Ex-spy chief's brother shot dead by security forces in Somalia
MOGADISHU, Somalia - A young brother to former National Intelligence Security Agency [NISA] boss Abdirahman Tuuryare was gunned down in Mogadishu on Monday morning, the latest in a series of attacks in the capital, some claimed by Al-Shabaab.
Mohamed Abukar Tuuryare was shot dead by members of security forces at a security check-point in the busy Somali capital, Mogadishu, but it's not immediately clear why the officers opened fire at the university student.
The slain student lived with the former spy chief within Mogadishu until his demise on Monday, sources told Garowe Online. His body has since been taken by the family for burial, but no official statement has been issued.
Believed to be a critic of President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, the former spy chief was a candidate in the February controversial elections in Galmadug but just like many of his competitors, he bolted out of the race citing "interference" by the FGS.
Ahmed Kariye alias Qoor Qoor was pronounced the winner, leading to endless protests in Dhusamareb, the regional administrative capital of the state. But a truce was reached in April after former President Ahmed Duale agreed to handover.
During his time as the NISA boss, Tuuryare was a keen advisor of former President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, who has since teamed up with Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, another former President under Forum for National Parties ahead of December polls.
In recent weeks, the opposition has been accusing FGS of harassment, abductions, and executions targeting critics, a claim which is often dismissed by Mogadishu as "fake news". A number of victims of police brutality have previously recorded statements with Amnesty International.
The death comes just a couple of weeks after another former spy chief accused the current boss Fahad Yasin of working closely with Qatar to finance terrorism in Somalia, a claim which rattled top government officials.
Abdullahi Mohamed Ali alias Sanbalolshe, the former director of the spy agency, sensationally linked Qatar to Al-Shabaab ties, drawing the recent release of Italian aid worker, Silvia Romano, who had been under Al-Shabaab for over 18 months after her abduction in Kenya on November 2018.
Without disclosing the role of Qatar in the ransom deal estimated at $3 million, the former spy, however, maintained that Doha "has strong contacts with Al-Shabaab and uses them to help the group generate income" mainly through ransoms obtained from kidnapped individuals.
"Qatar has for far too long had ties with Al-Shabaab which can be traced for the past few years. It funds the group's activities," Abdullahi told Al-Arabia TV, adding that "It's the main sponsor and uses tricks such as in ransom deals to generate finances for them".
Al-Shabaab, Abdullahi claimed, has been carrying attacks in favor of Qatar for the interest of finances, a move which he insisted that is aimed at expanding the gulf nation's grip in Somalia, a country which has struggled with instability for over four decades.
“Ransom is not the only source of funding for Al-Shabaab, but one of many avenues. The group carries out attacks on behalf of Qatar inside Somalia and outside in exchange for significant financial resources," said the former spy chief.
Besides the alleged support from Qatar, Abdullahi said, the group has been collecting Zakat from local businesses with "impunity" before senior government officials who "secretly" support their activities in Somalia.
Annually, he noted, the group collects up to $400 million, which helps to finance their operations within Somalia and across the border. Kenya is the worst affected neighbor by the endless Al-Shabaab rampage.
The incidents targeting opposition have also triggered international condemnation in recent weeks, with both the US and United Nations asking the FGS to go slow on Jubaland, whose president, Ahmed Madobe, has been at loggerheads with Farmajo.
Despite the death of the ex-spy chief's brother, there is nothing linking him with possible differences with Villa Somalia other than the ordinary political differences, basically anchored on human rights violation and alleged incompetence by the current administration.