On 10th July 2018, the Somali terror group attacked and destroyed a strategic ‘mediated cross-border communication –base transmission station (BTS) mast owned and operated by Safaricom, in Hamey, Garissa County of Kenya. The terrorists also attempted to attack the area administration police camp, but were repulsed by border security and patrol forces. The destruction of the BTS is an interesting event. According to intelligence reports, 2 dozens of heavily armed Islamists conducted the attack, and that a Somali telecommunications company identified as Hormund, is sponsoring the attacks.
Hormuud Telecom Somalia Inc, a privately owned telecommunications company based in Mogadishu, Somalia, is sponsoring the destruction and decommissioning of a strategic ‘mediated cross-border communication –base transmission station (BTS) mast owned and operated by Safaricom along the border with Somalia so as to get a monopoly of border communications coverage contracts with both AMISOM, NGO’s operating along the border, and joint warfare special teams operating along the border.
Tracing the money. Terrorist groups have become increasingly adept at eluding detection through use of cash, sophisticated laundering operations, or legitimate front companies. Monetary practices embedded in Muslim culture, such as donating to charities and informal money-transfer centers, have compounded the difficulty in tracking down terrorist financial links. This will be Hormuuds cover. It’ll use a spirited campaign to refute the claims. Hormuud knows that, despite heightened efforts to track terrorist financiers, the vastness of the modern financial system means government officials often find themselves looking for the proverbial needle in the haystack.
Episodic Evidence. Shabaab Mujahideen continues to sally against specific Kenyan based targets. These cross-border attacks qualify a transnational profile. It is a boon to the terrorists image while serving the private interests of the telecom. There’s something to take home here. The company has contacts in the Al-Qaeda offshoot who they’ve negotiated terms with. The Shabaab claims to have ability to destroy the Safaricom Masts to give Hormuud business leverage in return for good money, maybe 10k-50k American dollars. This is abetting crime and funding terrorism.
The company is among Somali companies and international humanitarian organizations that pay the Al-Qaeda affiliate in Somalia, Harakat Shabaab Mujahideen, to operate and provide services in Somalia. Humanitarian organizations funded by the United Nations have been paying tens of thousands of dollars to distribute relief food and provide humanitarian services in the East African country. Hormund has however gone out of its way and paid terrorists to outbid a Kenyan Company.
The payments made to protect Hormuud BTS’s in Gedo and Juba regions in Somalia are sponsoring terrorism in Kenya. Al-Shabaab has continued to repay the favor in kind, targeting Safaricom Base Transmission Stations along the border. Hormuud has sponsored these attacks so as to achieve monopoly of strategic ‘mediated and converged cross-border communication services to army, NGO’s, and other security organizations.