Monday, July 22, 2013
Somalia - Al Shabaab 'Infiltrates' Intelligence Services in Mogadishu: UN
Mogadishu — The UN Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea's new annual report to the UN Security Council portrays a harrowing picture of security institutions in Mogadishu, where senior government officials are allegedly working in cohorts with Al Shabaab militants, further destabilizing Mogadishu's fragile security, Garowe Online reports.
The UN investigators found that the Somali government officials in Mogadishu "use Al Shabaab agents", adding that the "Monitoring Group has received information relating to the infiltration of Al-Shabaab networks into the National Intelligence and Security Agency of Somalia," according to the UN report, issued to the UN Security Council in New York earlier this month.
Continuing, the UN reports raises particular concern regarding the role of former director of NISA, Mr. Ahmed Mo'alim Fiqi nominated by former TFG President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, and the report says that Mr. Fiqi who resigned in March 2013 as director of NISA "enjoys a close relationship with Al Shabaab".
"Senior TFG officials have voiced concerns that Fiqi used Al-Shabaab agents to target political opponents within the government. One senior security official that worked with Fiqi informed the Monitoring Group that several Al-Shabaab suspects he arrested claimed to be working as agents for Fiqi," the UN report states.
Al Shabaab's infiltration in Mogadishu was partly aided by former TFG President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed's unexplained decision to release "more than 200 Al Shabaab prisoners" in Mogadishu, in August 2012. By September 12, 2012, "two of the suicide bombers involved in the attack on the Jazira Hotel in Mogadishu on 12 September 2012, when President Hassan Sheikh was addressing his first press conference as President, were former prisoners who had been released in August," the report notes.
Moreover, the report condemns the role of a certain Mr. Artan Abdi Ibrahim (Artan Bidar), "a known security consultant in Mogadishu who has provided private security protection for Government officials but who has been also identified by senior security officials as an agent for Al-Shabaab," the report says.
The report accuses Mr. Artan Bidar of engaging in "contract killings" and that he is under investigation since 2012 by security services "for the alleged assassination of at least several individuals in Mogadishu". Continuing, the report notes, "In addition to independently providing assassins for contract killings, Artan Bidar coordinates with Al-Shabaab hit squads through family connections with Ali Dheere," the spokesman for Al Shabaab militants, with whom Artan Bidar shares clan affiliation.
Somali government forces, aided by AMISOM peacekeepers successfully removed Al Shabaab military component from Mogadishu, but Al Shabaab militants continue to carry out targeted assassinations and devastating bomb attacks. Last week, the militants are suspected of fatally shooting Deputy Commissioner of Mogadishu's Yaaqshiid district, Ms. Rahmo Dahir.
On April 14, at least 20 people were killed when Al Shabaab militants raided Mogadishu's courthouse; again on June 19, at least 22 persons including four foreigners were killed in a daring Al Shabaab attack on a U.N. compound in Mogadishu.
Designation of Al-Shabaab
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