Militants loyal to Somalia’s Al Shabaab have reportedly imprisoned one of their own leaders, Sheikh Yusuf Sheikh Issa, better known as Kabkutukade.
Kulmiye, an independent broadcaster in Mogadishu, and other news outlets reported the imprisonment late on Friday. The news was first made public by pro-Shabaab websites on Friday.
Sheikh Kabkutukade is a long-term Al-Shabaab militia leader and was the movement’s governor in charge of Middle Shabelle region, north of Mogadishu.
Individuals close to Sheikh Kabkutukade reportedly said the hardliner clergyman had contacted them.
“He told us that he and his companions were imprisoned,” they said, adding that mobile phones and weapons were taken from them.
Reports did not indicate when and where the governor and his mates were held.
Although it is not officially known why one of the old guards of Al-Shabaab was jailed, information being dispatched by the media indicated that Kabkutukade was first invited to attend a religious awareness seminar.
He was allegedly called by Ahmed Abdi Godane, the top leader of Al-Shabaab, who is also known as Sheikh Mukhtar Abdurahman Abdurahman Abu Zubayr.
The Harakatu Al-Shabaab Al-Mujahedeen (Movement of Youth Jihadists) has recently been plagued by internal rift.