A photo combination of video frame grab images of the four women arrested and arraigned in a military court in Mogadishu, Somalia, based on charges of assisting the Al Shabaab on August 9, 2023. PHOTO | ARMED FORCES COURT OF SOMALIA
By ABDULKADIR KHALIF
Four Somali women have appeared before a military court in Mogadishu, facing charges related to terrorism.
The quartet, named Khadra Mohamed Isse, Aisha Muhyadin Mohamud, Zahra Hussein Isse and Naima Farah Sheikhdoon were accused of assisting Al Shabaab leaders in Lower Shabelle region, south of the Somali capital Mogadishu.
The prosecutor insisted on Tuesday that the women tried to share false information with the government security personnel when they were intercepted on April 21, 2023 at a security checkpoint, some 50 km south of Mogadishu, generally known as K50.
As evidence against the four women, said to be wives of leaders of the extremist group Al Shabaab, the court learnt that they were seized and apprehended while travelling in a vehicle with bags packed with explosive devices.
Prosecutors insisted that the women returned in a vehicle that had originated from Kunyo Barrow, an agricultural town in an area controlled by Al Shabaab, where they allegedly met with their husbands.
“The women were not innocent travellers. They went to Kunyo Barrow to meet with their husbands in the bushes,” a prosecutor stated. The women claimed they were not aware of their husbands’ alleged association with terrorism.
The driver of the intercepted vehicle who was also in court fronting charges confessed that he was assigned to deliver the consignment to a businessperson in Bakara market, the largest trading centre in Mogadishu.
When adjourning the hearing, the court chairman announced that the verdict will be announced in the coming days.