Puntland ‘concerned’ about ISIS emergence in Somalia

Published: February 27, 2016

Puntland ‘concerned’ about ISIS emergence in SomaliaSomalia’s autonomous state of Puntland President has voiced concerns at the emergence of the Islamic State in the Horn of Africa nation, as fears continue to grow that the global terror outfit are making inroads in the country.
Mr Abdiweli Mohamed Ali Gaas, who is on an official visit to the U.S., has said that they are worried of the so-called Islamic Caliphate to set up bases in the country.
Since last year, Islamic State recruiters have been wooing al-Shabab’s leadership to cut ties with al-Qaeda. In May 2015, the Islamic State, popularly known as ISIS, released a short video in which members of Somali origin referred to al-Shabab fighters as “truthful mujahideen” and urged them to join their transnational state.
‘’There is a group of ISIS affiliates hiding in the Northern mountain ranges. We believe al-Shabaab and ISIS have the same objectives. We are worried of them to gain a strong presence,’’ he said in an interview with the VOA Somali Service.
In December, militants that pledged allegiance to ISIS clashed with al-Shabaab fighters in a remote area in the autonomous region after their brewing hostility turned violent.
Mr Ali called for a collective strategy between the Federal government and regional administrations to counter the group to establish a safe haven.
Pro-ISIS militants who pledged allegiance in August is led by Abdulkadir Mumin, who once lived in London but left to join al-Shabaab in 2010.
Dozens of Somali boys and girls have left their homes in western countries to join the Islamic state fighters in Syria and Iraq.
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