Much has been said about the sources of funding for Al-Shabab’s Insurgency. I hate to break this news to you, but most of it is far from the truth.
The alleged funding sources are so diverse that it includes individuals and states that are supposed to be on opposite sides of the political spectrum. The alleged list includes Iran, Arab States, and Eritrea(according to the US and Ethiopia), The US, Israel( I am not kidding. This is what other Islamists that are anti-Shabab believe, most notably the Sufis of Central Somalia and the former ICU in the government now), and Egypt( according to the Ethiopians).
What those who believe Iran funds Al-Shabab don’t get is that Al-Shabab think of Iran as Heretical Shias who are there to sabotage Islam. Taking aid from them is out of the question. Besides, with the heavy presence of International Navy on the Somali seas, transporting cargo ships full of Khamenei-approved weapons to Somalia is almost impossible without detection. As for the conspiracy theorists believing that there is an Israeli-American plot to sabotage Islam by supporting Al-Shabab, well, they are just retarded.
To understand their different sources of income, one has to first understand the different branches of Al-Shabab that require funding. Al-Shabab is divided into two main branches, namely The Administrative and The Military(including the feared Amn-Security apparatus) wings. The former is concerned with governing the ‘Liberated’ areas, while the latter ‘liberates’ areas for the former. In Liberated areas, they have Regional, District, and Division Administrations. Each unit convenes a meeting of the businessmen in that area and makes them pay ‘Sadaqa’ (alms) to help the administration. Surely, such sources of income are not enough to fund a 20,000-strong Paramilitary organization. They are barely enough to cover the administrative costs.
The main source of funding for the Shabab war machine comes from two main sources. One is the Zakah that is collected from big companies and rich individuals. The Agricultural Zakah that is collected from the rural areas are mostly used to give to the poor people in those areas. The money Zakah is mostly used for supporting the military wing. This is not to say that most people are against funding the Shabab war machine. In reality, people call Shabab’s Radio stations pledging guns or money.
The other source is the Shabab that have infiltrated the Government. The Shabab have loyalists in all branches of the Government. Some of these Loyalists are even known but nothing is done about them. I will explain the reason why in another Blog post. These Loyalists not only send part of their salaries to Shabab monthly, but they also siphon off Government funds to fund Shabab. This is made easy by the lack of Transparency in the government. Aside from funding the Shabab, their Loyalists in the Government also help in the acquisition of weapons from corrupt Army commanders. The weapons are hauled across the front lines hidden in cargo trucks. Are they searched? Never!
If the funding for Shabab is to be stopped, the Transitional Government has to be removed from the #1 spot as the world’s most corrupt Government.
The wrongful blaming of every state on earth for funding Shabab except the real culprit is NOT the way to win the war. Denial breeds complacency, and complacency leads to failure. They seem to be getting lots of that in the TFG.
Thank you for reading and please do follow for more blogs about The Insurgency in Somalia.
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