Somalia’s al-Qaeda-allied Shebab rebels Saturday mocked a U.S. offer of up to $33 million for tip-offs enabling the arrest of its top leaders, saying they would give 10 camels to anyone who helped locate Barack Obama.
The highest price put up by the U.S .State Department on Thursday was for Shebab chief Ahmed Abdi aw-Mohamed -- more commonly known as Godane or Abu Zubayr -- with a $7 million bounty for information on where he is hiding.
“I can assure you that these kinds of things will never dissuade us from continuing the holy war against them,” said another senior Shebab leader, Fuad Mohamed Khalaf, or “Shongole”, in a message carried on several websites.
“There is nothing new in the fact that infidels pay to have Muslim leaders killed. They already did that by offering camels for the head of Prophet Mohammed, and the dollar is the camel of today,” he said.
He was referring to an offer of 100 camels made for the prophet when he was fleeing Mecca for Medina, according to the Quran.
Khalaf added: “Whoever informs the mujahedeen fighters of the place where Obama can be found will get 10 camels and for (U.S. Secretary of State Hillary) Clinton, we will offer 10 roosters and 10 hens.”
The State Department said in a statement announcing the bounty for seven Shebab leaders that “the group is responsible for the killing of thousands of Somali civilians, Somali peace activists, international aid workers, journalists and African Union peacekeepers”.
The Shebab still control large parts of southern Somalia, but African Union troops, government forces and Ethiopian soldiers have clawed back several key bases from the insurgents in recent months.