UN experts say al-Shabab extremists in Somalia remain “a potent threat” to regional peace and are manufacturing home-made explosives, expanding their revenue sources and infiltrating government institutions.
The panel of experts report to the Security Council, circulated on Tuesday, says a significant escalation of US airstrikes targeting al-Shabab militants and leaders has kept the group “off-balance” but has had “little effect on its ability to launch regular asymmetric attacks throughout Somalia.”
The panel also reports on the arrest last December 17 of a Somali national linked to the ISIS extremist group in Bari, Italy, in connection with a planned attack on the Vatican and other targets to coincide with Christmas celebrations.
The experts say that “the plot was rudimentary and had little chance of success.”
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