More re: Al-Shabab, Islamic State, & Mu'min's (& others) Bay'a to al-Baghdadi
The exact number of Al-Shabab fighters in Puntland who joined Mu'min in giving bay'a to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi remains contested. Some sources claim that only two or three dozen fighters, while others say many more up to the bulk of the Puntland branch of AS. There are arguments for the latter, particularly that Mu'min sought support from the rank-and-file in making his decision to pledge. His public pledge has already been condemned by Al-Muhajirun, one of Al-Shabab's East African allies. IS has yet to officially accept, though there is little chance of Mu'min's bay'a being refused. Indeed, it will likely be portrayed in IS media ops as being more important than, at the moment, it is, just as the IS leadership and media apparatus has done with pledges from Algeria and Yemen. There is no question that Mu'min's defection comes at a sensitive time as Al-Shabab is in decline and it thus presents a potentially larger challenge than it would have in previous years.