Congresswomen Ilhan Omar called for the protection of a Somali company with clear and known terror connections. The company, Hormuud Telecommunications, was founded and is run by Ahmed Nur Ali Jim’ale, a chief financier of the al-Shbaab terror organization, al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Somalia.
Somali government and peacekeeping forces, need to protect @Hormuud and the Somali telecom industry as they make enormous contribution to the economy and provide vital services.
During my visit to Somalia in 2011, I was surprised by the quick evolution of technology in Somalia. https://t.co/u1vAht8sUo
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) August 25, 2019
As Tawhidi points out, a 2009 UN Security Council report detailed the involvement of Jim’ale and Hormuud in financing al-Shabaab.
“According to the July 18, 2011 report of the Somalia/Eritrea Sanctions Committee’s Monitoring Group (S/2011/433), Jim’ale is identified as a prominent businessman and figure in the al-Shabaab charcoal-sugar trading cycle and benefitting from privileged relationships with al-Shabaab.”
“Jim’ale is identified as one of al-Shabaab’s chief financiers and is ideologically aligned with al-Shabaab.”
“As of fall 2007, Jim’ale established a front company in Djibouti for extremist activities called the Investors Group. The short term goal of the group was, through the funding of extremist activities and weapons purchases, to destabilize Somaliland. The group assisted in smuggling small arms from Eritrea through Djibouti into the 5th region of Ethiopia where extremists received the shipment. As of mid-2008, Jim’ale continued to operate the Investors Group.
“As of late September 2010, Jim’ale established ZAAD, a mobile-to-mobile money transfer business and struck a deal with al-Shabaab to make money transfers more anonymous by eliminating the need to show identification. As of late 2009, Jim’ale had a known hawala fund where he collected zakat, which was provided to al-Shabaab.
“Jim’ale also controls Hormuud Telecommunications (“Hormuud”). Hormuud Telecommunications is a company identified as being one of the single largest financiers of al-Shabaab, which includes large lump sum payments to al-Shabaab in the hundreds of thousands of dollars and these payments to al-Shabaab were facilitated by Jim’ale.
“Hormuud Telecommunications has provided key material and logistical support to al-Shabaab to include weapons, private fighters, and ammunition.”
A 2018 UN security council report from 2018 details how Hormuud employees were prosecuted in connection for a 2017 terror attack, which killed 582 people, the deadliest in the country’s history. The employees were charged with facilitating the entry of the vehicle used in the attack through a checkpoint on the outskirts of Mogadishu.
The U.S. listed Al-Shabaab as a foreign terrorist organization in 2008. The group is responsible for some of the most horrific terror attacks in history, from the attack on the University of Kenya in which al-Shabaab gunmen killed 147 people and injured 79 to the mid-day attack of the upscale Westgate mall in Nairobi, Kenya in 2013, in which at least 59 were killed and 150 injured.
The group threatened to carry out similar attacks on malls in the U.S., Canada and the UK.
The group is also believed to be behind the wholesale slaughtering of tens of thousands of elephants and rhinos in Kenya, whose horns are sold to finance their activities at a rate of more than a half a million dollars per month.
Omar’s plea for protection of Hormuud is the result of either two scenarios: ignorance – which, as an elected representative is inexcusable and at the very least deserves a correction (of which none has been forthcoming by Omar) — or support of Hormuud’s activities, including those of al-Shabaab.
We’re waiting to hear from Omar which it is …