Somalia's al-Shabab joins Al Qaeda, leader says

NAIROBI, Kenya -- Al Qaeda's leader says that the Somali militant group al-Shabab has formally joined Al Qaeda.

A video translation by the Site Intelligence group released on Thursday said that Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri gave "glad tidings" that al-Shabab had joined Al Qaeda.

Al-Zawahri said al-Shabab would support the jihad movement against what he called the "Zio-Crusader campaign."

Al-Shabab leaders have pledged allegiance to Al Qaeda in the past, but the video -- which was posted on an Islamic Internet forum on Thursday -- is the first formal welcoming of al-Shabab by Al Qaeda.

The al-Shabab-Al Qaeda alliance in Somalia counts hundreds of foreign fighters among its ranks.