Somalia: Puntland President orders release of senior Al Shabaab official
GAROWE, Somalia, September 4, 2015 (Garowe Online)-The President of Somalia’s Puntland Government Dr. Abdiweli Mohamed Ali has ordered senior Al Shabaab official identified as Abdullahi Abdi Haji [Mursal Madobe] to be freed from prosecution, Garowe Online has learned.
Insiders have confirmed the release of Mursal Madobe, terror operations specialist and regional coordinator who was relocated to the rugged terrain of Galgala in 2013 on presidential order.
Puntland security forces nabbed Mursal Madobe at security checkpoint on his way from terrorist hotbeds along Golis Mountain Ranges.
Tip-offs exclusively seen by Garowe Online indicate that the freed Al Shabaab official was planning to leave for southern Somalia when Puntland forces captured him.
It is yet unclear whether the wanted, Mursal Madobe was cleared or behind-the-scenes contacts prompted his release.
He is believed to have masterminded attack on a police compound in the Gulf of Aden port city of Bossaso.
In December 2014, two convicted Al Shabaab members-Abdirizak Hussein Tahlil (Ilka Ase) and Mohamed Nuh Adan (Abu Hafsa)-were released from a prison in Puntland capital, Garowe.
Information obtained by GO reveals that former Al Shabaab fighters-Mohamed Abshir Artan and Abdiqani Nur Qorane- also slipped through the justice.
8-member panel of UN investigators accused Ali of adopting ‘catch and release policy’ that largely contributed to upsurge in terror assaults in confidential report in late 2014.
In the middle of 2010, Puntland Defence Forces (PDFs) waged fierce military campaign on Al Shabaab militants in Galgala, dismantling underground cells and hemming fighters deeper.
As a result of intense military campaigns by Somali National Army (SNA) and African Union peacekeepers, Al Shabaab remnants began migrating northwards towards Puntland.