Mogadishu (BTV) – The owner of Elite Hotel, Abdullahi Mohamed Nur, that was attacked this past sunday by militant group Al Shabab, has directly addressed the reason he believes is behind the attack.
Lawmaker Abdullahi Mohamed Nur said in an interview after the attack on his hotel, which initially started with an car bomb explosion, that “the main reason I was targeted was because I refuse to pay extortion.”
The lawmaker made the remarks in an interview with a local TV station, noting that they will never be discouraged by terrorist attacks aimed at undermining the progress of the Somali people.
The owner of the Elite Hotel said that people close to him had repeatedly advised him to pay the militant group al-Shabaab the money, known as ‘zakat’, which is understood to be paid by most traders, in order to escape the group’s insecurity.
Abdullahi said it would never be possible for him to “give extortion money to the anti-peace group, which are part of the persecution of the Somali people”, he said.
“There is no justifiable reason without any examination, that I should pay to kill poor innocent people of this great city, I would Prefer to die,” he said.
The lawmaker called on Somali businessmen to beware of extortion by Al-Shabaab, which he said could play a key role in the group’s bombings and assassinations.
The Elite attack comes at a time when security in the capital is deteriorating, due to security vulnerabilities, and it is unclear what plans the security agencies will counter al-Shabaab’s insecurity, which has escalated in recent days.