March 4, 2016: A Somali military court has sentenced an extremist journalist for conspiring with the al Shabaab militants to kill his fellow journalists.
The radical journalist, Hassan Hanafi Haji aided the jihadi group in identifying possible targets amongst the journalist between 2007 and 2011. According to reports at least 25 journalists were murdered within the period mentioned herein.
Hanafi joined the al Shabaab armed wing after working as an al Shabaab mouth piece in its radio-Radio Andalus. While working for Radio Andalus he would target journalists, threaten them with death if they refused to join the militant group.
Radio Andalus is the official propaganda mouth piece for the al Shabaab.
Hanafi was arrested by police in Somalia’s neighbor Kenya where he had fled to and was deported back to Somalia to face trial. He confessed to murdering 5 journalists:
- Mahad hmed Elmi (2007)
- Ali Iman Sharmake (2007)
- Said Tahlil Ahmed (2009)
- Mukhtar Mohamed Hirabe (2009)
- Sheikh Nur Mohamed Abkey (2010)
The court located in Mogadishu ruled that Hanafi be executed by a firing squad at a date to be announced.