25 October 2021
A lengthy report by the New York Times on the CIA’s operations in Mogadishu reveals US intelligence on last year’s al-Shabaab revenue.
According to the report, US estimates show that al-Shabaab’s revenue in 2020 was $ 120 million.
According to the report, al-Shabaab has formed an indirect government in Somalia alongside the federal government, which collects most of this money from taxes and other extortion money.
Al-Shabaab collects heavy taxes from Mogadishu port and civilian businesses.
A Somali intelligence official told the New York Times that al-Shabaab charged $ 90 per 20ft container and $ 150 per 40ft container at the port of Mogadishu.
The official also shared with the New York Times a $ 250 receipt given by al-Shabaab to a Mogadishu resident who sold his land, which was taxed by the group.
This revenue represents al-Shabaab’s strong position today, according to the New York Times.
Al-Shabaab’s revenue from the Mogadishu port and other businesses amounting to $ 120 million means it is very close to that of the federal government.
The federal budget for 2021, states that the federal government’s domestic revenue for 2020 was $ 269 million, of which $ 182 million was domestic tax.
This means that al-Shabaab generates almost two-thirds of the total revenue of the Somali federal government, and 65% of the federal government’s tax revenue.