somali hotels are legitimate targets because they serve as “heavily fortified bases” for the government and its allies.
Since late April, Shabaab has released a series of videos emphasizing its place in al Qaeda’s global network. Two of the videos were recorded by the group’s emir, Abu Ubaydah Ahmad Umar, a normally reclusive figure. Abu Ubaydah refers to the Taliban’s emir as the “Commander of the Faithful” and Ayman al Zawahiri as the “father-emir” while addressing the mujahideen in Syria and Yemen.