Al-Shabaab’s new quartermaster? Iran.July 17, 2013
In addition to imposing zakat on commodities such as charcoal and sugar, and extorting funds from Dahabshiil wire service, al-Shabaab may be receiving support from Iran, a designated state sponsor of terrorism. Perhaps Iranian aid helps make up for al-Shabaab’s financial setback when it lost control of Kismayo and the lucrative harbor taxes it imposed there.
This eyebrow-raising revelation comes from a UN report disclosed to Reuters:
Exclusive – Arms ship seized by Yemen may have been Somalia-bound: U.N.
By Louis Charbonneau and Michelle Nichols
UNITED NATIONS | Tue Jul 2, 2013
(Reuters) – An Iranian ship laden with arms seized by Yemeni authorities in January may also have been bound for Somalia, according to a confidential U.N. report seen by Reuters on Monday.
Yemeni forces intercepted the ship, the Jihan 1, off Yemen’s coast on January 23. U.S. and Yemeni officials said it was carrying a large cache of weapons, including surface-to-air missiles, being smuggled from Iran to insurgents in Yemen.
The confidential U.N. report, by the U.N. Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea, cited Yemeni officials as saying that it was possible diesel carried aboard the ship could have been intended for shipment to Somalia.
The group, which tracks compliance with Security Council sanctions, raised concerns in the report about the flow of weapons to Islamist al-Shabaab militants since the U.N. Security Council eased an arms embargo on Somalia’s fragile Western-backed government earlier this year…