UN: Al-Shabab remains ‘potent threat’ in Somalia and region

A Somali soldier patrols next to the burnt-out wreckage of a car that was used by suspected al-shabab fighters. (File photo: AFP)

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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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 14:05 - GMT 11:05
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