The al-Shabab terrorist group has declared a ban on single-use plastic bags in the name of environmentalism.
In a broadcast on the jihadist-operated Radio Andalus last week, Jubaland regional leader Mohammed Abu Abdullah said plastic bags are a “serious” threat to both humans and livestock, Sky News reported. He added that the waste they cause is bad for the environment.
Abdullah also banned the logging of rare trees.
Al-Shabab, a Somali militant Islamist group affiliated with Al-Qaeda, did not explain how it would enforce the plastic bag ban. But its militants are known for using wonton violence against civilians.
Although the group retreated from major Somali cities in 2015, it has retained control of large rural areas and has launched deadly terror attacks on neighboring Kenya.
Al-Shabab was responsible for a 2013 terror attack at the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi that killed 71 people.
Last October, the group perpetrated a pair of bombings in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, that killed more than 500 people.
Al-Shabab and the movement to ban plastic bags
At the same time, though, Al-Shabab zealously advocated environmental preservation.
A 2016 article in the magazine produced by the Yemeni branch of the terrorist group criticized former President Barack Obama for not doing more to address climate change during his time in office.
In Afghanistan — which like Somali struggles with water management and deforestation exacerbated by decades of war — Taliban leader Hibatullah Akhundzada in 2017 declared Afghans should plant more trees. He said trees play an “important role in environmental protection, economic development and beautification of earth” and honor Allah.
Al-Shabab’s plastic-bag ban comes amid mounting environmentalism activism in the West, too. Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg has emerged as the face of the movement, traveling the world to scold leaders about their alleged inaction.