Film shows ‘Al Qaeda’ giving aid in Somalia

Kadijo Suleyman, an internally displaced person from southern Somalia, holds her malnourished child in front of her makeshift shelter on Aug. 25, 2011, at the Taraboonka IDP camp in Mogadishu.

Reports last month showed a white man who claimed to be a representative of Al Qaeda handing out food aid and Korans in a camp run by Al Shabaab.

The man was said to a US citizen and went by the name of Abu Abdulla Almuhajir and was photographed at the Ala-Yasir camp at ‘K50’, 30-miles outside the capital Mogadishu.

The BBC broadcast an audio clip of Almuhajir addressing a press conference in English, speaking with an American accent.

It was not the first time that English-speakers with American or British accents have narrated broadcasts. A Shabaab film of the fighting in Mogadishu last year titled ‘The Crusaders Graveyard’ was narrated by a London-accented man who appears in the final scene wearing camouflage fatigues and with his face hidden.

Now The Guardian has shown this fascinating short film shot by Somali freelance journalist Jamal Osman in Ala-Yasir last month.

It includes footage of the American-accented Almuhajir as well as interviews with a British man who claims to be an Al Qaeda member and senior Shabaab officials as the group tries to “win hearts and minds” in the midst of Somalia’s ongoing famine.