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Somalia: Fahad Yasin appoints his security chief as new Mogadishu spy head

Fahad Yasin, NISA boss appoints new Mogadishu intelligence chief

MOGADISHU, Somalia - The National Intelligence Security Agency [NISA] has recruited a new spy chief for Mogadishu, reports have emerged, in the ongoing shakeup within the team which is critical for national security.

Yasin Abdullahi Farey will now head the team in the capital, Mogadishu, which is the heart of Somalia's social-economic and geopolitical ventures, and whose security matters for the entire country.

Mr. Yasin now takes over from Isse Mohamed Isse, who has been serving in an acting capacity since Mar. 1 this year, after intelligence boss Fahad Yasin fired Ibrahim Moalim Abdullahi over unknown reasons.

The changes come amid ongoing onslaught against the agency, which is accused of being used to muzzle basic human rights and freedoms, with critics accusing Yasin of "misusing" his powers by oppressing the opposition.

One of the fundamental duties for the new intelligence chief for Banadir district, Mr. Abdullahi Farey, will be keeping the capital, Mogadishu safe from frequent Al-Shabaab attacks.

Although Mogadishu remains relatively calm, there have been unprecedented Al-Shabaab raids, including a fortnight ago, when a suicide bomber detonated himself outside a busy restaurant, killing four on spot, police said.

Intelligence reports also indicate that Al-Shabaab militants have been slowly moving back to the capital, which they once held as their stronghold before losing grip in 2011. According to reports, the militants are now controlling most of the businesses from which they generate taxes.

In February, a group of businessmen who spoke in Nairobi, sensationally claimed that NISA had been "infiltrated" by Al-Shabaab militants, adding that "it's difficult to trust them with intelligence". FGS however, denied the allegations.

Already, the Al-Shabaab team has also changed its famous Amniyat brigade, which is in charge of intelligence, following the ouster of Muse Moalim. The former explosive commander was killed in Buale by fellow militants.

To keep the operations going, Ahmed Omar Diriye, the Al-Shabaab chief, took charge of the Intelligence Team for Mogadishu. According to the report, "he is now fully in charge of the capital".

One of the contributing factors that have ignored the current impasse within the group includes the management of finances. Diriye is at loggerheads with Finance Chief Mahad Karate, who has since been expelled, the report noted.

Opposition leaders accuse Yasin of "abdicating" his roles as the spy chief by involving himself in the country's delicate politics. The intelligence boss is a key player in President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo's administration.

Among others, he's accused of using SNA troops to create cracks within "federal states" to the advantage of Farmajo. Jubaland, HirShabelle, and Galmadug have borne the brunt of his antics.

Last week, Yasin was also accused of "unfairly" targeting Voice of America reporter Harun Maruf, who he claimed that "had worked out of his jurisdictions" and threatened a stern "legal" action against him.

The US, former President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and a host of Somali nationals and the international community have dismissed the attacks against Maruf as "violating of media freedoms" in Somalia.

Farey's appointment comes amid high octane politics, which are expected to culminate in an election come December. The Al-Shabaab traces within Mogadishu are also becoming rampant, analysts say.

Since 2008, the Al-Shabaab militants have killed over 4,000 civilians along with dozens of security forces. But in return, the militants have lost key strategic towns among them Kismayo.


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