Ibrahim Haji Jama Mee’aad ‘Al-Afghani’

Alias/es: None

Status: Deceased (2013)

Organisation/s: Al-Shabaab

Nationality/ies: Somali

Travel History: United States (1981) Afghanistan (1988), Eritrea, Kashmir

Skills/Education/Occupation: Insurgent tactics

Ibrahim Haji Jama Mee’aad ‘Al-Afghani’ was one of the founding members of Al-Shabaab and served as the deputy to its former leader and long-time mentee, Ahmed Abdi Godane. ‘Al-Afghani’ lends credibility to his experience as an Afghan veteran having fought in the final years of the Afghan-Soviet war after living in Virginia in the United States for 7 years. Al-Afghani is also said to have fought alongside Al-Qaeda and Taliban militants during the U.S invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 (around the same time as Aden Hashi Farah Ayro and Hassan Dahir Aweys).

Considering his background, Al-Afghani was known to share the teachings of Abdullah Yusuf Azzam and was a proponent of the role foreign fighters played within the organisation. Rifts between Al-Afghani and Godane began to emerge when the former Al-Shabaab leader began purging dissenting members, many of whom were foreign fighters like Omar Hammami. In the months leading up to his death, Al-Afghani, along with Mukhtar Robow and Hassan Dahir Aweys, issued a fatwa against Godane’s purge of foreign fighters. Al-Afghani even went so far as to seek assistance from Ayman al-Zawahiri in reigning in the Al-Shabaab leader with no avail.

Al-Afghani was killed in June 2013 by a pro-Godane faction in Barawe. Shortly after, Mukhtar Robow (Abu Mansur) and Hassan Dahiir Aweys defected to the Somali government.