Saturday June 17, 2017
Shabaab is thought to have about 300 fighters operating in the Galgala mountains.The Islamic State also has a presence in Galgala. An estimated 20 fighters loyal to Abdiqadir Mumin broke off from Shabaab and swore allegiance to Islamic State emir Abu Bakr al Baghdadi in October 2015. Several months later, Mumin was featured in a video that promoted the “first camp of the Caliphate in Somalia.” A defected member of Mumin’s forces reportedly placed the number of Islamic State-loyal fighters in Galgala at 70.Shabaab has been resurgent in Somalia since losing ground to a combined African Union and Somali offensive in 2011. The jihadist group has slowly but methodically retaken several towns and villages that it lost in both central and southern Somalia. Last week’s deadly assault in Puntland also shows that the jihadist group remains a threat in northern Somalia as well.