ISIS in Puntland releases new video declaring Caliphate in East Africa
Bossaso, Puntland - A recent released video by ISIS group in Somalia shows Somali fighters calling other Somalis to join their group, Garowe Online reports.
The video was released on social media on 17 September, shows approximately seventy masked men of Somali ethnicity and foreign fighters carrying weapons and performing Eid prayers under a tree.
Speaking in Somali, Arabic, English and Swahili, the men took turns imploring people in East Africa about Jihad in a bid to recruit more fighters into the so called fight against the government and their allies.
The group vowed to overthrow the state governments, allied foreign forces and warned people from supporting the infidel governments.
It was In October 2015, when Abdiqadir Mumin, a high ranking leader of Al Shabaab group has switched allegiance to ISIS and established the ISIS franchise in Puntland state. The move signified the proliferation of jihadist groups in northern Somalia and risks of raising transnational terrorism in East Africa. In the beginning of September 2016, US State Department has designated Abdiqadir Mumin under the Specially Designated Global Terrorists list for posing significant risk to commit acts of terrorism against US interests.
In the past years Somalia’s Al-Qaeda linked Al-shabaab group based in Galgala Mountains have been waging guerrilla attacks against Puntland government officials, civilians and state security.
But the rivalry to dominate strategic areas in Puntland region has prompted the fierce clashes between Al Shabaab and ISIS in December 2015.
Since then Puntland government remained reluctant to swiftly counter terrorist proliferation in the region and keep it at bay, instead it resolved to let terrorist groups stage war against each other in hope to shift their focus away from targets in the main cities.
However, close sources told GO that the place where ISIS fighters took the video at is bin Ja’el, a valley located east of Bossaso port city, and In light of the government’s ongoing silence over the recent development, GO attempted to contact state officials for comments but no response was received.
The video shows the group is attempting to recruit more followers, “The Caliphate of Prophet-hood came into effect now and it’s spreading everywhere and it’s in Somalia now,” said one the masked fighters in English.
“We thank God for making us his soldiers and chose us to be the Caliphate’s soldiers,” added another fighter in English.
In the video, fighters were seen slaughtering a camel, a ritual practice performed in Eid Adha festive each year.
Puntland region is plagued with attacks from Al Shabaab militants, and recently witnessed twin deadly bombing in Galkayo city.
The weak leadership grapples to organize their security forces and effectively adopt counter terrorism policies to eradicate militants group, amid jihadist proliferation, crippling economy and frequent protests from state civil workers and security forces over unpaid government salaries and entitlements for more than 7 months.
Puntland occupies the region of northeastern Somalia and declared to be autonomous state in 1998 but remains under the Somali federal member states.