Olow Barow, a high ranking al Shabaab military commander has been captured near Fidow – a settlement located in the Middle Shabelle region of Somalia. He was captured during an intense firefight between allied forces and terrorists. The Somali national authorities have confirmed his capture. The Somali national army has detained him pending transportation arrangement. He is to be transported to Mogadishu where he will be interrogated by counter-terrorism officers.
Yesterday, a drone strike killed Yusef Dheeq, a high-ranking al Shabaab intelligence officer whose mandate was to plan and execute external operations. Yusef was killed alongside 45 other terrorists. A few days earlier, another drone strike killed 27 al Shabaab terrorists.
Another drone strike conducted on January 26th killed Sahal Iskudhuq, another senior officer in Amniyat – Al Shabaab’s Intelligence Unit. Sahal was killed in Hawai village of Lower Shabelle.
Recent joint military operations conducted by KDF, AMISOM and allied forces have disrupted Al Shabaab operations besides capturing and destroying resources belonging to the terror group. A week ago, two Al Shabaab commanders were captured in Gedo region. A few days later, the Kenyan air force destroyed Al Shabaab training camps in Gedo, Lower Shabelle and Middle Shabelle regions. These military offensives have significantly degraded Al Shabaab military capabilities. At the moment, Al Shabaab has been expelled from 70% of Somalia.
SIS Abridged Assessment of Amniyat.
SIS has profiled Amniyat and noted that the unit’s operatives are trained by foreign jihadists but the unit rarely incorporates these foreigners during intelligence operations as its operatives need to blend with the local populations. SIS has also noted that al Shabaab is availing inordinate resources to Amniyat thus enhancing the unit’s communication infrastructure and their capacities to pay bribes thereby augmenting the unit’s offensive capabilities. SIS therefore warns regional authorities that al Shabaab is currently restructuring its intelligence unit, Amniyat, into a resilient and clandestine unit that can survive the dissolution of al Shabaab. It is thus imperative that necessary precautions and active measures are taken by the relevant authorities and agencies to preempt infiltration by Amniyat operatives, disrupt terror planning and avert terror strikes.