Mogadishu. An alleged jihadist from Tanzanian has been executed in Southern Somalia, reports indicate.
Issa Jemes Mwesiga, who hailed from Tanzania, was executed on Saturday at a square in Jilib town, about 400km south of the capital Mogadishu. He was charged, prosecuted, convicted and sentenced to death at an Al-Shabaab court over accusations of espionage.
Tanzania’s ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Relations couldn’t be reached by The Citizen for reaction on the reports, but Al-Shabaab officials said that Mwesiga was fighting alongside “fellow jihadists” before becoming a spy.
“Issa Jemes Mwesiga joined Al-Shabaab in 2013. Unfortunately, he has now been found guilty of spying,” said an Al-Shabaab official who spoke at the square as the Tanzanian jihadist faced a firing squad.
It is not yet clear which group or country the foreign militant was spying for.
Residents in the area, who contacted Somali National News Agency (SONA)—speaking on condition of anonymity for security reasons—said they believed that Al-Shabaab militants in the Juba territory have been affected by split loyalties to Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) or IS.
“The foreign jihadist (Mwesiga) was executed by militants led by Ahmed Surad (one of the Al-Shabaab leaders in the area)”, stated a resident as quoted by SONA on Saturday.
Al-Shabaab is reckoned to have a large number of foreign jihadists widely known as al-Mujahedeen al-Muhajereen (migrant jihadists).
In August last year, six people said to be Tanzanian nationals were arrested in Garissa, Kenya.
The suspects were found with seven pistols and seven grenades, according to Kenyan authorities.
The suspects, all men, were heading to Somalia to join the Al-Shabaab terrorist group.
The men, aged between 20 and 40, were intercepted in Dadaab Town as they planned to cross to Somalia. They are currently standing trial in Kenya.
This followed the arrest of a 19-year-old Tanzanian woman in Kenya on suspicion of terrorism was apparently headed to Syria to join ISIS with the help of Al-Shabaab. She was recruited on the Internet by a female agent of the terrorist group.
The girl was arrested by Kenyan authorities as she and two others were about to enter Somalia, their plan being to fly from Mogadishu to Turkey and eventually, to Syria.
The girl identified as Ummul Khayr Sadir from Zanzibar was a medical student at International University of Africa in Khartoum, where her parents are lecturers.
She was seized alongside her Kenyan companions, Khadija Abubakar Abdulkadir and Maryam Said Aboud—all aged 19 and students at local universities. Ms Sadir reportedly joined Al Shabaab last September before she returned to recruit the two Kenyans.
The young women were accused of trying to cross into Somalia to marry Al-Shabaab militants. They were reportedly arrested in El Wak town along the Kenya–Somali border.
Police claimed the three hoped to reach Syria and join Islamic State, a terror group so brutal that even Al-Qaeda’s leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, has disowned it. The suspects were remanded for 20 days to allow the police complete their investigations.