Security agencies seize bomb making materials from al-Shabaab

A well coordinated operation has seen the seizure of explosive making materials in an al-Shabaab hideout in the outskirts of Mogadishu. Explosives, electronics, large amounts of black explosive powder, wires, rocket-propelled grenades were recovered from the scene.

In a video clip, the security agencies displayed the substances, disassembled computed, small plastic containers, black substances inboxes, and wires. "In a well-coordinated operation which took place between 26th and 28th of January, 2020, an IED cell belonging to al-Shabaab and IED making substances were recovered," reads a twitter post by a government agency.

Granny killed by al-Shabaab for not paying extortion money

The murderous group al-Shabaab has recently killed a grandmother who stood her ground and refused to give up her livestock as part of the group's extortion money. Members of the blood-lust group had been calling the ailing grandmother of eight for several weeks but she disregarded them and she paid the ultimate price of death.

"This is the mujahideen. Will you pick our call? Yes or no," said one the messages that members of the blood-lust group sent  to her phone several weeks prior to her death. This latest victim is just a representation of the thousands that al-Shabaab kills every year for refusing to pay illegal taxes to the blood-sucking group.

Defectors have previously revealed how al-Shabaab is plundering starving communities of cash and livestock crippling them and shattering their hopes showing the severity of the group's rule and how inhumane it is. The same defectors have also revealed how aid money given directly by the United Nations to people displaced by conflict and famine is ending up in the hands of the blood-sucking group.

Former members of al-Shabaab said the terror group is extorting thousands of dollars per day through road blocks and taxes on vehicles attempting to transport food and supplies meant to help starving communities and internally displaced people in towns where they are concentrated. Even worse, the group targets innocent civilians in its killing spree across the country and then proudly announces it was behind such attacks showing how extended its lust for blood is.

Senior al-Shabab Foreign Fighter Defects in Somalia

One of the most senior foreign fighters with Somali militant group al-Shabab says he has defected and is now in Mogadishu with the Somali government. Zubair al-Muhajir traveled from London to join the group in 2006.  He rose through the ranks and ultimately became a member of al-Shabab’s Shura Council of religious scholars. 

Al-Muhajir, originally from Ivory Coast said that he fell out with the group in 2013 when its Amniyat force arrested him and imprisoned him for three years.  "I defected because al-Shabab, they are lying to the Muslims and to the world,” he said. “They are claiming to implement the Sharia (Islamic law) which is not true because I know from incidents where they went against the Sharia.”He says the group uses Sharia just to “betray the people, fool them, and lie to them.” "The reality of their actions is totally against their Sharia – they are killing innocent people and they are lying to the people.”

Zubair al-Muhajir’s identity and defection has been confirmed through Somali officials and previous al-Shabab defectors. In 2011, al-Muhajir was head of a committee appointed by al-Shabab to mediate a bitter dispute between the late leader Ahmed Abdi Godane and three other commanders – Ibrahim al-Afghani, Mukhtar Robow Abu Mansour and Fuad Mohamed Khalaf Shongole. 

Godane rejected his mediation efforts and the dispute led to the execution of al-Afghani in June 2013.  Robow eventually defected while Shongole is still with al-Shabab.  At the time, al-Shabab detained a number of other commanders and figures suspected of opposing Godane. Zubair al-Muhajir says he was one of the detained. Al-Muhajir says before his defection in October 2019, al-Shabab visited a small shop he ran in Galhareri and asked him to pay zakat.  He said he told them he was ready to pay taxes but could not afford zakat, which is based on a certain amount of accumulated wealth.

"I have an argument with about paying zakat and taxes,” he said. “I showed them that if they want to take taxes from me, I’m ready to give them the taxes but if they want zakat from me, I’m not among the people who pay the zakat.” The Somali government has an open amnesty program for those defecting from al-Shabab as long as they renounce violence and the ideology. 

Al-Muhajir says he first went to the African Union Mission based at the Mogadishu airport.  He is now at a Somali government safe house.  He says he is still waiting to hear from the government on what program they have for him. But Zubair al-Muhajir is clear on what he wants the Somali government to do.

"They have to take the issue of al-Shabab seriously, otherwise they will still kill the innocent people and do it in the name of Sharia,” he said. "They have to take the fight with al-Shabab on the ideology side, because this is the side which is boosting al-Shabab. If the people realize that the ideology is wrong with Islamic proofs, I think al-Shabab will no longer be there for a long time.”

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