Who are these Shabaab commanders posing with Al Jazeera reporter?
An Al Jazeera journalist has claimed that he met unnamed Al Shabaab commanders who Kenya had announced that they had killed “a few years ago.”
Hamza Mohamed posted on his social media accounts an undated picture of him and two grinning Al Shaabab commanders captioned: “Kenya said it killed these Al Shabaab leaders in airstrikes few years ago. I met them on my last trip to Somalia.”
The photo showed him dressed in a purple-grey a shirt, khaki pants and a camouflage military-style cap. The commanders are dressed in well pressed fatigues, black turbans and machine gun holsters. The body language of the trio is jovial and they seem to be sharing a hearty joke.
The picture elicited hundreds of comments most praising his heroics while others questioned his allegiance.
Nairobi News contacted Ministry of Interior Security and Coordination trying to authenticate the picture and get a clarification on the commanders.
Mwenda Njoka, the ministry’s spokesman, waved away the allegations with a curt reply: “This is a Photoshop as you can see the hand of the ‘reporter’ is floating…” he said.
Surprisingly, despite hundreds of comments and reactions, no one was able to identify the two heavily armed commanders by name.
We could therefore not ascertain the date this photo was taken, the identity of the fighters and if it’s true that they were killed or not.