Whenever a person with many dependents dies, the dependents' conditions deteriorate and that is what is going on currently as many Al Shabaab leaders are defecting day after day while others are being killed as efforts to end terrorism become intense hence weakening and degrading the Al Shabaab network.
It was indeed a big win on the counter-terrorism side when recently top Al Shabaab leader AbdiKadir Osman Yarrow (Abdikadir Commando), was killed in an airstrike during an ongoing joint operation by the U.S AFRICOM and Somali military in the vicinity of Saakow, Southern Somalia.
Commando is believed to have been actively involved in the terror group’s field operation commanders for a long time and was head of training for the Hizbul Islam Militant group, which is a core element in the formation of the al Shabab terror group. Commando joined the terror group in 2011 after the Hizbul Islam group led by former terrorist leader Hassan Dahir Aweys, merged with Al Qaeda and he is said to have played a key role in fighting the Ethiopian Defense Forces in Somalia between 2007 and 2009 through Jabha Islmiya militant group later between 2013 and 2016 reason why he was targeted. The killing of Commando came days before another top leader Khalif Abdinoor Mohammed who participated in the El Adde camp attack defected and surrendered to the Kenyan authorities in Mandera.
Having the big trees fall is proof that the branches have no support and will eventually dry out and fall.
The fact that many top leaders of the al Shabaab terror group are slowly falling out of the group some voluntarily while others getting eliminated by the various security forces, is evidence that the group is off balance and is losing its significance. Having the big trees fall is proof that the branches have no support and will eventually dry out and fall.
In the period between 2015 and 2017, al Shabaab lost key commanders among them Gamadheere, Mustafa Arab, Abdullahi Irad, Yusuf Haji, Ibrahim Naalaye Kuyo, and Muhamed Kuno; and it continues to lose many, a sign that the terror group will soon be no more.
The rise of other violent extremist groups that have triggered conflicts on grounds of territory, influence power, and failure to meet their expectations of acquiring greener pastures in the group has also seen many of the defects.