On Friday, 2 September, authorities in Somalia’s Southwest administration displayed four militants in Baidoa who reportedly confessed to being part of an aspirant ISIS-affiliated cell operated by Abudlkadir Mumin, whose thought to be based in the Puntland region.
Somalia’s national news agency SONNA has the latest:
The four terrorist members included IS Commander for Bay and Bakool regoins and three others recently sent from the group’s main base in Galgala mountains in Bari region north Somalia.
According to the officials, they are:- [Ali] Mohamed Gabow, Mahad Nuh Sidow, Abdiasis Hassan Mohamed and Mohamed Sheikh Isak.
According to other Somali media reports, the men had expertise in various terrorist equities:
— Ali Mohamed Gabow was the leader, in charge of ISIS issues in Bay and Bakool regions
— Mahad Nuh Sidow was in charge of recruitment and preparing IEDs
— Mohamed Sheikh Isaak was also responsible for explosives
— Abdiasis Hassan Mohamed was responsible for the guerrilla unit
It is unclear to what degree the cell had made inroads in the region.
Several observers on Twitter pointed out that one of the suspects was sporting a pro-Swedish democracy shirt with “Rösta JA!” (translation: “Vote YES!”) — becoming an unwitting proponent of the style of governance for which he purports to fight against.
The timing of the arrest was interesting because it was only two days ago that “big boss” — Abdulkadir Mumin — was designated by the United States as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist with a penchant for kidnapping children to use as fodder in his nascent insurgency.
ISIS has had a difficult time expanding into Somalia due to al-Shabaab’s violent crackdown on its supporters.
However, in May, a VOA report noted that, according to a Somali intelligence official, “pro-Islamic State Somali militants have grown in numbers and are receiving financial and military support from Yemen.”
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