Fuad Muhammad Khalaf Shongole
Fuad Mohamed Qalaf Shongole, also known as Shongole, is a senior member in al Shabaab. He holds a seat on the Shura Council and is believed to be in charge of al Shabaab’s operations in Puntland. Shongole is subject to US Treasury Department sanctions under President Barack Obama’s “Executive Order concerning Somalia,” issued on April 12, 2010. The same day, the United Nations sanctioned him pursuant to paragraph 8 of UN Security Council Resolution 1844. The State Department authorized a reward of up to $5 million for information leading to his location on June 7, 2012, noting his operational and fund-raising role for al Shabaab. The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), the US State Department, and the UN use his alias Fuad Mohamed Qalaf in their respective listings.
Shongole is a member of the Harti clan, a sub-clan of the Darod clan. He took asylum in Sweden in 1992, but returned to Somalia in 2004 to fight with the Islamic Courts Union (ICU). Shongole survived two targeted attacks in 2010; no group claimed responsibility for the attacks. Reports suggested the first, a roadside bomb in Mogadishu’s Bar Ubah neighborhood on February 22, was the work of Hizb al Islam militants. On May 1, two explosions at a mosque in Mogadishu’s Bakara Market killed thirty people. Witnesses said the attack targeted Shongole, but he escaped unharmed. Shongole has been among al Shabaab’s most strident detractors of media organizations, referring to them as agents of the “infidels.” He delivered a speech in May 2009 in Marka, calling on al Shabaab militants to hunt down members of the Waaga Cusub news outlet for its coverage of his group’s tactics. On April 25, 2010, he accused the editors of Voice of America (VOA) and the BBC of treason to Islam for misleading Somali Muslims, and declared them to be the “new unfaithful.”
Shongole’s interests and goals are somewhat unclear due to inconsistencies in his public positions. A May 2010 International Crisis Group report aligned him with al Shabaab’s leader Ahmed Abdi Godane, also known as Abu Zubair, in al Shabaab’s “anti-clan” faction. However, his public split with Godane in December 2010 suggests otherwise. Shongole sharply criticized Godane following a series of attacks against Hizb al Islam while the group’s leader, Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys, was negotiating a merger with other al Shabaab leaders. Subsequently, Shongole appeared at a rally with Aweys to announce the merger of al Shabaab and Hizb al Islam, a move that Godane opposed.