Hassan Abdullah Hersi al-Turki

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Sheikh Hassan Abdullah Hersi al-Turki (Somali: Hassan Abdullah Hirsii al-Turki, Arabic: حسن عبد الله حرسي التركي الجامعة‎‎), or "Al-Turki"–"The Turk", was a Somali Islamist and was military leader in the Islamic Courts Union and previously Al-Itihaad al-Islamiya.


Al-Turki (1944-2015) was born in the Ogaden.[1] He hailed from the Reer Abdille subdivision of the Ogaden Darod clan. It is believed that Al-Turki participated in the unsuccessful Ogaden War between Somalia and Ethiopia over control of the Somali-inhabited Ogaden region, and subsequently left the region to continue his revolutionary efforts in Somalia.[2]

On June 3, 2004, Al-Turki was designated, under US Presidential Executive Order 13224, for terrorist financing.[3] He later became a military leader of the Islamic Courts Union (ICU), and was in charge of the Dhobley situated near the North Eastern Province.[4] He also led ICU forces in the taking of Jubaland.

On September 23, 2006, Al-Turki forces approached Jilib, en route to Kismayo. Juba Valley Alliance forces withdrew without a fight.[5] After the city fell, on September 24, he promised peace to the city after Islamic militiamen broke up an anti-Islamist demonstration with gunfire, killing three teenagers.[6] (Also see: Juba Valley Alliance: War In Somalia) Al-Turki addressed people in Kismayo telling them the region would be under the Islamic law. “This city is seized by Islamic forces including all tribes of Somali men, welcome to the new peace brought to this city and I promise you will live in security and prosperity,” Sheikh Hassan Al-Turki reportedly said.[7]

He was later targeted in a US fighter jet strike on March 2, 2008. US fighter jets struck the southern Somali town of Dobley. The bombings by the AC-130 gunships targeted two homes in the town that were allegedly visited by Turki, who is believed to have ties to al-Qaeda.,[8]

Al-Turki was the leader of an insurgent group named the Ras Kamboni Brigades.[9] The group merged with three other resistance groups, including Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys', Asmara based, wing of the ARS to form Hizbul Islam.[10]

Al-Turki died of natural causes on May 27, 2015.[11]