Teacher Convicted for Leading Al-Shabab Operations in Mogadishu

 
A college teacher who is the son of a senior police officer has been found guilty of leading al-Shabab's operations in Mogadishu for several years. A military court in Mogadishu sentenced Mohamed Haji Ahmed to death on Tuesday.  Prosecutors wanted to file charges connecting Ahmed to the death of more than 180 people.  But in the end, he was convicted for being behind the assassination of three generals, a police corporal and a deputy attorney general.
 
In a video recorded and released by the court, Ahmed confessed to working as head of operations for al-Shabab in Mogadishu. "I was head of operation of the city, the region," he said in the video. "There was nothing more nerve-wracking than sending out someone to do something…what will happen to them? Have they been killed?"
He said after an operation, al-Shabab bosses would call him to learn details about how it went, who fired the shots, and how many bullets were fired.

He would also send information to al-Shabab's radio station, Radio Andalus, so the group could claim responsibility for attacks and use it as propaganda. The court sentenced six other al-Shabab members to death, four of them in absentia.  An eighth Shabab member was given life imprisonment. A woman who worked at the Somali Women's Headquarters was also convicted for passing information about the movement of government officials to al-Shabab. Fadumo Hussein Ali, also known as "Fadumo Colonel," was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Ahmed, 27, from Bulomarer town in the Lower Shabelle region, has used multiple aliases over the years to evade authorities. Somali security forces said they have been hearing his name since 2014, when al-Shabab suspects arrested for carrying pistols in Mogadishu's Hamarweyne district said a man they identified as "Hudeyfi" gave them the guns to carry out assassinations. The following year, more detained al-Shabab suspects mentioned the same name.

In January 2016, authorities arrested a man whose phone they had tracked because of contacts with known al-Shabab figures. He told the court he was a college teacher, which was verified, and he was released on bail.  At the time, the officials did not realize that the man they arrested, Ahmed, was indeed Hudeyfi. Over the following years, Ahmed used several other aliases. On November 2, 2016, a traditional elder was killed in Mogadishu. Two men arrested by the police in connection with the killing named their supervisor as "Dahir." 

On December 2018, twin blasts near the National Theater in Mogadishu killed at least ten people including prominent television journalist Awil Dahir Salad. The two men captured in connection with the bombing named "Ilkacase" as co-conspirator.Police have since established that Hudeyfi, Dahir, Ilkacase and Ahmed are the same person. On Tuesday, Ahmed confirmed this information to the court.

"I was originally known as Hudeyfi, but I worked with different groups and I gave a different name to each group," he said. On Tuesday, Ahmed was convicted for the murder of police corporal Mohamed Omar Sheikh Osman, killed in a mosque on February 24 2017; the assassination of military General Abdullahi Mohamed Sheikh Qururuh, killed September 24, 2017; the assassination of Somali deputy attorney general Mohamed Abdirahman Mohamud on February 20, 2019; and the assassination of police General Mohamud Haji Alow on April 27, 2019.

He was also convicted for the assassination of police General Ismail Ahmed Osman on October 28, 2016. Ironically, Ahmed lived in Osman's house in the town of Marka when he was a high school student, after his father asked Osman to help his son, security officials say.
Military courts' prosecutor General Abdullahi Bule Kamey described Ahmed as a "merciless. Police have since established that Hudeyfi, Dahir, Ilkacase and Ahmed are the same person.

Police have since established that Hudeyfi, Dahir, Ilkacase and Ahmed are the same person. On Tuesday, Ahmed confirmed this information to the court.
"I was originally known as Hudeyfi, but I worked with different groups and I gave a different name to each group," he said. On Tuesday, Ahmed was convicted for the murder of police corporal Mohamed Omar Sheikh Osman, killed in a mosque on February 24 2017; the assassination of military General Abdullahi Mohamed Sheikh Qururuh, killed September 24, 2017; the assassination of Somali deputy attorney general Mohamed Abdirahman Mohamud on February 20, 2019; and the assassination of police General Mohamud Haji Alow on April 27, 2019.

He was also convicted for the assassination of police General Ismail Ahmed Osman on October 28, 2016. Ironically, Ahmed lived in Osman's house in the town of Marka when he was a high school student, after his father asked Osman to help his son, security officials say. Military courts' prosecutor General Abdullahi Bule Kamey described Ahmed as a "merciless killer".

"His crimes are unmeasurable," General Kamey said. "He killed the man who raised him, the hand that fed him, General Ismail," Gen. Kamey said. The prosecution said Ahmed spared his father's life only because he wanted to use him as a cover. "He let him live so that he bails him out when captured," Kamey said. Ahmed's lawyers argued that their client should only be punished for the cases that can be proven before a court.
 

Prominent scholar bashes al-Shabaab and its ideology

A Somali scholar has recently bashed and criticized the murderous group al-Shabaab’s religious ideology, alienating the group and terming it as a very dangerous group.

Sheikh Mohamed Abdi Umal, who is among the most prominent and influential Somali scholars, has appeared on Somalia’s national broadcaster, Somali National Television (SNTV), and talked about how such ideologies start and how dangerous they are.

He described several ways in which one can misinterpret the Islamic scripture according in a way that suits their monetary and political gains adding that the worst ideology is the one that spills innocent blood referring to al-Shabaab’s interpretation of Islam.

He then explained how the prophet (pbuh) warned Muslims on the emergence of such groups and how it is an obligation for every Muslim to fight such ideologies.

“The worst thing a person can do is to misinterpret the scripture and justify the spilling of the blood using the scripture. The Prophet (Pbuh) described such people as the worst among nations and that they should be fought and defeated by any means,” he said on SNTV.
 

Al-Shabaab making life unbearable in villages under Elwak

 

Residents of villages in Gedo region’s Elwak district are reported to be living in intolerable conditions under al-Shabaab. Children are forcibly recruited by the murderous group, forcing parents to give up their children including underage girls that are later forced to marry al-Shabaab members.


Businesses are suffering under the blood-lust group as it extorts travellers along major routes and imposes hefty taxes on small businesses that are already struggling. Livestock herders are also robbed by the murderous group causing residents to live in terrible conditions.


A Somali government official in Elwak district told reporters that al-Shabaab has recently forced parents to give up several children in villages under Elwak district adding that the group has caused locals to live in dilapidated conditions.


“Business and movement have slowed down in those villages and people are suffering. The small outputs from small businesses are being taken by this man-eating group. Children are being abducted every single day, brainwashed and recruited by the group. A lot of suffering is being reported in these villages,” the official said.

Small businesses are a back-bone to a country’s production and the blood-lust group is dismantling those businesses becoming a major hindrance to the overall production impacting lives directly.
The murderous group always sets up checkpoints and shuts down some of the roads that farmers and pastoralists use to transport their goods, crippling their businesses and rendering them incapable.
 
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