Mogadishu (UM) – The detection and capture of many important Al-Shabaab informers and members in the last year has been a small success for the National Intelligence and Security Agency “NISA.”
The most recent Al-Shabaab member to be caught is a singer who worked for the Banadir Regional Administration and those before him included teachers, security officers and federal government civil servants. Al-Shabaab has invested time and effort into planting people in key public and private institutions and NISA must continue to hunt for them. If these people are not found, interrogated and prosecuted, Al-Shabaab will continue to have an intelligence advantage over the government.
Finding Al-Shabaab sleeper cells who don’t even know each other is difficult in Somalia but the reforms at NISA have been the breakthrough that was needed.
The NISA Director, Fahad Yassin, is doing a good job of reforming NISA and making it more professional. He has brought in new and qualified people to lead operations according to inside sources. He has also used the stories of the captured Al-Shabaab members to reassure the public of the success of his organisations efforts. Now, NISA and the Somali government must learn lessons from Al-Shabaab’s operatives and design security policies that capture all that have infiltrated the Somali public and private sector. The infiltration is very deep according to security sources.
The Somali National Army must continue to attack Al-Shabaab where they are and liberate the country. But NISA needs to continue disabling the intelligence networks that support their terrorist activities which hurt the Somali people.
Intelligence success in Somalia depends on justice and opportunities for young people. Most of the captured Al-Shabaab operatives are shockingly young and brainwashed. This needs to be looked at carefully by the Somali Federal government.