According to Terror Free Somalia alQaeda number 2 has been seen in Somalia:
The second man of Al-Qaeda terror network Ayman Al-Zawahiri has been seen for the first time Habar Gidir stronghold Marka town 90km south of Somalia capital as quoted from officials of unnamed money transfer companies and aid agencies on Thursday.Remember what Rusty said, "Watch the Horn of Africa".
“Here in Marka, I have seen an Arab man who was heavily guarded as he was walking inside the town, with his sides we could see foreign armed men. I glimpsed him and he was Terrorist Ayman Al-Zawihiri, the man we often see on the world televisions,” one of the remittance companies said in condition of anonymity.He said all the movements in the town were halted as some of the senior officials of Al-Shabab group confirmed that the man they are hosting is Ayman Al-Zawahiri.
“I could not exactly say he was himself but most of out spoken issue was that the man seen is Al-Qaeda’s second man,” he added.“The presence of Ayman Al-Zawahiri in Marka is widely known, many people saw him but they fear for their security.
Rusty's $.02: It's a rumor, yes. Our friends over at Terror Free Somalia got the rumor from Waaga's Club here. I'll post the entire thing below, but it's in Somali. I can't find anything on Shabelle about it in English.
I have to say, I find it very difficult to believe Zawahiri is actually in Somalia.
Having said that, I've long speculated -- and this goes back years -- that Osama bin Laden is in Somalia. But, to be honest, I always knew that was a longshot. This? An even longer shot.
Zawahiri is much more involved in the day to day operations of al Qaeda than bin Laden -- or so intel reports indicate. I can't imagine he'd take the risk. But then again, maybe he believes his own press and the myth of invulnerability that has grown up around him?
But still, I've already seen Shabaab videos showing fighters who are clearly Arab. Intel sources also say that as long as three years ago al Qaeda fighters were known to help in the training of Islamist insurgents. Today that number is probably far greater.
Especially given last year's pledging of the top Shabaab leadership to Osama bin Laden and recent reports that Shabaab is likely to officially declare itself part of the al Qaeda umbrella. I would find it incredibly naive to think that at least some al Qaeda leaders weren't in Somalia. But the top leader? I dunno.
Jane tells me that there were also rumors floating around that Zawahiri was in Yemen. I expect she'll post an update on that.
Keep an eye on it, though. Sometimes these things turn out to be based on some grain of truth. And if Z-man does turn up in Somalia then all the better since our base in Djibouti is perfectly capable of launching Predator strikes in Somalia. With the added bonus that there's no recognized government around to file diplomatic protests about violations of sovereignty.
Here's the original Waaga article, which I believe is a transcript of a radio interview (could be wrong):
" Eyman al Dawahiri inuu Markka joogo dadka oo dhan way ogyihiin,waxaa arkay dad badan laakiin cabsida jirta waxay tahay qof walba wuxuu u baqanayaa naftiisa,Somalia waxay noqotay bahalo galeen laakiin ku xigeenka Ussama Bin laden ,ma qarsan bareerahiisa,isaga ayaa hore u sheegtay inuu ka taliyo koofurta Somalia"ayuu yiri Masuul ka mida hoowlwadeeno Hay'ad samafal oo ka howlgasha gobolka Shabeeladda hoose.Or is it this one:
Socdaalka ku xigeenka Ussama Bin Laden ku joogo Magaaladda Markka ee istiraatijiga dhinaca badda,waxaa la tilmaamay inay khuseeyso isku shaandheeyn lagu sameeynayo golaha sare ee kooxda Shabaab.
Inkastoo FBI-da Mareykanka ay soo saartay digniin ay uga hadleyso kooxda Shabaab ee Somalia qatarta ka imaan karta hadana in Eyman Dawahiri jooga Somalia waxay noqon kartaa sheeko culus,waloow ay dowladaha Caalamka ka qarsooneyn kooxaha Al Qaeda saameeynta ay ku leeyihiin Somalia.
" Hadii Somalia laga sheego Ussama Bin laden waa loo qaateen,runtii ma qarsoona halista baaxada weyn ee Somalia iyo inay noqotay bahalogaleen,waxaa muhiima in shacabka Soomaaliyeed u guntado sidii kooxaha qaswadayaasha looga sifeeyn lahaa dalka,way muuqataa hada inay dagaal kula jiraan dowladda cusub ee Shariif Sheekh Ahmed,taas macnaheedu wuxuu yahay in Eyman Al Dawahiri iyo kuwa la midkaa ku sii dhuumaaleeystaan Somalia" ayuu yiri diblomaasi reer Galbeeda oo la hadlay Waagacusub Media
Mogadishu 12 March 2009 Waagacusub Media
Ku xigeenka Madaxa Ururka AlQaeda Eyman Al Dawahiri ayaa markii ugu horeeysay lagu arkay Magaalo xeebeedka Markka ee gobolka Shabeeladda hoose sida ay sheegeen Masuuliyiin muhiima oo ka tirsan Hay'adaha samafalka,Shirkadaha Isgaarsiinta iyo Xawaaladaha.Halkaan ka dhageyso Warbixin FBI-da Mareykanka By Haaruun Macruuf
" Waxaa Markka yimid nin Caraba oo aad loo ilaalinayay,ninku mar uu dhex socday Magaaladda waxaa hareerahiisa gaaf wareegayay ilaalo xoogan oo dhamaantood u badan ajnabi,isheeyda ayaa mar ku dhacday,.hubaashii wuxuu ahaa Eyman Al Dawahiri,ninka aanu ka aragno telefishinada"ayuu yiri Masuul ka tirsan Shirkadaha Isgaarsiinta Markka.Halkaan ka dhageyso Shabaabka oo qaadacay go-aankii Xukumadda ku ansixisay ku dhaqanka shareecadda Islaamka
" Magaalada dhan ayaa la joojiyay dhaqdhaqaaqeeda.waxaana Saraakiisha sare ee Shabaab qaarkood noo sheegeen in ninka u martidaa uu yahay Eyman Al Dawahiri,anigu ma oran karo waa isaga laakiin runtii hadal heynta ugu badan Magaaladda waxay tahay inuu Markka joogo Al Dawahiri,ku xigeenka Ussama Bin Laden"ayuu yiri Sarkaal ka tirsan Shirkad Xawaaladeed ku taal Magaala xeebeedka Markka.
Related: Good News: Al Qaeda about to get its first state! [UPDATED]
Crossposted at Jawa Report