Wife of Islamic State leader in Somalia gets 8-year sentence

Mogadishu (Caasimada Online) – A military court in Somalia has handed down an 8-year prison sentence to Fartun Abdirashid Hussein for her affiliation with the Somali branch of the Islamic State militants groups. 

The court found that Hussein, who used the aliases Fa’isa, Asiya, and Faysa, was the wife of the branch’s leader, Abdulkadir Mumuin, and was in charge of the group’s financial operations.

In addition, she offered refuge to members of the organization. She had a professional connection with Bilal al-Sudani, a key financial facilitator for the group who was killed in a US operation in northern Somalia on January 27.

“Fartun Abdirashid Hussein is now married to the head of the Somalia branch of the Islamic State, Abdulkadir Mumin. The couple first made contact over the phone in 2010 when Mumin was a member of Al-Shabab and subsequently got married in Mogadishu in 2011,” the court stated in a statement.

The ruling constitutes another setback for the Islamic State in Somalia following the killing of al-Sudani. 

The Somali government views the threat posed by the group as minimal, with Hussein Sheikh Ali, the National Security Advisor to the President of Somalia, stating that “while the Islamic State does not have a significant presence in Somalia, it is important to note that the group could potentially increase its threat in the future.”

The United States, on the other hand, considers the removal of al-Sudani to be significant, with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin saying in a statement, “the killing of al-Sudani leaves the United States and its partners safer and more secure and reflects our steadfast commitment to protecting Americans from the threat of terrorism at home and abroad.” 

The Islamic State has not established a significant presence in Somalia. However, there have been reports of individuals and small groups in Somalia pledging allegiance to the Islamic State and carrying out attacks.

In 2015, militants supporting the Islamic State broke away from al-Shabab, gaining followers in eastern Puntland, where Mumin’s clan is based. According to experts, the group has 200-300 members in Somalia.