Home LAND:Voices
Exclusive
Al-Shabaab Senior Intelligence Official Speaks
Al-Shabaab Insists They Will Hold Onto Kismayo, Abu Mansur Not Threatened
By QANCIYE FARAH ILMI 03/18/2012
Shabaab militants moving near Kismayo
Mahad Omar Diriye
Shabaab militants moving near Kismayo
Somalia Report had an interview with senior al-Shabaab intelligence officer in the Gedo region, Sheikh Hassan Abi-Waqas.

How many other intelligence officials are in al-Shabaab?

I myself do not know the exact number of intelligence officials, but they exist.

Who do you collect information from, and what do you do with the information?

I collect information from all over Somalia, depending on the need, and bring it to the officials who are senior to me.

How senior are you? How long have you been with al-Shabaab?

My seniority is evident, since I am an intelligence officer who tries to know the secret of enemies and spies within al-Shabaab. I have been working with al-Shabaab for the last four years.

How long have you been serving in this capacity?

I have been serving for four years, and was selected from the troops based in Kismayo, and had my competency tested by officials in Mogadishu.

Which areas do you have authority to cover?

My salary is sensitive information. There is no specific area over which I have authority, but the intelligence I submit is highly considered and taken seriously.

How old are you? Do you have family members who also support al-Shabaab? In what capacities?

I am 28 years old, and have no family members who are with al-Shabaab.

Who are your closest associates in al-Shabaab? Whom do you hang out with? Who do you regularly meet with?

My closest associates are the committee of intelligence experts, and I regularly meet with the chairman of the committee, but at this time I am not ready to give you his name. The information I gather will be well framed, and appropriate action will be taken by the committee.

Have you ever been on the front lines?

No, I do not participate in fighting, but advise the army commanders.

Do you believe that al-Shabaab can resist the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) who are heading towards Bardhere, to take Gedo?

Yes, I believe we can fight against them and defend themselves from any group who try to capture Bardhere.

Does al-Shabaab have enough power to do this?

Yes, we are fully prepared and Allah is with us all the time because we are defending his religion from infidels and the hypocrites. Our expectation is to inflict heavy casualties and destroy their power, and we will do this by carrying out explosions and suicide bombings.

How can al-Shabaab engage in face-to-face fighting against TFG and Kenyan forces, who are well equipped and prepared to capture the region of Gedo?

As an intelligence officer, I have seen tactics for dealing with their strategy and they will meet bad consequesnce when they try to attack Bardhere. If they are well equipped or outnumber us, it does not frighten or worry our mujahideen.

Do you think that al-Shabaab have the power to defend the port city of Kismayo?

We have deployed more suicide bombers and brave mujahideen to Kismayo to defend it, and I assure you that Kismayo will not fall from our hands.

Are there some al-Shabaab fighters who fled to Yemen?

Definitely there are no members amongt us who fled to Yemen. We are all ready to die for the sake of Allah, and we will achieve our target, which is to impose Islamic Shariah law in the regions of Somalia, and we will continue throughout east Africa.

Why did al-Shabaab withdraw from the Bay region?

That is military strategy, and we remain in the region invisibly while our operations continue. If the TFG forces captured Bay region, why don’t they move about safely? Inshallah, we will soon recapture the regions where the infidels and their allies are poisoning the religion of the people.

Al-Shabaab insurgents are accused of harassing innocent people. Is this true, Sheikh?

No, this is not true, and I want to say this is what the TFG, Ethiopia and Kenya use to mislead the people. Islam is mercy and does not allow mistreatment or to violate the rights of innocent people.

Does al-Shabaab arrest and torture people under their control?

I already answered this question. We do arrest people who violate Shariah law, or refuse to implement the rules we impose. There are some cases where we slaughter people who spy for the TFG, Ethiopia and Kenya, and that is under Islamic commands.

Al-Shabaab militants were flushed out from Mogadishu, Hiran, Galgadud and most of Gedo region, so where are they continuing?

Actually, we remain inside the towns and regions which TFG and their groups control, and everyday we carry out our operations.

Abu Mansur Al-Amriki, one of the top al-Shabaab officials, fears that al-Shabaab will assassinate him. What can you say about this?

It is totally false information that al-Shabaab are planning to kill their muslim brother, Mansur Al-Amriki.

Sheikh Hassan Abi-Waqas, I appreciate the time you gave to Somalia Report.

You are welcome.