It appears the attack yesterday on an African Hotel by the African ISIS affiliate Al-Shabaab terror group which killed 15 people and wounded scores more was a paid job. Somalia is a failed state beyond repair and rife with corruption and while Al-Shabaab is a legitimate terror group, they are also not above being opportunistic hired thugs to do corrupt politicians and business men’s dirty work for money. When you study who was killed in this attack I think AL-Shabaab saw this as a perfect way to rid themselves of some arch enemies and make some cash at the same time.-SF
Having been in Mogadishu for three weeks and living outside of the green zone in a guesthouse near Villa Somalia, I have had the opportunity to meet and talk with a wide variety of people—from top-ranking generals to local businessmen to owners of hotels and security companies. The one question I brought up with them all was, “How is Al-Shabaab (AS) still able to pull off these large-scale attacks in the city and conduct kidnappings and high-profile assassinations?”
What I have been told by a number of sources here in Mogadishu is that AS militants get used as local hit-men—other business have been known to facilitate these attacks. Now, having been here a while, I can understand this and have no doubt that it is true. If a rival business is doing well and they become your competitor, what better way to bring them down than to hire Al-Shabaab to kill them for you? No one will know, much less be able to prove, that Al-Shabaab was simply a proxy. Now I know what you are thinking: Who would do this and why? Let me give an example.
If you own what most outsiders need here—for example, a hotel—it is big business. Everyone who comes needs somewhere to stay. This brings big money if you are getting outside business from foreigners who are staying at your hotel. This is not so good if you own a nearby hotel that isn’t getting that business. But still, it is not worth killing over, right? But if that person is from a different clan, well…that’s worth fighting over here in Somalia.
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