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Mukhtar Robow has served as the spokesperson for Harakat Shabaab al-Mujahidin’s (al-Shabaab), communicating to the press and public on its behalf. He has also served as al-Shabaab’s spiritual leader and as its military commander in parts of Southern Somalia. As an al-Shabaab military commander, Robow has targeted Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG), Ethiopian, and African Union troops in Somalia. In December 2007, al-Shaabab forces under Robow’s command attacked bases of the Somali government forces, Ethiopian forces, and African Union peacekeepers in Mogadishu. In addition, Robow and former al-Shabaab leader Aden Hashi Ayrow (deceased) were responsible for the November 2006 suicide attack against a TFG checkpoint in Baidoa, Somalia. The attack killed at least eight and wounded four. On November 20, 2008, the U.S. Department of the Treasury designated Robow under Executive Order 13224, which targets terrorists and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism.
Al-Shabaab was the militant wing of the Somali Council of Islamic Courts that took over most of southern Somalia in the second half of 2006. Al-Shabaab has continued its violent insurgency in southern and central Somalia. The group has claimed responsibility for many bombings—including various types of suicide attacks—in Mogadishu and in central and northern Somalia, typically targeting Somali Government officials and perceived allies of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of Somalia. Al-Shabaab was likely responsible for a wave of five coordinated suicide car bombings in October 2008 that simultaneously hit targets in two cities in northern Somalia, killing at least 26 people and injuring 29 others. Al-Shabaab was responsible for the twin suicide bombings in Kampala, Uganda, on July 11, 2010, which killed more than 70 people, including one American. The group is responsible for the assassination of Somali peace activists, international aid workers, numerous civil society figures, and journalists. In February 2012, al-Shabaab and al-Qaida announced their formal alliance.
The U.S. Department of State named al-Shabaab a Foreign Terrorist Organization under Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (as amended) on February 26, 2008, and a Specially Designated Global Terrorist entity under Executive Order 13224 on February 29, 2008.
Date of Birth: 1969 (Possibly October 10)
Place of Birth: Xudur or Keren, Somalia
Nationality: Somali; also posseses Eritrean passport under alias Mukhtar Abdullahi Ali
Aliases: Mukhtar Ali Rubu, Mukhtar Abdullahi Ali, Mujahid Mukhtar Robow Ali, Shaykh Mukhtar Robo Ali, Abu Mansur, Abu Mansour