Hiraal Institute: Al-shabaab Does not Invest in Real Estate

Mogadishu (PP News Desk) — Hiiraal, a Mogadishu-based think tank, will argue in a report that Al-shabaab does not invest in real estate. The report is based on a four-month long study conducted by Hiiraal and will challenge findings in a New York Times report on Al-shabaab finances.

“The Shabab, the Somalia-based militant group that is Al Qaeda’s most powerful ally in Africa, is not only collecting millions of dollars in tariffs and payoffs but moving the money through local banks and even investing it in real estate and businesses, according to a new United Nations Security Council report” reported New York Times.

Hiraal Institute report will challenge findings in a New York Times report on Al-shabaab finances.

Hiraal is managed by the former Somalia National Security Advisor Hussein Sheikh Ali. Al-shabaab’s tentacles reach into the Mogadishu Port, where the proscribed group allegedly levies tax on imports.

Last year, the former Chairman of the Somali Chamber of Commerce Abdi Abshir Dhorreh ‘corroborated’ a report on Al-shabaab tax regime in a VOA Somali Service interview.

“Al-shabaab business model partly benefits from the International Community’s peacekeeping strategy that puts resources into peacekeepers’ coffers at the expense of the creation of effective Somali security forces” says Ali Abdi, a security analyst in Mogadishu.

The United Nations Security Council report singled out Salaam Bank for enabling [Al-shabaab] operatives to store and transfer …“ money through accounts operated by Salaam Somali Bank, a leading bank in Somalia.” Salaam Bank denies that sanctioned persons have had accounts with the bank.

© Puntland Post, 2020