Murtala Mohammed Kamara, AfricaNews reporter in Freetown, Sierra Leone
A senior military officer attached to the Sierra Leone ministry of defense has said that the recent threat by Al Qaeda link Somalia Islamist group Al Shabab does not come as a surprise to them.
The officer who was speaking on condition of anonymity to AfricaNews at the Defense headquarter in Freetown said the threat by Al Shabab is just part of their media propaganda strategy to scare of opposing forces.
He said Sunday’s threat by Al Shabab could not be underestimated but the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF) will go ahead with planned deployments to the trouble East African nation of Somalia.
The officer who noted that he is not speaking on behalf of the army told AfricaNews that defense officials are meeting and they will soon issue a press statement on the subject.
On Sunday, Al Shabab issued a warning against the small West African state not to deploy troops to Somalia. A report from www.raxanreeb.com quoted Sheikh Hudeyfa in a statement from an Al Shabab run radio that Sierra Leone will collect dead bodies if they send troops to Somalia to support the African Union Forces, AMISOM.
“We, as the Mujahidin in Somalia tell the government and the people of Sierra Leone not to dispatch their boys to Somalia otherwise they will collect more bodies from here as failed Kenyans do.”
“We will fight them as we fought against the crusaders of Kenyans, AMISOM and the Christian Ethiopians.” He vowed,’’ Hudeyfa threatens.