Pictures released by the joint task forces show several weapons on display.
Addis Ababa – Ethiopia’s Joint Security and Intelligence Task Force said security forces “completely foiled terrorist attack” by Somalia-based militant group, Al-Shabaab, that were planned to be carried out in the city of Jigjiga, the capital of Somali region, and various cities and areas in the regional state.
In a statement the task forced issued this afternoon, it said that the 14 members al-Shabaab were “organized and sent on a clandestine mission were arrested along with the military equipment and various documents that they “had prepared to use.”
Among the suspects who were brought under the control of security forces is an individual named Ali Abdi, a.k.a Maalin Ali, who the task force said was “the leader and coordinator of the terrorist group.” He is accused of establishing relations with the al-Shabaab wing based in Somalia, and having “organized, communicated, recruited members of the terrorist group, made terrorist plans, identified targets, and provided training and logistics to carry out the attacks.”
The joint task force said that he was “arrested during a coordinated surveillance” while trying to sneak in through the border city of Moyale with 13 other associates.
The joint task force added that members of al-Shabaab were deployed to carry out terrorist attacks in Jigjiga, Fiq, Warder and Bike areas of the Somali region. Several Kalashnikov guns, ammunition, explosives and other military equipment, as well as various documents that were prepared to be used to carry out the terrorist attacks were also seized, according to the statement.
Furthermore, the joint task forces said 84 Kalashnikov guns, 10 group of weapons and 12 pistols were seized following a series of operations and reconnaissance activities in the Somali region’s Siti Zone, Mieso District; Fafan Zone, Jigjiga City and its surroundings; Dollo Zone, Warder City and its surroundings; Korahe Zone, Higloley District; and Arer Zone. Fiq City.
In September this year, the national army said that “Al-Shabaab planned to attack the Ethiopian Defense Forces at a place called Robdirre inside in Somalia, but the plan was completely thwarted by [members of] defense forces” stationed in Somalia.
But this is the first coordinated planned attack by Al-Shabaab inside Ethiopia territory after the group conducted a series of attack in 20 July last year, overrunning the Somali region after attacking Aato and Yeed, where Liyu police were encamped. Both towns are located in the Bakool region of southwestern Somalia and bordering Ethiopia.
The attacks were repulsed after reinforcement members of the ENDF were dispatched to join the Somali region’s security forces. AS