AXADLE, Puntland – A Puntland military court has sentenced an Al-Shabaab suspect to death and jailed four others after being convicted of complicity in terrorism, officials said on Sunday in the latest harsh verdict aimed at neutralizing the militants, who have wreaked havoc on the country. Somalia.
It is the first time that Puntland, the federal state of northern Somalia, has sentenced members of al-Shabaab in as many months, following a wave of terrorism-related incidents that rocked the country. oil-rich region, especially from March to July, something which led to sophisticated operations.
Puntland Special Forces have targeted Al-Shabaab and ISIS on various fronts in the mountainous areas of the Bari region, which has significantly degraded terrorist groups attempting to pose a security threat.
The court sentenced Mohamed Mohamed Said to death for terrorism-related incidents after pleading guilty, officials said. He said he coordinated al-Shabaab attacks for months and spearheaded the recruitment of young people into the terrorist group.
Four other convicts were sentenced to different prison terms because of their offenses established by the military court. Three of them were sentenced to 15 years in prison while the fourth was sentenced to 15 years in prison after admitting his mistakes according to the military judge who presided over the trial.
Without a strong justice system, Somalia has relied on military tribunals commonly called courts martial to convict hard-core criminals, primarily those associated with Al-Shabaab. The tribunal received praise from members of the public for instilling discipline in Somalia.
Al-Shabaab militants had stepped up attacks in Puntland, including the murder of Governor of Nugal in Garowe in April. In addition, activists have taken responsibility for the death of Governor Mudug in Galkayo, a town on the border of Puntland and Galmadug, in addition to launching persistent attacks on the seaside town of Bosaso.
The attacks forced the US Africa Command to launch the very first airstrike in Puntland a few months ago, which, among other things, eliminated a high-ranking foreign fighter attached to ISIS. The US military has targeted militants through various airstrikes this year.
While Al-Shabaab’s presence in Puntland is minimal, the state struggles with a growing number of ISIS-Somalia militants. This group had lost interest enough after being embroiled in a fight with Al-Shabaab, leading to an endless ideological struggle between the two groups.
Al-Shabaab has nearly 7,000 combatants active in Somalia, mainly based in the center and south of the country. The joint military operations have significantly reduced the influence of the terrorist group, which is also under financial strain according to intelligence sources.