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At times, it may be viewed as a weakness, but I have come to realize that the ultimate sign of strength is to surrender. Defecting hatred and evil acts towards humanity is the actual sign of bravery and positive change.

Taking a bold step to surrender and defect from committing wickedness against the living is the only affirmation that one is no longer willing to live in pain. It expresses a deep desire to transcend our struggles and transform our negative emotions. It commands a life beyond our egos, beyond that part of ourselves that is continually reminding us that we are separate, different and alone. In surrender we allow ourselves to return to our true nature and move effortlessly through the cosmic dance called life. It's a powerful statement that proclaims the perfect order of the universe. Zakariya Ahmed Ismail Hersi made the best decision when he made up his mind to defect Somalia’s popular extremist group al Shabaab which for so long he realized thrives in shedding innocent blood.

Despite the quick rise in ranks and securing senior positions in the media, regional co-ordinations and military intelligence in the insurgent group al Shabaab, Mr. Hersi felt unfulfilled and unsatisfied all along and he saw no glory in spilling innocent blood. The more growth in career, the more-empty he felt seeing civilians being tortured by the group whose initial plan he thought was to protect his country.

In 2013, when Hersi joined the Jihadist group, he was made to believe that the group aimed to liberate his country Somalia from invasion by the frontline states. His heart grew in dire pain when he saw Al Shabaab forging numerous attacks and brutally shedding the innocent blood of civilians they were meant to protect. He was saddened by the Garissa University attack conducted by al Shabaab on 2nd April 2015 that claimed 148 innocent souls and with constant exposure to hatred and evil towards humanity, Hersi took a bold step and surrendered to the security officers in Gedo region.

The only way to total freedom is doing what is right always without expecting any reward and being caring to other people.

Despite rumors that Hersi may have surrendered because he fell out with those loyal to Ahmed Abdi Godane, al-Shabab's top leader who was killed in a U.S. airstrike, the fact remains that he made the best choice quitting a terrorist group that mercilessly killed its civilians within and outside its borders.

Hersi later became one of eight top al-Shabab officials whom the Obama administration offered a total of $33 million in rewards for information leading to the capture of the terrorists in 2012.

Recently, Olad Abdirahman Herow another Al-Shabaab operative reportedly surrendered to authorities in Hudur town. On Monday, 17th February 2020, the terror operative who revealed to have been serving Al-Shabaab as a driver for one of the top commanders for more than 10 years presented himself to the authorities and confessed to have been fighting alongside the Al-Qaeda affiliated Al-Shabaab.

It is alleged, that this top commander was among the leaders in the Shura council that were suspended due to differences in their handling of attacks. Herow called on locals to accept him back into the society saying he regrets having worked for the terrorist group. Herow currently has been in the hands of the security agencies and further investigations have been going on.

As the top Al Shabaab members continue defecting and boldly denouncing terrorism it’s becoming evident that the militia group is slowly losing the battle and soon it will be no more. Like in the case of Hersi, the defectors have proved to be relevant in the process of deradicalizing other terrorists and assisting security officers in intelligence gathering. Hersi has worked with the government through months of debriefing programs upon abandoning the militant group but still resides in a government-guarded safe house. He is in constant danger as al-Shabab now sees him as a non-believer.

Time has come where many al Shabaab terrorists are regaining their consciousness and slowly realizing that there is no glory in spilling innocent blood and no man is great enough or wise enough for any of us to surrender our destiny to. The only way to total freedom is doing what is right always without expecting any reward and being caring to other people.



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