In March 2012, Ikrima warned Storm of growing pressure from the Kenyan security apparatus. "So you need to be extra carefull (sic) they dont get a single trace of anything coz they are now tracing a sister who was a widow of one of the london 7/7 bomber," he wrote, a reference to Samantha Lewthwaite, who is believed still to be in Kenya and is wanted by Kenyan authorities.
Storm told CNN that in 2012, he was offered a substantial sum to help Western intelligence agencies find Ikrima, known to his handlers at that point as Ikrima al Muhajir. He said Ikrima was in Kismayo, Somalia, when they last communicated in mid-2012, shortly before Kenyan forces pushed Al-Shabaab out of the port city.
One of Ikrima's associates was Abdelkadir Warsame, who was detained by the U.S. military while crossing by sea from Yemen to Somalia in April 2011. Warsame had been involved in establishing training and weapons transfers with AQAP.
Another close associate of Ikrima, according to Storm, was Jehad Serwan Mostafa, an American Al-Shabaab operative still at large. The United States has offered a $5 million reward for information leading to his capture.
Intelligence sources say Ikrima is thought to have first gone to Somalia in 2006 and subsequently worked for two Kenyans prominent in Al-Shabaab and al Qaeda: Harun Fazul and Saleh Nabhan.
Nabhan was a senior Kenyan al Qaeda operative, and he was among the U.S. government's most wanted terrorists. He was suspected of helping to orchestrate the 1998 East Africa Embassy bombings, a 2002 bombing on a Mombasa resort, and a near simultaneous failed missile attack on an Israeli airliner taking off from Mombasa's airport. Ikrima became one of his trusted insiders, according to Storm.
Nabhan was killed in a raid by U.S. special operations forces on a convoy traveling south along Somalia's coastal road in September 2009. A younger relative of Nabhan, Omar Nabhan, was among the gunmen killed at Westgate, Kenyan authorities say.
If Ikrima survived the weekend attack by U.S. special operations forces and is able to continue operating, Kenyan authorities will be concerned about his ability to continue developing al Hijrah cells in the slums of Nairobi and Mombasa, Kenya.
A Kenyan expert on the group, Robert Ocholar, tells CNN that Kenyan security services have driven al Hijrah underground but in the process made the group more unpredictable and dangerous. Ocholar says he was made aware in 2011 of a camp in Kenya's Eastern Province used by Al-Shabaab as staging ground for recruits going to Somalia.
Ocholar says that in Kenya, there is more radicalization among young Muslim Kenyans than among the sizable Somali community.
That in part may be down to the activities of Ikrima, aka Mohamed Abdikadir Mohamed.