By Fatik Al-Rodaini
Sana'a, March 11, 2012- At least four al-Shabab fighters, the Somali al-Qaeda wing were arrested by Yemeni authorities in Yemen's southern province of Abyan. Yemen Interior Ministry said in its website that the four Somalis were captured on the road between Lahj and Abyan provinces
Recent news mentioned that al-Shabab, the Somali al-Qaeda wing had sent 300 armed men to fight alongside the Yemen-based wing of the militant network. Residents in Abyan province confirmed the arrival of more than 300 Somalis to Shaqera, a coastal town over the past of two months.
Connections between al-Qaeda -linked militants in Yemen and al-Shabab insurgents in Somalia have taken place in the past. Al-Shabab has bought weapons and explosives from Al Qaeda contacts in Yemen using money from piracy and kidnap-for-ransom schemes.
The ties between the two groups have strengthened lately, after nearly a year of daily protests against President Saleh demanding his resignation.
The current unrest in both countries allowed the two groups to move freely across one another borders.According to report published last year, said that the al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula had provided weapons, fighters and training with explosives to a militant Islamic group battling for power in Somalia.
The report stated that the leaders of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula in Yemen also have urged members of the hard-line Shabab militia to attack targets outside Africa for the first time.
Actually, the heads of Al Qaeda in Yemen, acted at times as Bin Laden's go-betweens to the Somali fighters. Among those who tried to forge the alliance was Nasir Wahayshi, an AQAP leader who previously operated as Bin Laden's personal secretary.
In January 2011, Bin Laden and his aides agreed to elevate the Shabab to the same status as Al Qaeda franchises based in Yemen, Iraq and North Africa. But the Shabab's leaders did not adopt the Al Qaeda brand name, fearing it would fracture the group and draw more attention from Western intelligence groups.