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Hormuud Telecom has been adversely mentioned in connection with the Al-Shabaab attack in Nairobi

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Thursday January 02, 2020 - 07:21:17 in Latest News by Super Admin
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    Hormuud Telecom has been adversely mentioned in connection with the Al-Shabaab attack in Nairobi

    In late August 2019, Hormuud Telecom, issued a series of statements claiming that unspecified units of AMISOM's Kenya Defense Forces contingent were directly or indirectly involved in bombing and destruction of its masts in Gedo region64. It is

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In late August 2019, Hormuud Telecom, issued a series of statements claiming that unspecified units of AMISOM's Kenya Defense Forces contingent were directly or indirectly involved in bombing and destruction of its masts in Gedo region64. It is instructive that hard on the heels of this claim, on 25 August 2019, the Federal Government Hormuud Telecom's Economic Terrorism Along Kenyan Border Targeting Safaricom Plc, Strategic intelligence, July 11, 2018, Accessed September 9, 2019
Hormuud Telecom Destroys 13th Kenya’s Safaricom BTS Mast Site, was Involved in Dusit D2 Terrorist Attack,”



  1. Hormuud Telecom Destroys 13th Kenya’s Safaricom BTS Mast Site, was Involved in Dusit D2 Terrorist Attack

of Somalia condemns attack on Hormuud Te l e c o m m u n i c a t i o n company in the Gedo region, which it blamed on the Kenya Defense Forces troops.65 This was quickly followed by what  was  perceived 

Figure 17: Communication Mast, Kenya


as Hormuud’s retaliatory attacks on telecommunication masts in Kenya. On September 5, 2019, Al-Shabaab operatives sponsored by Hormuud Telecom attacked and destroyed 13 base-station masts on the Safaricom site at Jabir in Mandera County along Kenya-Somalia border.66


According to intelligence reports, two dozen of heavily armed Al-Shabaab fighters were involved in the attack. On September 8, 2019, Hormuud reportedly paid Al-Shabaab an estimated $3 million to facilitate the militants’ operations in Northern Kenya.67 Locals (who share Somali language with Al-Shabaab) said the militants were boasting that they had the ability to destroy the Safaricom masts to give business leverage to Hormuud in return for good money ($10,000-$50,000)68.At the behest of Hormuud, Al-Shabaab has


  1. "Somalia: Government Condemns Attack on Hormuud Telecom’s Mast,” All Africa, August 25, 2019; retrieved on September 8, 2019.
  2. "Telecom Destroys 13th Kenya’s Safaricom BTS Mast Site, was Involved in Dusit D2 Terrorist Attack,” Strategic Intelligence, September 6, 2019, Accessed September 9, 2019.
  3. Walter Menya, "Somali telco behind mast attacks, report says,” Daily Nation, September 8, 2019; retrieved on September 9, 2019.


  1. "Hormuud Telecom Destroys 13th Kenya’s Safaricom BTS Mast Site, was Involved in Dusit D2 Terrorist Attack,”


Hormuud Entrepreneurs and the Al-Shabaab Resurgence


continued to target Safaricom Base Transmission Stations along the border.69 Hormuud was abetting crime and openly funding terrorism in its approach to expanding business dominance in sections of Juba regions in Somalia and Northern Kenya.


Even more worrying, Hormuud Telecom has been adversely mentioned in connection with the Al-Shabaab attack on the Dusit D2 Complex in Nairobi, on January 16, 2019 where 21 people died and and several others injured. According to intelligence reports, Hormuud used the offices from where it managed and controlled business—a white-walled and brick-red roofed stand-alone mansion along Ring-Road, Kileleshwa in leafy business suburb of Riverside, just about 100 meters from Dusit D2 Hotel— to provide logistical and operational support to Al-Shabaab terrorists who attacked the up-market facility.70 Similar evidence has emerged of Hormuud’s involvement in terrorist attacks inside Somalia as part of its business approach to gain monopoly over its business rivals. business.

 


  1. " Telecom’s Economic Terrorism Along Kenyan Border Targeting Safaricom Plc,” Suna Times, September 06, 2019; accessed September 12, 2019.
  1. Strategic Intelligence, " Telecom Destroys 13th Kenya’s Safaricom BTS Mast Site, was Involved in Dusit D2 Terrorist Attack,” September 2019.

Hormuud Entrepreneurs and the Al-Shabaab Resurgence


  1. Enter Ilhan Omar and the Tragic Tweet

 


On August 25, 2019, Hormuud officials met the United States Representative for Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District, Ilhan Omar, in Washington. They requested the first-ever Somali in US Congress to weigh in on the company’s their campaign against attacks by African peace-keepers. This was an attempt to rope in the Somali diaspora and internationalize Hormuud’s campaign for control over Jubaland.71

 

Figure 18: Ilhan Omar


Ilhan agreed. On August 25, 2019, she tweeted her support for Hormuud. "Somali government and peacekeeping forces need to 71IPG interviews in Mogadishu, August 2019.

protect Hormuud and the Somali telecom industry”, she tweeted, adding that "they were enormous contribution to the economy and provide vital services”. 72 "I believe pathways to progress must be harnessed and protected, specially in the face of continued terror attacks and instability. Companies creating jobs and access to financial markets are a partner in obtaining and retaining lasting peace,” she wrote.

Hormuud’s Ilhan campaign backfired. Her statement drew negative media publicity and criticisms even within the Muslim community.73 Things got ugly. One commentator charged that Ilhan had become an "online apologist for terrorists”.74 On September 7, 2019, in a news commentary, a representative of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy condemned her for supporting "the wrong side of Somalia”—the Al-Shabaab terrorists. He accused Ilhan of failure to focus on her constituency (Minesota), which had recorded large incidences of radicalization of Jihadists.75


Her tweet put a sharp spotlight on Al-Shabaab-Hormuud link, and the company’s role in perpetrating terrorism. On August 29, 2019, Omar was reminded in the media


  1. Ilhan Omar Tweets Support for One of Al-Shabaab’s ‘Chief Financiers’, The Minnesota Sun, September 6, 2019, retrieved September 10, 2019.
  2. "Judicial Watch Rep Omar Declares Support for Terrorist Financier’s Company in Her Native Somalia,” The Lowa Standard, September 4, 2019; retrieved on September 8, 2019.
  3. "Ilhan Omar Defends Notorious Somali Terror Group on Twitter -HORMUUD TELECOM”, Suna Times, September 06, 2019, accessed September 20, 2019.


  1. "TV-ga Fox News ee Mareykanka oo Telecom ku sifeeyay Shirkad,” Fox News, September 7, 2019; retrieved on September 8, 2019.


  Hormuud Entrepreneurs and the Al-Shabaab Resurgence


that her publicly declared support for Harmuud came barely a year after a 2018 UN Security Council report revealed that two Harmuud Telecommunications employees were connected to the October 14, 2017 terror attack.76 The two were prosecuted for facilitating in the most deadly terrorist attack by allowing entry of cars loaded with bombs through the Sinka Dheere checkpoint, in the outskirts of Mogadishu.77


The Ilhad-Israeli-Trump Controversy


Ilhan’s tweet dragged in Hormuud into a mucky political and diplomatic row involving the Congresswoman, Israeli authorities and US President Donald Trump. Writing for The Times of Israel, Mohammad Tawhidi, a Muslim Imam, went into great depths to expose Hormuud’s connections to Al-Shabaab. "Mrs. Omar has publicly called for the protection of Hormuud”, he wrote.

"Yet Hormuud Telecom has been mentioned as a sponsor of terrorism, not once, not twice, but many, many times”, he added78.

 

  1. United Nations Security Council Report, November 7, 2018.


  1. Mohammad Tawhidi, "NEW: Ilhan Omar Calls for the Protection of a Notorious TERRORIST Organization,” The Times of Israel, August 29, 2019; retrieved on September 9, 2019.
  2. On August 15, 2019, Israel decided to block Ilhan Omar and her Democrat female Palestinian-American colleague Rashida Tlaib from entering the country. Ilhan had also been embroiled in a protracted political tussle with US President Donald Trump, who warned Tel Aviv against allowing the two Muslim members of his country’s Congress to visit. "It would show great weakness if Israel allowed Rep Omar and Rep Tlaib to visit,” Trump said in a tweet on August 14, 2019. "They hate Israel and all Jewish people, and there is nothing that can be said or done to change their minds,” he added. Mohammad Tawhidi, "NEW: Ilhan Omar Calls for the Protection of a Notorious TERRORIST Organization,” The Times of Israel, August 29, 2019; retrieved on September 9, 2019.
  3. Source:  Reaping the Whirlwind

    Hormuud Entrepreneurs and the Resurgence of Al-Shabaab

    Report of the Investigation into the link between Hormuud Telecom and the Al-Shabaab Operations in Somalia

    October (2019) International Policy Group (IPG) Nairobi Kenya 



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