ISIS Extortion Threats Force Business Closures in Bosaso, Somalia
BOSASO, Somalia (GO) - Disturbing reports out of Bosaso, a city in the northeastern Federal Member State of Puntland, Somalia, reveal a city under siege. Multiple businesses have been forced to close due to threats from the terrorist group ISIS while political intrigue unfolds at the state level.
Numerous entrepreneurs in Bosaso have shared their experiences with the Garowe Online News Agency . They report receiving threatening phone calls from the extremist group, demanding extortion money under threat of their businesses being destroyed.
A particularly chilling instance of these threats was a hand grenade attack on the "Mareero Spare Parts" store. This act of terror has amplified an already palpable sense of fear among the city's business community.
Meanwhile, the National Hospital in Bosaso has reopened after a week-long closure. Reports suggest the hospital was initially shut down after its management refused to accede to extortion demands from ISIS. However, sources now say that the hospital has reopened after negotiating and ultimately paying the demanded extortion money to the terrorist group. In a statement, the hospital confirmed that it continues to serve the public despite the pressure and threats.
One local business owner, the hair salon proprietor, recounted his encounter with the terrorist group to Garowe Online. "They contacted me recently and demanded I pay 300 USD monthly," he said. After bargaining, he reduced the monthly extortion fee to 150 USD.
Simultaneously, political machinations are unfolding in Puntland's capital city, Garowe. The Puntland government has offered no public response to the situation in Bosaso. Instead, attention has been diverted to political matters by President Dani, who is currently in Garowe. There are allegations that the Parliament Speakers is working with the Puntland State House to extend their term illegally. Military vehicles now surround the city, standing guard at the Puntland Parliament headquarters, further heightening tensions.
In April, the Al Macruuf Supermarket was attacked and burned down after its management refused to pay the extortion money demanded by the terrorist group. This incident serves as a stark reminder of the severity of the situation in Bosaso, underscoring the urgent need for a comprehensive response from the Puntland government.