Mohamud Shuaib

Mohamud Shuaib was born on the 20th of February 1996 in Dobley, Somalia. He has been accused of financing foreign terrorist organisations, among which al-Shabaab, the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF), and potentially ISIL. In this endeavour, he aided Dubad Rashiid, who managed a small criminal network in northern Italy that was also involved in favouring illegal immigration. At the moment, Mohamud Shuaib is in Germany and is unable to be reached. His last place of residency in Italy was in Cesena.

Although Shuaib was not the head of the criminal group working to fund terrorist organisations in Somalia and Ethiopia through the Hawala system, investigations started with him. His phone number, registered under the name of another Somali citizen, was, in fact, found among the phone contacts of a certain Abu Hamza, arrested in Somalia in May 2017 on suspicion of being part of ISIS. Among the contacts, the number also of Ibrahim Omar Mohsin came up. It emerged that Shuaib and Mohsin both arrived in Italy on the 14th of November 2016 on the coast of Trapani, after spending some time in Libya. While going through the process to obtain the status of refugees, Shuaib told the Forlì territorial commission that he departed Somalia in May 2016 after fearing a forceful recruitment among the ranks of al-Shabaab. Then, he lived in Cesena together with Mohsin all through 2017, until towards the end of the year, Mohsin moved to Bari, with the authorities speculating a possible ideological divergence, or security reasons justifying the separation. Mohsin, in December 2018, was then arrested for connections to terrorist organisations and the intent to conduct terrorist attacks in Italy.

The first call implicating Shuaib in the illegal funding of terrorist organisations operating in Somalia and neighbouring areas was done in September 2018 with Dubad Rashiid. In this call, Rashiid persuades Shuaib to aid him in the collection of money to buy weapons and munitions so as to “protect our things and our people”. He does so by reminding Shuaib that in Somalia, they were both “religious men” and that Shuaib used to “teach the Quran”. Rashiid also informs Shuaib of the situation in Khalifa, where conflicts are escalating due to tribal tensions and water scarcity. Adding to this, they sketch the operational strategy, indicating the quantity of money (roughly 50-150€) to wire monthly, through money transfer services, to their trustees back home, a methodology compatible with that of the Hawala system. Shuaib then agrees to provide his total support to the project. It is still important to notice that the funding project likely started before this date, as phone records prove that Shuaib had been in contact with Rashiid since April 2017, and with Mahamed Said, another member of the group, since December 2017.

The next day, on the 13th of September, Shuaib calls Mahamed Said. During the conversation, some aspects of Shuaib’s character emerge. He comes up as worried for the situation of his family back in Somalia, his father, like Said’s, was murdered time before in a tribal feud. They talk about the drought affecting the region, which suggests that their motivations to fund armed groups match the dynamics of violence in Somalia, where fight erupts along tribal and family lines. They are also worried because members of their families have started to conduct contraband over the border with Somalia. Shuaib also states that he, like Said, has been unable to send money because of personal issues. Shuaib then expresses the desire to go to Germany to find better working opportunities.

Later, in another call with Rashiid, Shuaib reveals other aspects of his life. He states that his “project”, through which he received 150€ per month, has ended, and he is in a tough economic situation. Additionally, he says that he divorced his previous wife and has now married another Somali woman.

On the 17th of September, in a phone call with his girlfriend he admits at having made some transfers, although none emerged in the analysis of his bank statements, as he likely used other types of services.

The following day, Shuaib departs along his girlfriend towards Germany through Switzerland. Once in Germany they are stopped by the authorities, and, in January 2019 they are repatriated to Italy. At their re-entry in the country, the customs police found a variety of Facebook profiles containing references to the ONLF.

Shuaib then departed again with his girlfriend and with the help of Dubad Rashiid in January 2019. Using Flixbus he went through France to then reach Germany. There he maintained contacts with his previous accomplices and discussed the administrative processes initiated to be regularized in the country; he also discussed going to Switzerland to retrieve his original documents. From the calls emerged his intention not to come back to Italy.