This report, Reaping the Whirlwind: Hormuud Entrepreneurs and the Resurgence of Al-Shabaab, traces the rise of Hormuud in the sullied milieu of Civil War Somalia drenched in Islamic radicalism that birthed Al-Shabaab as Africa’s deadliest terrorist group.
The report observes that upon the entry of Kenyan forces into Southern Somalia in 2010, Al-Shabaab resorted to extreme violence extorting taxes and demanding unrestricted access to Hormuud communication technology in its fight against enemies within and its insurgency against UN-sanctioned African peace-keepers.
Hormuud’s patrons ingeniously weaved an investment strategy based on an intricate system of ‘corporate capture’ involving Somalia’s fragile institutions and local actors that has enabled the company to thrive and prosper in one the world’s most dangerous terrorist hotspots.
In the ensuing bargain, Al-Shabaab’s protection enabled Hormuud to monopolize the telecommunication industry in Somalia but at heavy hidden costs of financing the group’s war economy that underpin its extraordinary resurgence in the 2017-2019 interlude.
The report calls on America and the global community to list Al-Shabaab as a terrorist organization and expose and sanction companies paying Taxes to Al-Shabaab. Hormuud should publicly denounce its relations with Al-Shabaab, halt paying taxes to its agents and access to its technology