ISIS fighters release training video in Puntland
The Islamist militant’s threat continues to multiply in Somalia with recent reports showing fighters allied to the Islamic State on Sunday, sighted undergoing intensive training in Bari Mountains, northeast of Puntland. Since the beginning of this years, the group has remained silent with minimized activities in Somalia citing their frequent rivalry with the Al-Qaeda affiliated Al-Shabaab besides being hunted by security forces. Multiple reports show the fighters pictured carrying heavy artillery and other small arms. According to a credible source, the militants are being trained at Abu Bakri al-Qurayshi and Abu Hassan al-Muhajir military camps. This is the first time ISIS-Somalia was releasing photos of its activities in war-torn Somalia, after facing imminent survivability threat from Al-Shabaab and security forces taking refuge in Bari and Golis mountains in Puntland. The militant group has been resilient and having braved numerous airstrikes by the U.S. military and seeing this kind of training can only mean, they are preparing to strike. ISIS in Somalia’s bid to expand territory has suffered a series of setbacks following their fallout with Al-Qaida linked Al-Shabaab, which enjoys swathes of territories in the Horn of Africa nation. Ali Mohamud Rage alias Dheere, the Al-Shabaab spokesman in the past has ridiculed the ISIS-Somalia faction, dismissing them as insignificant “disease” and “cancer” after Al-Shabaab beating them in Gedo in 2018. In 2018, ISIS-Somalia claimed 13 attacks while in the previous two years combined, the militant group claimed 12 attacks. For over five years now, Al-Shabaab has been at loggerheads with IS-Somalia, with the two factions often engaging in fierce field battles across Somalia.