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Hassan Turki Defects to Shabab

Hassan Turki.

Hassan Turki.

The Deputy Leader of the insurgent group Hisbul Islam, Sheikh Hassan Abdullahi Hersi known as “Hassan Turki”, has defected on Monday to join the Al-Shabab militant group. Hassan Turki is on the US terror list

Hassan Turki is one of the founders of Al-Shabab but he joined Sheikh Hassan Dahir Awey’s Hisbul Islam group last year. His defection is a setback to Sheikh Aweys who is in disagreement with Al-Shabab over the control of Kismayo.

Al-Shabab officials announced the move at a press conference in Baidoa today. Al-Shabab officials said they will announce the establishment of an “Islamic government” in Somalia.

Reliable sources tell VOA that Hassan Turki’s defection followed a meeting he had with the leader of Al-Shabab Ahmed Abdi Godane “Abu Zubayr” in Baidoa last week.