The Somali authorities have announced that they have received a huge amount of sulfuric acid. In a brief message Wednesday, intelligence services said they had seized 79 tons. An item that, according to Mogadishu, was intended for the terrorist group Shebab.
The smugglers have been arrested and will be brought to justice, the NISA agency said. A seizure announced three years the day after the bloody attack in October 2017, when the explosion of a truck bomb left more than 600 dead in Mogadishu.
as reported from Nairobi,
For years, the Shebabs have been bringing products into Somalia that they use to make explosives. Sulfuric acid, for example, is a component of nitroglycerin, a powerful explosive that has been repeatedly detected on Islamist bombs.
Thanks to their networks, corruption and smuggling, the terrorists manage to recover the goods from neighboring countries. But as they infiltrated the ports, the circuit also passes by sea. In June 2019, for example, 700 bags of ammonium nitrate were found off the coast of Oman, on a boat heading towards Somalia.
Terrorists do not hesitate to redirect products that have arrived legally. In March 2019, the MV Oriental Queen delivered 180 tons of explosives, 165 tons of ammonium nitrate and detonators. The cargo was sent to a road and port construction site.
However, experts are concerned about the risk of hijacking when, despite the arms embargo, there are no restrictions on the transport of commercial explosives. The dealers in the Port of Kismayo also admit the sale of fertilizer to farmers living in areas under Shebab control …
In addition, there is an increase in the needs of the armed group, which as before is not satisfied with using equipment stolen from army populations. Islamists are increasingly using remote-controlled explosive devices. We do know, however, that since at least 2017, they have been making their own.