Several prominent companies in the coastal town of Bosaso have been compelled to close their doors due to ominous threats from the ISIS militant group, according to local traders.
Major commercial entities, including Towfiq, Gufurre, Horseed, and Omaar, have taken the precautionary step of temporary closure following explicit warnings. The group warned the traders that they would suffer the same fate as the previously burned companies in the Bari region of Bosaso.
advertisementsSources suggest that the targeted companies received coercive demands, requiring substantial financial contributions of hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes.
Last April, the group threw hand grenades at Al-Maruf and Fadhisame, killing two people and causing extensive damage to the companies’ properties, which burned down.
However, Puntland Police Commander Major General Mumin Abdi Shire stated that the attack was carried out by a terrorist group based in the mountains of the Bari region. Their purpose was to intimidate business people in Bosaso into paying bribes to the terrorist group in Puntland.
The regional state of Puntland has urged the Bosaso business community not to adhere to these stipulated directives. As of now, no arrests have been made in connection with the previous incidents of arson.
Earlier this year, Somalia’s government threatened to sanction businesses that pay extortion money to Al-Shabaab, looking to choke off a lucrative cash pipeline the Islamist militants use to fund a deadly insurgency.
The federal government has warned that the full force of the law will be brought against traders who pay the Al-Qaida ally.