Somalia's Al-Shabab Joins Al-Qaida, Leader Says

Published February 9, 2012 4:18PM (EST)

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Al-Qaida's leader says that the Somali militant group al-Shabab has formally joined al-Qaida.

A video translation by the Site Intelligence group released on Thursday said that al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri gave "glad tidings" that al-Shabab had joined al-Qaida.

Al-Zawahri said al-Shabab would support the jihad movement against what he called the "Zio-Crusader campaign."

Al-Shabab leaders have pledged allegiance to al-Qaida in the past, but the video — which was posted on an Islamic Internet forum on Thursday — is the first formal welcoming of al-Shabab by al-Qaida.

The al-Shabab-al-Qaida alliance in Somalia counts hundreds of foreign fighters among its ranks.

By Salon Staff

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