A military court in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, has sentenced an ISIS operative to 15 years in jail for his role as a tax collector for the militant group. The convict, Warsame Hassan Abdi, was arrested by security forces in October 2022 while he was involved in extortion.
According to the court statement, Abdi joined ISIS in 2020 and worked in the mountain areas of the Bari region. He was convicted of being involved in collecting taxes and extorting money from local residents on behalf of the militant group.
Abdi has a month to appeal against the sentence. The sentencing of Abdi is a significant victory for the Somali security forces, who have been working to combat the threat posed by ISIS in the country.
ISIS was formed in 2015 by former fighters of al-Shabaab, who deserted the group following a disagreement with the top leaders of Al-Shabaab, an al-Qaeda affiliate group that mainly operates in south and central Somalia.
The group’s leader and founder, Abdulkadir Mumin, also a former Al-Shabaab cleric, pledged his allegiance to the then-IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in 2015. Since then, the group has carried out a series of attacks in Somalia, targeting security forces and civilians.
The sentencing of Abdi is a reminder of the ongoing threat posed by ISIS in Somalia and the need for continued efforts to combat the group’s activities. The Somali government has been working to strengthen its security forces and improve coordination with international partners to address the threat posed by militant groups in the country.
Despite these efforts, the security situation in Somalia remains fragile, with frequent attacks by militant groups causing widespread suffering and displacement. It is hoped that the sentencing of Abdi will serve as a deterrent to others involved in extremist activities and contribute to the overall efforts to restore peace and stability in the country.