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Somali military court sentences six Moroccans to death for terrorism

By Mohamed Olad Hassan
Friday March 1, 2024

A military court in northern Somalia has sentenced six Moroccan nationals to death on terrorism charges, prosecutors and court officials tell VOA.

A judge at the court in the town of Bossaso handed down sentences Thursday to nine suspects, including seven foreigners.

“Six Moroccans, convicted of being members of Islamic State militants, will face the death penalty, Colonel Ali Ibrahim Osman, the deputy chairman of the court, told VOA Somali. He said an Ethiopian and a Somali each received 10-year jail terms, while the court found another Somali defendant not guilty.

Osman said the foreign militants were accused of training with Islamic State at their base at Cal-Miskaat Mountains in the northeastern region of Somalia.

“They came to Somalia to support ISIS and destroy and shed blood,” he said.

Through an interpreter at the court and their lawyer, the accused foreigners said they were haplessly misguided about training with the group and wanted to be deported to their home countries, arguing that they had voluntarily surrendered to the security forces.

Osman said that the court had communicated with the relatives of the defendants, provided them an interpreter and they were represented by a lawyer.

“After all the court proceedings, including hearings and the presentation of evidence against the men, the court made the sentences,” Osman said. “But they can take an appeal within 30 days otherwise the sentence will be carried out.”

“The Moroccans admitted before the court that they were members of ISIS for two years,” Osman said.

It is not clear if witnesses supporting the prosecution’s case testified in court.

Osman identified the Moroccans as Mohamed Hassan, Ahmed Najwi, Khalid Latha, Mohamed Binu Mohamed Ahmed, Ridwan Abdulkadir Osmany, and Ahmed Hussein Ibrahim.


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