Al-Shabaab has accused African peacekeeping soldiers of murder and destroying the Somali economy, in an effort to hit back against pro-government forces. In the meantime, Somali transitional President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed has invited the terrorist group to join his effort at nation building, provided that they renounce and expel all foreign jihadists.
"Although the people of Mogadishu are being fought for their determination to adopt the Islamic Shari'ah as their source of governance, the crusaders, who serve as mercenaries propelling America's global war on Islam along the East African coast, have this time focused primarily upon the destruction of their economy," al-Shabaab said in a recent statement posted in jihadi forums.
"Having failed to achieve their desired objectives because of the strong resistance from the Mujahideen and having seen the corpses of their comrades and commanders dragged in the streets of Mogadishu on a regular basis, the objective of the crusaders is now to target innocent civilians and to destroy the fabric that holds the people of Mogadishu together, leaving them fragmented and disoriented," the group added.
Although al-Shabaab claims it is fighting for "the establishment of Islamic Shari'ah" in its totality over Somalia, the nation's transitional president "invited al-Shabaab loyalists who are ready to abandon their militant ways to join the rest of the country in nation building."
President Ahmed appears to be appealing to increasingly worn-down al-Shabaab fighters, who have been defecting in droves when they realize that the terrorist organization is violating Islamic law. A recent defector, 15-year-old Abdulkadir Mohammed, explained the lure of the group.
"I thought that al Shabaab was right in their fighting against Somali government, because they misguided and lured me after I was persuaded [pro-government forces] are apostate ones who deserted Islam," Mohammed said in an interview with All Headline News.
"Most of fighters at the battlefield are very young teenagers like me or younger than me. The commanders and foreign fighters come at the frontline only if the battles intensify," he explained. "What made the situation so worse is that they you can't go back to retreat, because foreign and Somali militants will kill you."