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Mukhtar Robow
مختار روبوو
Deputy Leader of Al-Shabaab
Personal details
Born 10 October 1969(1969-10-10) (age 52)
Hudur, Somalia
Nationality Somalia
Ethnicity Somali
Religion Islam

Sheikh Mukhtar Robow (Somali language: Mukhtaar Rooboow , Arabic language: مختار روبوو‎), also known as Abu Mansur, was a deputy leader and former spokesman of the Somali militant group Al-Shabaab.

Early life[edit | edit source]

Robow was born on 10 October 1969[1] in Hudur, in the Bakool region in southern Somalia. He studied at a local Qur'anic school, and later continued his religious education in the mosques of Mogadishu as well as those of his home region. A member of the Rahaweyn clan (which is particularly well represented in the Baidoa area), and more specifically of the Leysan sub-clan, Robow also studied Islamic law in the 1990s at the University of Khartoum in Sudan.

Islamic Courts Union and Al-Shabaab[edit | edit source]

Robow subsequently returned to Mogadishu and worked for the Saudi Al-Haramain Foundation, which was later accused by the United States of having links with Islamic terrorists. Robow then taught Islamic education to orphans the foundation was looking after. His Arabic nickname "Abu Mansur" reinforces the theory that he has frequented Middle East radical Islamists.

Robow later served as the Deputy Commander of the Islamic Courts Union, which controlled much of the south of Somalia. A hardline and radical Islamist who fought with the Taliban in Afghanistan in the early 2000s, Robow was blacklisted by the United States as a terrorist leader.[2]

Robow appeared in videos with deceased American militant Abu Mansoor Al-Amriki.

Robow and other leading Al-Shabaab members challenged the leadership of Ahmed Abdi Godane (Moktar Ali Zubeyr) at Barawe in June 2013. Godane killed two of the leading members, and Robow fled to his home district.[3][4] Godane's forces launched an offensive against Robow's supporters, it was reported in August 2013.[5]

On 23 June 2017, United States Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) removed him Reward for Justice (RFJ) list following discussions was made with the Somali government after a USD $5 million bounty was placed on him for information leading to his location on June 7, 2012.[6][7]

On 13 August 2017, he surrendered to the Somali Government authorities.[8] In a press conference held in Mogadishu shortly after, he denounced Al-Shabaab and called on its members to quit the group.[9]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Mukhtar Robow". National Counterterrorism Center. http://www.nctc.gov/site/profiles/robow.html. Retrieved 6 August 2014. 
  2. "US urged to review Somalia blacklist". 12 February 2012. Archived from the original on 7 September 2012. https://archive.is/20120907174950/http://edition.presstv.ir/detail/85464.html. Retrieved 30 August 2012. 
  3. Ugas, Ahmednor (20 September 2013). "Al Shabaab leader speaks out". SomaliCurrent. Archived from the original on 6 September 2014. https://web.archive.org/web/20140906043301/http://www.somalicurrent.com/2013/09/20/al-shabaab-leader-speaks-out/. Retrieved 6 August 2014. 
  4. Abukar, Hassan M. (2 July 2013). "Somalia: The Godane coup and the unraveling of Al-Shabaab". African Arguments. Royal African Society. http://africanarguments.org/2013/07/02/somalia-the-godane-coup-and-the-unraveling-of-al-shabaab-%E2%80%93-by-hassan-m-abukar/. Retrieved 6 August 2014. 
  5. "Somalia: Alshabab leader assigns a commander to launch fighting against Mukhtar Robow wing". Qalin News. 4 August 2013. http://qalin.net/view.php?id=309. Retrieved 6 August 2014. 
  6. "US drops former Al-Shabab leader from 'RFJ List’". Hiiraan Online. 23 June 2017. https://www.hiiraan.com/news4/2017/Jun/142773/us_drops_former_al_shabab_leader_from_rfj_list_voa.aspx. 
  7. "US withdraws $5m bounty on former Al-Shabaab deputy leader". Africanews. 24 June 2017. http://www.africanews.com/2017/06/24/us-withdraws-5m-bounty-on-former-al-shabaab-deputy-leader/. 
  8. "Former Al-Shabaab deputy leader surrenders". CNN. 13 August 2017. http://edition.cnn.com/2017/08/13/africa/al-shabaab-robow-surrenders/index.html. 
  9. "Former senior al Shabaab leader says militants should leave group". Reuters. 15 August 2017. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-somalia-security/former-senior-al-shabaab-leader-says-militants-should-leave-group-idUSKCN1AV14S. Retrieved 30 October 2017. 

External links[edit | edit source]

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