MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – In a new audio message, Al-Shabaab spokesman Ali Dhere said on Saturday the United States had put in place new mechanisms to “loot the wealth of Somali citizens.
In response to recent government statement purporting that a number of alleged Al-Shabaab bank accounts had been closed, Ali Dhere said the US had hired banks and other agents inside the heavily-fortified Halane base in Mogadishu whose duty is to close the bank accounts of Somali businesspeople, in an effort to hamper the Horn of Africa country’s booming economy.
“You know that the US froze bank assets belonging to Somali people in 2001 with a pretext that they belong to terrorists. Al-Shabaab did not exist at the time. Decades later, the US admitted that those allegations were fallacious but the frozen assets have yet to be returned to their owners,” Ali Dhere said.
The militant group’s spokesman alleged that there are banks sharing the information of their Somali customers with the US officials in Halane base and warned that they would be forced to refund any confiscated bank asset.
It comes weeks after Somali parliament endorsed the limited sanctions bill, allegedly, without quorum. MPs, including veteran journalist Mohamed Ibrahim Moalimuu, said the bill was translated from a foreign language and was aimed at crippling the nation’s economy.
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