Puntland Military Court sentences 3 terrorists for belonging to the IS-Somalia (IS-S) terrorist group. IS-S is the Somali branch of the Syria and Iraq-based terrorist organisation known as IS or ISIS. The detainees heard their verdicts in the coastal city of Bosaso in Northern Somalia.
Bosaso, Puntland, SOMALIA. By Jama:
The defendants, facing charges related to their involvement with IS-S, received varying sentences from the court:
Abdullahi Shire Mahamud is guilty of providing bail for IS-S members on multiple occasions. His sentence is five years in prison. Earlier this month, Puntland Intelligence Security Agency (PISA) officers apprehended Shire, a clan elder the group used to ferry its members into the region. Shire waited at the Bosaso Airport to facilitate the transfer of Salman Farah Mohamed to the IS-S territories.
Salman Farah Mohamed has been recently arrested at Bosaso Airport. The court ruled that he was a member of IS-S and sentenced him to a 15-year prison term. The detainee has confessed to his association with the terrorist outfit. He intended to travel to the mountainous part of northern Puntland, where the extremist group has a presence.
Mohamed Ahmed Mohamud was also found to be a member of IS-S. The court sentenced him to 10 years for his involvement with the terrorist group.
Mogadishu Airport security lapse
What has raised serious concerns after the suspects’ arrest was the fact that Salman Farah Mohamed arrived in Bosaso on a flight originating from Aden Adde International Airport in Mogadishu. The discovery ignited a debate surrounding the competence and vigilance of security officers at the airport, particularly those of the National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA).
The question remains whether the suspect’s boarding of a flight from Mogadishu was a result of a security lapse or a deliberate act by individuals sympathetic to the extremist group. In both cases, it signifies a severe failure of security agencies responsible for safeguarding Somalia’s main airport.
Puntland’s counterterrorism efforts
Puntland, a semi-autonomous region in northeastern Somalia, has been the only Federal Member State to actively combat both IS-S and al-Shabaab within its territory. The State has succeeded in preventing the extremist elements from getting a foothold in population centres using policing and ensuring buy-in to governance in the region. The latest sentencing underscores Puntland’s determination to root out terrorism and maintain security for its residents.