Horn Dispatch Weekly Security Brief 02.20.24

Somalia's Attorney General Sulayman Mohamed Mohamud at a recent event in Mogadishu Somalia. (Photo Credit: AG X page)

Somalia Froze Bank Accounts for Terrosim Financing  

Somalia says it froze more than 1,600 bank accounts linked to terrorism-related crimes.

The Attorney-General Suleiman Mohamed Mohamud told state-owned Somali National Television Thursday the country’s Financial Reporting Centre (FRC), a government agency that investigates economic crimes, reported more than 116 cases of terrorism financing last year.

Mohamud said 70 cases were forwarded to the Banaadir court in Mogadishu for prosecution. 

Somali authorities blocked at least 350 bank accounts, 405 mobile money accounts and 18 mobile money operators that facilitated the flow of funds said to have been extorted by the al-Qaeda-affiliated group.

Somalia Bans Facemasks, Hats 

The Somali government has banned wearing facemasks and hats in Mogadishu to prevent al-Shabab attack.

The mayor of the Banaadir region, Yusuf Hussein Jim’ale, also known as Madale, directed security forces to enforce the ban on facemasks, hats, and guns in the streets. 

The ban comes as the city witnessed a series of bomb, gun and mortar attacks blamed on al-Shabab.  

The security forces have been successful in containing al-Shabab fighters, causing damage, deaths, and destruction of the capital, Mogadishu, but the group’s threats remain.

Airstrike ‘Kills Cuban Doctors’ in Somalia  

Somali militant group al-Shabab said in a statement that a U.S. airstrike killed two Cuban doctors held by the group since April 2019.

Al-Shabab said the doctors who were kidnapped in the Kenyan border town of Mandera were killed in the town of Jilib.

The US Africa Command, which supports the Somali government in the fight against al-Shabab, said it conducted airstrikes against the terror group on Thursday near Jilib town.

On Saturday, Cuban authorities said they are in communication with their counterparts in both African countries to check the credibility of the information that the doctors were killed Thursday in an alleged U.S. bombing Thursday.

Airstrike in Somalia Killed 7 al-Shabab Militants

At least seven al-Shabab members were killed and four injured in an aerial attack in Kuntur Waret District, Lower Shabelle region. 

Witnesses say the security operation targeted al-Shabab members meeting at around 11:30 PM.

In recent weeks, the Somali government and allied foreign forces have conducted a series of airstrikes against al-Shabab hideouts in South and Central Somalia, killing dozens of fighters. 

Man Arrested After Found with Explosives in Mogadishu. 

Somalia’s National Intelligence Security Agency (NISA) arrested a man allegedly carrying explosives in Mogadishu.   

The intelligence agency said, “NISA forces have intercepted a bag containing explosives intended to harm the people of Abdiaziz District in the Banadir region. The man carrying the bag has also been arrested.”

Somali Forces Destroy al-Shabab Bases in Central Region 

The Somali government forces and clan militias said it destroyed the al-Shabab base outside the town of el-Dheer in the Galguduud region.

The security forces say it launched the military operation to drive the al-Shabab fighters out of forested areas near Ali Yabal village.

The militant group al-Shabab claims to have killed six government soldiers in the operation and seized weapons. 

The Somali National Army and allied clan militias have captured dozens of villages and towns in the central regions.

Clan Militia Kill 3 Accused of Spying for al-Shabab   

A clan militia allied with the government killed three business people accused of spying for al-Shabab in Din-Lawe village, Middle Shabelle region.

Privately owned Radio Kulmiye reported that three people were killed after al-Shabab fighters attacked the village, leading to hours of fighting. 

The clan militia has been supporting the government forces in its offensive against the terror group since 2022.

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