Wednesday, February 01, 2023
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A Verbatim Transcript of the words of an Alshabaab Wife

By Aweys Omar Mohamoud Phd

A video has recently emerged of a woman said to be the wife of Mahad Karate, the notorious al-Shabaab militia leader accused of playing a key role in suicide attacks and assassinations in Somalia and other countries in the region. In the video, the woman is apparently answering questions being asked by no less than two interrogators/interviewers who seem unable to take turns when questioning her. She claims to being detained in Godka Jilacow, an erstwhile infamous detention facility run by the National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) in Mogadishu.   

Al Shabaab women member

If a terrorist is an individual who uses violence, terror, and intimidation to achieve a result, she clearly sounds to be one. A chilling reminder of her bloodcurdling radical ideas comes out when she opines that she’d be willing to blow herself up in order to kill or injure all the people around her.

What kind of a person could be so cold-hearted and destructive as to be willing to give up her own life in the process? What kind of mindset plans and executes mass murder with no concern for the value of human life? Your guess is as good as ours, but you can read the full verbatim transcript of her interview in the following paragraphs. 

‘Wife’ of AlShabaab deputy leader, Mahad Karate: “If I call on the apostate government to be destroyed in wherever they’re found, but you won’t broadcast my message. The media will suppress it, so don’t waste my time.”

Interviewer/interviewers: … [inaudible].

‘Wife’ … “I believe that information is going to be suppressed, so don’t waste my time”.

Interviewer/interviewers: Which speech are you saying will be suppressed?

‘Wife’ … “the government must be killed; the president must be killed; the prime minister must be killed; the parliament must be killed; the ministers must be killed. If I say that, do not suppress it; air it. That’s what I call for. I’m not declaring that all Somali people are infidels or apostates. But the pseudo-Somali government that’s holding me and filming me today, I declare them to be non-Muslims because they don’t rule the country by Allah’s Kitaab (holy book). They govern by a constitution and laws at the behest of the gaalo (infidels). For this reason, I don’t believe they’re Muslims.”

Interviewer/interviewers: … [inaudible].

‘Wife’ … “there are gaalo (infidels) in Somalia. Where I am today, I hear people say it is Godka Jilacow (name of a detention facility in Mogadishu run by the intelligence services), I don’t know anything about it, Allah knows best. But that’s what some of you told me! I believe the people in here are all gaalo (infidels).”  

Interviewer/interviewers: And, more broadly, the government itself?

‘Wife’ … “I specifically mean the government. That the government and all the people who work or associate with it are gaalo (infidels).”

Interviewer/interviewers: Who then is the target of your jihad?

‘Wife’ … “The jihad will be waged against the gaalo (infidels), the kuffar, whichever country they come from. It will also be waged against the murtadin (apostates), calal-uusta (a derogatory word used by AlShabaab members/supporters for the FGS security personnel), bii-esta? (Puntland Security Forces?), each and every one of them. That’s what I believe.”

Interviewer/interviewers: How long have you been a member?

‘Wife’ … “Say, how many years have I been in love with them [AlShabaab]?”

Interviewer/interviewers: It wasn’t just about love, was it? You were working for them. You had a role in radicalizing young people to join the group. That’s what you were doing? When did you join them?

‘Wife’ … “I can answer that question. Seven years.”

Interviewer/interviewers: What were you doing in those years?

‘Wife’ … “I was studying religion.”

Interviewer/interviewers: And you were also teaching others?

‘Wife’ … “I didn’t do much of a teaching myself. But whenever Allah SWT (Subhanahu wa ta’aalaa) enabled me to do so, I did teach people.”

Interviewer/interviewers: All the killings and destruction your group have done, what’s your answer to this country?

‘Wife’ … “I’m happy with it [meaning she’s happy with the killings and the destruction].”

Interviewer/interviewers: What do you believe about this country?

‘Wife’ … “We want this country to be governed by Allah’s law and the Sunnah of the prophet. Stop ruling by the Taghut (false dieties) and the [man-made] laws. We’ve got a Kitaab (holy book). We’re not gaalo (infidels); we’re Muslims. If we’re not going to be governed by Allah’s laws, then Allah says ‘kill them.’”

Interviewer/interviewers: … [inaudible].

‘Wife’ … “Let even President Farmaajo (former President) rule us by it, if he wants to do so. Let’s be ruled by the Islamic religion. But if we’re not going to be governed by the Islamic religion, we’re not willing to renounce our position.”

Interviewer/interviewers: … [inaudible].

‘Wife’ … “We don’t recognize that as religion. That’s a position advanced by it [the government]. I’ve not transgressed against hapless mothers, their children and Muslims; and they weren’t harmed by my ideas. Only the kuffar (unbelievers) were harmed. I’m also a Somali, and a muslimah. I believe people like you are murtad (apostate), so leave me alone.”

Interviewer/interviewers: The religious scholars … [unintelligible].

‘Wife’ … “Where’s the government that we could support. There’s no government here to support.”

Interviewer/interviewers: Who would you see as a legitimate government to have your support?

‘Wife’ … “I’d support the Islamic government that governs by Islam.”

Interviewer/interviewers: Isn’t our government based on Islamic laws and the Shari’ah? ‘Wife’ … “There’s no Islamic law here. This government is called the federal government. Don’t joke about its’ name, and don’t give it a praise that it doesn’t deserve. The federal government is said to be a sovereign entity. I don’t know what that means.”

Interviewer/interviewers: Is that how the government was defined for you?

‘Wife’ … “I don’t need no definition; I can see it for myself. If I don’t accept the apostate government; that’s why I’m [detained] here. Was I caught waging war? It’s just that I don’t believe the apostate government’s ideology.”

Interviewer/interviewers: … [unintelligible].

‘Wife’ … “No, I still haven’t reached that deep level of iman (faith). I hope and pray that Allah will give it to me.”

Interviewer/interviewers: But you were preparing for it?

‘Wife’ … “It would’ve been appropriate to commit a suicide bombing act in a day like this to take out all of you here by an explosion, but I don’t have the explosive kit”.

Interviewer/interviewers: But what’s the basis of your argument for such an (a suicide bombing) act?

‘Wife’ … “Hate of gaalo (infidels); I have too much hate (for them). I hate so much the gaalo (infidels) and those who work with them who don’t rule by Allah’s kitaab (the holy book of Allah).”  

Interviewer/interviewers: What proof do you have that all the people you’re killing (or maiming) in your explosions are all of them gaalo (infidels)?

‘Wife’ … “The verses of Allah SWT (Subhanahu wa ta’aalaa) give me the proof. I say to you if you learn the meaning of the Kalima Shahadah – Laa ilaaha illalaahu (statement of faith); if you examine Kitaabu At–Tawxiid (the book of towhid – the oneness of Allah), and learn the tafsiir of the Holy Qur’an, you’ll understand the rules that govern the Muslim person and those that govern the non-Muslim. I know those who are against me.”     

Interviewer/interviewers: How can you disobey Verse 4:93 of sūrat l-nisāa which clearly states the following: “Whoever kills a believer intentionally – his recompense is Hell, wherein he will abide eternally, and Allah has become angry with him and has cursed him and has prepared for him a great punishment”?

‘Wife’ … “My answer is that I’m not killing a believer. They are not believers. The apostate government is not a believer.”

Watch the video of the interview.

Dr. Aweys  Omar
Email: [email protected]


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