NAIROBI, Kenya — A leader with the Islamic extremist group al-Shabab, who had a US$3 million bounty on his head, surrendered in Somalia, a Somali intelligence official said Saturday.
Zakariya Ismail Ahmed Hersi surrendered to Somali police in the Gedo region, said the intelligence officer, who insisted on anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the press.
Hersi may have surrendered because he fell out with those loyal to Ahmed Abdi Godane, al-Shabab’s top leader who was killed in a U.S. airstrike earlier this year, the officer said.
On Christmas day al-Shabab launched an attack at the African Union base in Mogadishu. Nine people died, including three African Union soldiers, in the attack on the complex, which also houses U.N. offices and western embassies. Al-Shabab said the attack was aimed at a Christmas party and was in retaliation for the killing of the group’s leader Godane.