Islamic extremist group shuts down Internet in parts of Somalia

The ban is just the latest in a long line of communications technology the group has outlawed.

 

Kevin Collier

Tech

Published Jan 24, 2014   Updated May 31, 2021, 8:23 pm CDT

Militant Islamic rebel group Al-Shabaab is making good on its promise to shut down Somali Internet access in areas it controls, according to local news reports.

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Al-Shabaab, best known in recent memory for a September mass shooting in a Kenyan mall, announced earlier in January that it would ban Internet use in coming weeks in its territories, mostly in the rural, southern part of the country.

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The ban is just the latest in a long line of communications technology the group has outlawed. Residents already have been told they can’t have smartphones,satellite TV or smartphones.

Radio Bar-Kulan, a Somali public broadcasting station, reported Wednesday that much of the administrative region of Hiran in south-central Somalia had suffered a complete outage.

Representatives from Hormuud, one of the Internet service providers in the area, told Radio Bar-Kulan that it had tried, and failed, to negotiate a compromise with Al-Shabaab.

Illustration by Fernando Alfonso III

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*First Published: Jan 24, 2014, 1:02 pm CST