Somalia: Puntland cabinet meeting sidesteps new ISIL hotbed
BOSSASO, Somalia, December 31, 2015 (Garowe Online)-Weekly cabinet meeting chaired by Puntland President Abdiweli Mohamed Ali Friday focused more on passing of new bills rather than newly formed terrorist hotbeds in vast Bari region, Garowe Online reports.
Security Minister Abdi Hirsi Ali Qarjab has briefed cabinet gathering on latest security developments including recent deadly infighting between Al Shabaab and the so called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in areas near Bari regional district of Iskushuban.
On December 24, pro-ISIL faction led by former ideologue Abdulkadir Mumin and Al Shabaab fighters clashed in Timirshe, agricultural village approximately some 150km south of Bossaso port city.
Garowe Online has learned that Mumin retreated to ex-Pirate enclave ‘Hul-Anod’ and has more recently begun luring recruits into ISIL via handsome financial pledges. Hul-Anod is a high point overlooking the Indian Ocean according to GO analysts.
Defection from Al Shabaab militants dealt severe blow to Mumin who had since been in charge of treasury in Galgala Mountains.
A press statement released on Thursday afternoon was more or less of every prevailing matter but fresh threats posed by terrorists’ infighting.
Al Shabaab militants are still looking to Mumin’s movement in vicinities around Timirshe and Balidhidin villages, sources have said on condition of anonymity because of the security sensitivity of the issue in phone calls as of Thursday.
The government has not commented on clashes that ensued between the two factions as residents voice concerns over, whether now precarious frontlines may be turning into battlegrounds.
Puntland launched fierce offensives on Al Shabaab hideouts along Golis Mountain range in mid-2010. Despite initial gains, threat relingered in early 2014, when militants opted for unprecedented rampage, mainly in Bossaso port city.
United Nations monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea said in confidential report in October that Al Shabaab Northeast activities still constitute potential threats.