Al-Shabaab extremists kill Somali intelligence official
Somalia | Attacks against security officers are on the rise since the president declared war on insurgency
by Onize Ohikere
Posted 4/28/17, 11:09 am
Al-Shabaab extremists on Thursday shot and killed a Somali senior intelligence officer in the capital Mogadishu, security officials said. The shooting follows a string of similar attacks targeting security officials following the president’s declaration of war against the insurgent group.
Mohamud Haji Ali was sitting in front of his house when the armed extremists shot and killed him, according to a police official. The militants fled the scene before security officials arrived. Ali had worked with the Somalian National Intelligence and Security Agency.
“Police and security forces reached the scene later to investigate and pursue the militants,” police official Ibrahim Nur told Reuters.
Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack. The Somali terror group has staged attacks in Somalia and in neighboring countries contributing to a joint mission battling their insurgency. Al-Shabaab has lost most of its territory but continues with sporadic attacks.
The extremist group has scaled up attacks against government and security officials since President Mohamed Farmajo declared war against insurgency. The president this month appointed new security officials and gave the terror group’s fighters a 60-day deadline to surrender.
Al-Shabaab on April 9 killed at least 15 people in a suicide bomb attack that targeted a military convoy. Ahmed Mohamed Jimale, the country’s newly appointed chief of army, survived the attack. Another suicide bomber this month detonated explosives at a military training camp in Somalia, killing at least nine soldiers.
Ebrahim Deen, a researcher with the South Africa-based Afro Middle East Center, said that while the resurgence in terror attacks is partly a response to the president’s stance, al-Shabaab also is trying to show the new administration it still has capacity to attack.
“It’s as a result of what he said, but it’s also a result of his election itself,” Deen said. “Shabaab would want to send him a sign in the early stages of his leadership.”
Onize is a reporter for WORLD Digital based in Abuja, Nigeria.