The National Intelligence and Security Service of Somalia said on Thursday that the terrorist organization Al-Shabaab killed a female employee who was abducted in Mogadishu in June. But close family members questioned this statement.
Ikran Tahlil Farah, 24, works in the agency’s cyber security department. She was abducted on June 26 near her home in the Abdulaziz district of Mogadishu, which is close to the NISA headquarters.
The agency posted a brief statement on its website on Thursday, saying that its investigation has determined that the person who kidnapped the young woman handed her over to Al-Shabaab militants, who later killed her.
The agency did not release details of when and where it believes Eklan was killed.
The Al-Shabaab did not publicly admit that it played any role in the disappearance of Ekran. The Islamic extremist organization had previously publicly executed persons accused of spying for the Somali government and Western countries including the United States.
A few hours after the Voice of America Service in Somalia broadcast a radio show focusing on the disappearance of Ikran, the security agency issued a statement. Colonel Abdullahi Ali Maow, a former Somali intelligence officer who was the guest of the show, speculated that the Islamic terrorist organization was related to the fate of Ikran.
‘This is a smoke screen’
But the young woman’s mother, Abdullahi Ali Maow, said she thought her daughter might be alive and held in a secret location.
“I don’t believe that Al Shabaab killed my daughter because when she was kidnapped, she was with someone she trusted,” said the mother, who was also a guest on the show. “I think she is being held somewhere, it’s a smokescreen.”
Former NISA Director General Abdullahi Ali Sanbalolshe told VOA Somalia in July that “some people” told him that Ikran had records of plans to secretly send Somali recruits to Eritrea for training. In June, there were allegations that these recruits had been fighting and dying during the Tigray conflict in Ethiopia.
Sanbalolshe said that Ekran “may also have other sensitive information that she could be a target of attack”, noting that he hired the young woman in 2017.
Opposition leaders have been pressing the Somali spy agency and Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Robl to provide information about the disappearance of employees of the intelligence agency.