Shabaab executes deputy intel chief for ‘spying’ for US

Shabaab executed the group’s deputy intelligence chief yesterday after accusing him of spying for the US. has the story:

Somalia’s extremist group of Al Shabaab has executed their intelligence chief’s deputy, accusing him of spying for FBI amid mounting disputes to suppress civilian harassments between the group’s leaders..

Ahmed Ali Hussein, known as Ahmed Keyse, who was serving as the militants chief of spy’s deputy, was charged with giving military information to FBI since 2004 and meeting with them.

Meanwhile, Ahmed, 44-years-old, who was a close friend of the Al Shabaab’s reclusive leader Ahmed Abdi Godane [or Sheikh Muktar Abdelrahman Abu Zubeyr] was executed by firing squad at Maslah military camp, north of Mogadishu on Sunday as hundreds of coerced residents hardly watched him execution.

Some people said that Mr. Ali was a member of Al-Ictisam religious sect which condemned the so-called ‘Jihad’ by Al Shabaab.

It certainly is possible that Ahmed Ali Hussein was passing on intelligence to the US. US Special Operations Command, the FBI, and the CIA have been hunting top al Qaeda leaders such as Fazul Mohammed, Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan, and Abu Talha al Sudani for their roles in the 1998 attacks on the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. And the US has had success; Nabhan, Sudani, and other top Shabaab leaders such as Aden Hashi Ayro have been killed in missile strikes and special operations raids over the past several years. Fazul, who is considered the most dangerous al Qaeda operative in East Africa, is still alive, however.

Interestingly enough, Fazul, who is now al Qaeda’s leader in East Africa and a senior leader in Shabaab, served as the Islamic Courts Union’s intelligence chief prior to being promoted. The Islamic Courts ran much of central and southern Somalia before the Ethiopian invasion in December 2006. Shabaab, which was a part of the Islamic Courts, ignited the insurgency against Ethiopian and Somali forces.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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1 Comment

  • Abdirahman says:

    It is very interesting that Al Shabaab are saying that the man killed was a spy for C.I.A and here in this news; I see that he is said to be Shabaab’ deputy intelligence chief! It is astonishing that how or long war journal did know that he (Keyse) was the shabaab’s deputy intelligence chief. This is one thing I point out.
    Secondly, I do not believe that Ahmed Ali Hussein was killed because of the following reasons:
    1. Shabaab used to slaughter spies, instead they remarked that they shot him dead! Is Ahmed different from the previous slaughtered spies?
    2. Perhaps, we saw a tied man on websites (specially in shabaab’s official website, so did anybody see Ahmed’s deadbody? I don’t think so. It was Al Shabaab’s tradition to desclose the face of the deadbody of any person killed by them.
    Anyway, I think Shabaab is beating around the bush. There is a story behind this story!


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