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Militant head 'too radical' for Bin Laden

THE militant behind the Nairobi assault was deemed to be too radical and hot-headed even by Osama bin Laden, who rebuffed his request for a formal alliance with al-Qa'ida.

Bin Laden warned Ahmed Abdi Godane, the "emir" of al-Shabaab, against forcing sharia on the local population before it was ready.

In a letter found in the former al-Qa'ida leader's compound after his death, he said Godane should "remain devout, patient and persistent in upholding high moral values ... towards the community". Bin Laden advised the aspiring global jihadist not to harm too many Muslim civilians in his attacks on Amisom, the African security mission in Somalia, suggesting he should "review this matter".

The letter was dated August 7, 2010, a month after al-Shabaab suicide bombers killed 74 people watching the World Cup final in Kampala, Uganda, which the group said was retaliation for the country's involvement in Somalia. The attack led to the US placing a $7m (€5m) bounty on Godane.

The declassified file was among 17 published by the Combating Terrorism Centre at West Point, the US Military Academy. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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