Washington (Caasimada Online) – The United States Treasury Department took decisive action against terrorism on Thursday, targeting Abdiweli Mohamed Yusuf, identified as the key figure behind the Somalia-based Daesh terrorist network.
This aggressive move included imposing sanctions on Yusuf and officially designating him as a global terrorist, as reported by Anadolu Agency.
The US believes Yusuf to be instrumental in sustaining the terror group and facilitating the transport of foreign fighters, supplies, and ammunition.
His position within the organization allows him to channel funds and strategic guidance to Daesh subsidiaries and networks throughout Africa.
The extremist group in Somalia, affiliated with Daesh, is known for its extortion practices. They ruthlessly target local communities, coercing them for funds and recruits, often utilizing violent threats, per the Treasury Department’s statement.
Terrorism exploiting institutional vulnerabilities
“The sanctions imposed today are a testament to the US’s unwavering commitment in supporting our partners, including the Federal Government of Somalia, to counter terrorist financing and bolster national and regional stability and security,” stated Brian Nelson, Under-Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.
Nelson, currently in the Somali capital of Mogadishu, engaged in discussions with President Hassan Sheikh Mahamud.
They focused on counterterrorism finance, debt relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) program, and the continued offensive against the Al-Shabaab terrorist group, according to a statement from the Somalia presidency.
The recent imposition of sanctions on Yusuf isn’t the first US action against Daesh’s activities in Somalia.
In November of the previous year, sanctions were enforced on the group’s weapons trafficking network and its senior members.
Further intensifying the pressure, a US airstrike earlier this year eliminated Daesh leader Suhayl Salim Abd El-Rahman, also known as Bilal Al-Sudani.
This campaign against the terror organization targeted the group, especially in Somalia’s mountainous Bari region.
Daesh’s terror reign in Somalia
Somalia has been a hotbed of insecurity for years, with Daesh and Al-Shabaab being the primary threats. The latter group has claimed responsibility for several attacks in the Horn of Africa nation.
Daesh’s activities in Somalia led the US State Department to designate it as a Specially Designed Global Terrorist 2018.
The United Nations, echoing these concerns, issued reports last year warning of rising insecurity in the country as both Al-Shabab and pro-Daesh groups increased their terror attacks.
According to UN data, the toll of these attacks in Somalia has been significant, with at least 651 deaths and 867 injuries in 2018 and an identical number in 2019.
As the US continues its fight against terrorism, the situation in Somalia remains under global scrutiny.