7 Al Shabaab militants were yesterday sentenced to death by a Mogadishu court for the crimes of rape and extortion after they were caught in an ambush several days earlier. The 7 suspects were among 9 militants arrested at a small settlement on the Eastern outskirts of Mogadishu after they arrived to take their weekly ‘Zakat’ from the local businesses. Things however turned awry when an Al Shabaab militant met with a Turkish foreigner in one of the curio shops.
‘He mistook the Turkish lady for a Caucasian and shouts of American! American! was heard from within the shop’. Said one witness.
Having caught the attention of the other militants who were out ransacking the other shops, he dragged her into a back room and started to rip her clothes off amid terror-filled screams from the foreigner.
‘I think they agreed that they would each take turns as the others kept watch!’ said another witness.
It was then that the police rushed in and a gunfight ensued. Two of the militants were shot dead on the spot forcing the rest to surrender and were quickly arrested. With a few injuries, they were taken to the hospital and a date was set to arraign them in court.
The judge who was a woman appeared extremely furious with the suspects vowing to teach them a lesson in respect even while using various imagery and referring to nationhood, family and social responsibility.
Al Shabaab has been notorious for collecting taxes which they call ‘Zakat’, a religious term referring to offerings in the Islamic faith. They purport to collect this money in the name of Sharia law but in the real sense, it’s just an extortion operation. This has facilitated most of the funding they require to attack their targets. The Somali government with the help of AMISOM have however taken much of the territory once occupied by Al Shabaab and their sources of funding have significantly dwindled.