Mogadishu – Salah Nuh Ismail, 53, was among those who killed 13 people in the suicide attacks near the city’s main airport, the al-Shabab group said, the militants said in a radio broadcast.

Also known as Salah Badbado, he quit the Somali parliament in 2010 after denouncing lawmakers as “infidels”.

Al-Shabab is fighting to oust Somalia’s weak internationally-backed government.

The large airport area in Mogadishu is a secure “green zone” for UN operations, the 22,000-strong African Union peace force and foreign embassies.

In the broadcast aired late on Tuesday on the militants’ radio al Andalus, Ismail, also known by the nickname of Badbaado, said in audio recorded before the attack that he would be one of the suicide bombers.

Government officials were not immediately available for a comment.

Somalia is scheduled to hold a presidential election next month and security analyst say al Shabaab could take advantage of the distraction caused by campaigning to launch more attacks.

Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, al Shabaab’s military operation spokesman, confirmed Ismail’s participation in the attack.

“Salah defected from the parliament in 2010, joined us and repented and he became a martyr today,” Abu Musab told Reuters.

“The current so-called Somali government lawmakers should follow suit. We are telling them to take part in the jihad via the same procedures,” the spokesman added.

Ismail, who was from Somaliland, joined parliament in 2009 as one of 275 Islamists nominated by former President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed. He joined al Shabaab the following year, accusing the government of abandoning religious principle