CNN published a report on Al Shabaab financing, highlighting that the group is now using a system of taxation (extortion) and “zakat” (involuntary donations) to finance its activities. Al Shabaab has used taxation / extortion as a means of raising funds since its inception – the group used to derive a significant portion of its funds from the Port of Kismayo, until it lost control of that territory. Many other terrorist groups have also used this means of raising funds, and unfortunately, the most effective way to counter this financing method is to prevent a group from controlling territory  – which requires political will, and in the case of Somalia, would require the African Union, United Nations, or other military force to remove Al Shabaab.

Most of these funds are likely used within Somalia, although some may make their way to neighbouring countries (particularly Kenya).


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  1. […] Certainly, terrorist groups profit from aid in a variety of ways: they can steal it and re-sell it (if it’s a tangible good), they can “tax” or extort funds from aid workers to allow them access to an area, they can divert funds from charities / aid organizations by setting up their own aid agencies (that then partner with the international organization, siphoning funds for the terrorist group), etc. Some of these methods have been observed recently in Somalia. […]



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Al Shabaab, Terrorist Financing


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