The Al-shabaab militant group has recently employed an innovative tactic to counter intensified airstrikes and thermal detection efforts by the federal government and its international partners.
The group has resorted to using space blankets to conceal their body heat, thus evading aerial thermal detection during airstrikes.
The exact duration of Al-Shabaab’s utilization of this tactic remains unknown at present. However, its emergence has raised concerns among security forces and prompted a military response to address this new challenge.
On Monday, a man identified as Jamal Yasin Hassan appeared before a military court in Mogadishu on charges of attempting to transport what appeared to be space blankets from Jilib to Galhareri for use by Al-Shabaab militants. Hassan’s lawyer argues that the material is commercially available in the markets and asserts that the government lacks a compelling case against his client.
During the court proceedings, the suspect claimed that he was not delivering the material to Al-Shabaab but to a businessman, and he had no knowledge of its intended use by the militant group.
The court will further investigate these claims to determine the veracity of the defendant’s statements and any potential connections to Al-Shabaab.
Al-Shabaab, a militant group operating in Somalia, has been striving to overthrow the central government for over a decade.
In response, the government has intensified its efforts to combat the group, with a particular focus on rooting out its members through various means.
To aid in these efforts, the United States, Kenya, and Turkey have been providing support to the Somali government by conducting airstrikes targeted at Al-Shabaab militants. This collaboration has yielded significant results in the past, including the elimination of key figures within the organization.
One notable example is the former Al-Shabaab leader Ahmed Abdi Godane, who was killed in a US airstrike in the Lower Shabelle region on September 1, 2014. In 2012, the US government had placed a hefty bounty of $7 million (£4 million) on his head, only two years after he pledged allegiance to al-Qaeda in 2009. Moreover, Godane’s predecessor, Aden Hashi Eyrow, was also eliminated in a US airstrike in Dhusamareb, central Somalia, in 2008.