In a rare show of aggression, a militant group associated with Daesh (ISIS) in Syria and Iraq has started levying taxes on businesses in Central Somalia. According to intelligence reports, this group is taking advantage of the vacuum caused by Al Shabaab wrangles and now want to take over Al Shabaab territory.
Reports also suggest that part of Al Shabaab’s Shura Council is secretly in talks with this faction to depose ailing leader Abu Ubaydah.
In February this year, it was revealed that Al-Shabaab was taking huge sums of money in tax from starving villages and forcing children to join its ranks.
In early August this year ISIS struck when Abdirahman Hussein Omar, a deputy manager of a telecommunications company in Qoryoley was killed as he walked out of a mosque. The motives for the killing still remain unclear but sources say they were due to unpaid taxes.
The rift between the two organizations was caused by internal wrangles in Al Shabaab that caused the death of several foreign jihadis after allegations that they were spies for their respective governments.
The aggrieved foreign fighters moved north and formed their own Daesh faction and have been at loggerheads with Al Shabaab ever since. The group is led by Sheikh Abdul Qadir Mumin, a Somali-born British citizen who commands an estimated 300 foot soldiers.
As a result of the unrest caused by these two groups, in late July, the United Nation’s Security Council voted to delay the reduction of troops in the peacekeeping mission in Somalia.