Recent reports have revealed that the Al Qaeda linked Al Shabaab terrorist group is desperately looking for new ways to fund their illegal activities in Somalia. According to reliable sources, the terror outfit has turned to using small children to traffic drugs such as marijuana.
Somalia is known for its strict drug laws. This means that any related activities such as cultivating and growing cannabis, using it, possessing it even if it is not yours or even if it is in small quantities as well as selling it have severe punishments. Those found in possession of marijuana can be sentenced to prison or pay a fine or both.
The group has lost large territory following the continued liberation of towns by the Somali army and AMISOM troops in the once war-torn country. This has weakened the group financially and thus resulting in trafficking drugs.
Al Shabab who are known for kidnapping and turning women and children into sex slaves in their camps have resulted in using women to package the marijuana and small girls to transport it. Hundreds of children who have been kidnapped by the group are groomed by the terrorists to transport drugs across towns without detection.
Tactics like kidnap, torture, severe physical attacks and threats to rape and kill are used to coerce the young recruits. Young girls are usually forced to hide the packets of marijuana in their head wrap. By using the young girls to transport contraband, the militia group is striving to go undetected as they would easily avoid detection.
Drug trafficking is a new method for the terrorist organisation to finance their activities. Their strongholds have been targets of recent attacks by security forces after they lost the support of the local community.