Hormuud telecom Caught between Al-Shabaab-ISIS Rivalry in Somalia

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Friday January 03, 2020 - 03:46:04 in News In English by Super Admin
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    Hormuud telecom Caught between Al-Shabaab-ISIS Rivalry in Somalia

    The entry of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria(ISIS) and new splinter groups have challenged Al-Shabaab's dominance in Somalia. In 2015, a few hundred fighters abandoned Al-Shabaab and pledged allegiance to ISIS whose fighters are mainly based

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The entry of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria(ISIS) and new splinter groups have challenged Al-Shabaab's dominance in Somalia. In 2015, a few hundred fighters abandoned Al-Shabaab and pledged allegiance to ISIS whose fighters are mainly based in the mountainous area of Galgala in north-eastern Somalia. Hormuud and other Somali companies paying taxes to Al-Shabaab find themselves caught between a rock and a hard place.




Figure 23: Hormuud Caught between Al-Shabaab-ISIS Rivalry in Somalia


The rivalry between the two main militants’ groups in Somalia has been escalating. Al Shabaab supremacy and longevity came into question in October 2015 when Abdiqadir Mumin, a former Al-Shabaab ideologue who was part of a Puntland-based faction of the



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Reaping the Whirlwind

 



group, defected to ISIS. An intra-jihadi battle has arisen in Somalia. The Islamic State in Somalia (ISS) or Abnaa ul-Calipha has been courting and converting Al-Shabaab foot soldiers and members.90 On December 16, 2018, ISIS claimed that it had killed 14 Al-Shabaab fighters in a clash in northeastern Somalia. According to Amaq, an ISIS news agency, the fighting took place at Bi’ir Mirale village in the Puntland region.91


On 21st December 2018, Somalia’s Al-Shabaab militants announced a military offensive against Islamic State-affiliated forces in Somalia. According to Al-Shabaab spokesman Sheikh Ali Mohamud, "a so-called Islamic State has emerged in our land and started to attempt to divide our Mujahidin [jihadist fighters], weaken our strength and carry out assassinations against our own. We have been ignoring their wicked behaviors for some time to give them a chance to change, but they have continued their wrongheadedness.”92


On August 7, 2018, ISIS militants killed telecommunications official Abdullahi Ali Omar in Bosaso for not paying up and also claimed responsibility for recent shootings of at least eight employees of Hormuud company.93 By mid-2018, the Somali National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) estimated that ISS had around 200 members throughout the country, almost all within Puntland. By May 2018, ISIS propaganda outlets claimed responsibility for the targeted killings of eleven Somali government officials and security

 


  1. 90.Yosef Shmuel, ISIS in Somalia Expanding its Presence Despite Al-Shabaab Waging Attacks against its Fighters, Intelligence Briefs, April 3, 2019 Accessed September 9, 2019.
  2. "Isis Claims Killing 14 Al-Shabab Fighters in Somalia,” 7dnews, December 17, 2018, retrieved on September 8, 2019.


  1. "Somalia’s Al-Shabab Declares War on Pro-Islamic State Group,” Voice of America, December 21, 2018, Accessed September 9, 2019.


  1. "In Somalia, Businesses Face ‘Taxation’ by Militants,” VOA, December 3, 2018, Accessed September 9, 2019.





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Hormuud Entrepreneurs and the Al-Shabaab Resurgence

 


personnel in Mogadishu.94 In late April 2018, the arrest of an ISIS operative with bomb-making equipment in the capital averted yet another attack from the group. Two more assassinations were reported in June 2019.95


This is traced to competition over revenue generation between the Al-Shabaab and rival ISIS militants. The rival groups are targeting companies to an unprecedented degree with demands for taxes.96 In December 2018, Al-Shabaab group killed eight Hormuud employees following a disagreement over finances.97 The group is reported to operate by instilling fear among the residents. This is done by leaving a trail of bodies as a warning to those who don’t cooperate. Somali intelligence sources say IS militants killed telecommunications official Abdullahi Ali Omar in Bosaso on August 7, 2019 for not paying up.


  1. Somali intelligence agency arrests two Islamic State members in Mogadishu, May 24th, 2018, Accessed September 9, 2019
  2. "Incident Reports up to May 2018,” Hiraal Institute, Accessed September 9, 2019.


  1. 96.Maruf Harun, "In Somalia, Businesses Face ‘Taxation’ by Militants,” VOA News.


  1. Harun Maruf, "In Somalia, Businesses Face ‘Taxation’ by Militants,” VOA News, December 3, 2018; retrieved on September 9, 2019.

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