Somalia: Puntland president appoints new intelligence chief
BOSSASO, Puntland - The President of Puntland Said Abdullahi Deni has on Monday appointed Mukhtar Mohamed Hassan to head up the Federal State’s leading intelligence service, Garowe Online reports.
According to a presidential decree dated September 23, Hassan who is currently Deputy Education Minister was assigned to run Puntland Intelligence and Security Agency [PISA] on a permanent basis, replacing Abdiqafar Yasin.
The appointment comes as Puntland is facing dual challenges facing its security from the al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab and the growing presence of fighters linked to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group.
The state security forces have on Monday launched an operation in Al-Madow Mountains, targeting Al-Shabab hideouts in Mariidle area, inflicted casualties on the extremists, according to a statement released by PSF.
Speaking at first-ever Puntland Investment Forum held in Garowe last week, President Deni has said his administration is committed to defeating militant groups in the region to attract foreign investments.
Since Trump took office in 2017, U.S. military stepped up airstrikes on ISIS-affiliated militants in the Golis Mountains, a hotbed of terror in Bari region, where rival extremist groups have been battling for control over past few years.