Swiss Intelligence has confirmed that the Somali suicide bomber who detonated his explosives at the SYL hotel on 22nd January had previously lived temporarily in Switzerland. The spokesperson for Switzerland’s Federal Intelligence Service (NDB, Nachrichtendienst des Bundes), Carolina Bohren, confirmed yesterday that the unnamed Somali suicide bomber had obtained temporary residency in the country along with the necessary Swiss travel documents but he was never granted Swiss citizenship.
The NDB believes that the Somali man first entered Switzerland in 2008, and then sought residency in the nation. Bohren also confirmed that in 2013, the unnamed Somali man notified the Swiss authorities that he was leaving but without specifying where to. More than a year later, the same man turned up in Mogadishu where he conducted surveillance of the SYL hotel before executing his suicide mission in January 2015.
European intelligence agencies have been criticized repeatedly for failing to intercept would-be jihadist terrorists from leaving their nations and traveling to theaters of war in Somalia, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Such failures have seen terror groups such as ISIL and Al Shabaab replenish their human losses by recruiting better educated and well-motivated Islamists from Europe. Moreover, these Islamists from Europe do familiarize the terror groups with innovative military tactics and operational strategies thereby strengthening the combat efficiency of such terror organizations.
Failures by European Intelligence agencies in the field of counter-terrorism do have security ramifications for East Africa, as such failures compromise the capacities of regional intelligence agencies to defeat terrorism and also contain the spread of the venomous ideology of terror.