Yesterday, security forces in Dolow successfully intercepted a public vehicle carrying ammunition and IED material en route from Mogadishu to Beled Hawo (Bula-hawa). Upon inspection, the officers discovered the car was transporting bullets for PK machine guns and materials for making improvised explosive devices (IEDs). The driver and conductor of the vehicle were apprehended for further investigation.
Dolow (Doolow), Gedo region, Jubaland, SOMALIA. By Dalmar:
The Commander of the Dolow Police Station told VOA that officers seized the vehicle at a security checkpoint at the entrance to Dolow. “We discovered four boxes of PKM bullets, a 20-litre container with a mixture of chemicals, including diluent and jet fuel, two 10-litre containers with similar chemicals, and three jackets for carrying BKM guns.”
Somalia’s Ministry of Defense was the first to inform about the seizure, stating, “This achievement is a testament to the unity of government agencies and the resolute Somali people. Together, we’re defeating the Khawarij and securing our nation.” Khawarij is a derogative term the Somali government officials often use when referring to al-Shabaab.
While this development is positive for the people of Somalia, as it represents a setback for al-Shabaab, concerns arise regarding the vehicle’s origin. The fact that it travelled from Mogadishu and passed through several checkpoints on its way to Dolow raises questions about how many such cars carrying materials for al-Shabaab successfully reach their intended destinations. The government must take this security threat more seriously and implement stringent checks on public vehicles to prevent the transportation of such materials.
Sources of IED material for al-Shabaab
Today, al-Shabaab is sourcing dual-use components of chemicals and dual-use technologies available in the country and the region. This is due to al-Shabaab’s loss of almost the entire Somali coastline, which prevents the group from importing significant amounts of materials.
While most IED materials are sourced locally, other chemical precursors can be imported from Europe or India, with their original intended use in the mining industry, for instance.