ISLAMIC STATE GROWTH IN SOMALIA, May 5, 2016
Intelligence officials have warned of rapid growth of Islamic State off-shoot in Somalia.
Pro-Islamic State in Somalia is an off-shoot of Al-Shabaab an affiliate of Al Qaeda terrorist group.
A faction of Al-Shabaab led by cleric Abdulkadir Mumin split from the jihadist group to start an Islamic State wing in Somalia.
Abdulkadir Mumin decamped from Al-Shabaab faction to pro-Islamic State (pro-IS) in October 2015 with only 20-30 fighters and in the first quarter of 2016, the militant group has grown in numbers.
Pro-Islamic State Somali group now stands between 100-150 fighters.
According Abdi Hassan Hussein, the former Director of the U.S.-backed Puntland Intelligence Agency (PIA), and pro-Islamic State has set up training camps and continues to woo more fighters from Al-Shabaab to shift allegiance to their wing.
The militant group possibly has graduated its first unit of its fighters and is believed to be receiving financial and military support from Yemen
Hussein led PIA until a year ago when he was replaced. His main job was to detect critical militant threats and plan counter-terrorism operations.
Somali Army Commandos earlier in the week destroyed a training camp belonging to pro-Islamic State and foreign militants in Janaale.
Also in Kenya, three pro-Islamic State terrorists have been arrested for plotting to conduct a bio-terror attack.
Security agents within East African asked to re-strategize on how to approach the Islamic State threat within the region.
Arguably, there is need to confront their (pro-IS) ideologies, give them an opportunity to leave the group by protecting them against prosecution citing Al-Shabaab retaliatory attacks directed to their defectors. There is need to create opportunities for the youth.