Small Wars Journal

Somalia's Frightening Network of Islamist Spies

Somalia's Frightening Network of Islamist Spies by Mary Harper – BBC News

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Somalia's militant Islamists remain relatively undiminished, despite a 12-year UN-backed campaign against them, largely thanks to its sophisticated web of spies, writes the BBC's Mary Harper…

I presume some of the people who track my movements in Somalia are part of the militant group's ruthless intelligence wing, the Amniyat. Others might be people who work on a "pay-as-you-go" basis, receiving small sums for imparting information.

Even more terrifying is the way the militants track people they want to recruit, threaten or kill.

"Al-Shabab are like djinns [spirits]. They are everywhere," said one young man the militants wanted to punish because he sold fridges and air conditioners to members of the UN-backed Somali government and the African Union intervention force [Amisom], both considered enemies by al-Shabab…

Read on.