Al-Shabaab kills Intelligence chief in Somalia’s Gedo region –…
MOGADISHU, Somalia – A top official from the National Intelligence and Security Agency [NISA], Somalia’s intelligence institution, was killed on Thursday evening in the Gedo region, in an attack which has since been claimed by Al-Qaida linked group, the Al-Shabaab.
The Al-Shabaab is under pressure to surrender on several fronts across the country following spirited operations by the federal government of Somalia with assistance from the US Africa Command, the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia [ATMIS], and local militia such as Macawisley.
Officials said Abdirahman Abdullahi Bakal Kooke, who at the time of death was the head of intelligence in the Gedo region, was killed in an explosion in his car. The car exploded between the cities of Luuq and Dolow towns also leaving the former commander of NISA in the Luuq district and 5 others injured.
Before his death, Kooke was credited with helping security forces effectively fight Al-Shabaab in the Gedo region by working closely with the Kenya Defense Forces [KDF], the Ethiopian National Defense Forces [ENDF] and the Somali National Army [SNA] are responsible for security in the region.
Al-Shabaab took responsibility for the attack immediately after his death without giving many details. However, in the recent past, the militants have been targeting innocent civilians, security forces, and members of the spy agency alongside senior government officials.
NISA director Mahad Salad spoke about the killing of the NISA commander in the Gedo region. Mahad Salad sent his condolences to the Commander’s family, saying that a full investigation should be done into Bakal’s killing.
The US-funded NISA is instrumental in the war against Al-Shabaab by not only giving tips to security forces but also arresting those responsible for the attacks in Somalia. Gedo region has been the epicenter of the fight against Al-Shabaab, with KDF putting much focus on the area.
At El-Adde in Gedo, the KDF team lost over 200 soldiers following the Al-Shabaab raid in Forward Operating Base in 2016, leading to increased surveillance by the Kenyan soldiers working from the region. Since then, Al-Shabaab has drastically reduced activities in Gedo as Somalia continues to battle with violent extremism.
President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has vowed to defeat the militants and has since taken the evangelism outside Somalia, taking his time to explain the mission during his trip to Djibouti and now Saudi Arabia. The president is also set to take the matter to the US when he tours next week.
Over 500 Al-Shabaab militants have been killed in the last five months according to Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre as Somalia struggles to eliminate the militants. In return, Al-Shabaab has been waging retaliatory attacks in major towns including the capital Mogadishu.