KUALA LUMPUR: A Malaysian has been sentenced to 15 years’ jail by a military court in Mogadishu for assisting the Al-Shabaab militant group operating in Somalia.The Press Attache of Somalia’s Embassy in Malaysia Abdimajit M. Osman said the sentence on Ahmad Mustakim Abdul Hamid was read out by the chairman of the Armed Forces Court, Colonel Hassan Ali Nur Shuuto.
“However, under Somalia’s justice system, Ahmad Mustakim has the opportunity to appeal his sentence,” Abdimajit said.
Ahmad Mustakim was first charged in 2019 after his arrest that year.
He said Ahmad Mustakim, 34, is believed to have entered Somalia in 2009 or 2010.
He said foreign fighters entered Somalia and joined Al-Shabaab to fight the locals.
“The government will take harsh action against any foreigner who sets foot on Somalia to support terrorism activities,” he said.
Somali National News Agency reported that besides Ahmad Mustakim, the military court also sentenced another foreigner who was arrested with Ahmad Mustakim to 15 years’ jail.
“Ahmad Mustakim, for his part, assisted the terrorists with first aid and took part in fighting in Mogadishu and Dhusamareb,” the agency said.
Mogadishu is the capital city of Somalia, while Dhusamareb, which is 510km north of Mogadishu, is the capital of Galmudug state in central Somalia.
Al-Shabaab, al-Qaeda’s most dangerous affiliate in the African continent, is also known for its high-profile attacks, such as the 2013 Westgate Mall attack in Nairobi, Kenya, and numerous assassinations of Somali politicians and military officers.
Although the Al-Shabaab continues to pose a security threat in East Africa and beyond Somalia’s borders, the group has been weakened after numerous killings of its key leaders and members.
The Al-Shabaab has killed thousands of civilians and security personnel in brutal attacks, both within and outside Somalia.
It continues to launch attacks against civilian and military targets in Somalia despite the government’s intensive operations against it for the past years. — Bernama