A suspected al Shabaab associate who once lived in the US was arrested during a mission in Somalia, a US Africa Command spokesperson told AP. It was a Somali-led mission with “limited tactical advisory support” from the US, spokesperson Jennifer Dyrcz said.
The suspect, identified as Abdirizak Tahlil, was accused of “facilitating the use of improvised explosive devices in Somalia” and was being held by the Somali government, Dyrcz added. He had reportedly been granted status as a lawful US permanent resident and had lived in the country between 2006 and 2009.
Somalia Newsroom said it was reportedly a “joint” operation between Somali intelligence agents and Puntland and Galmudug forces, with tactical advisory support from the US.
Four other al Shabaab suspects were arrested in Galcayo, Somalia Newsroom added. However it noted that some local reports were claiming that Abdirizak’s brother – a Galmudug politician – alongside a Galmandug security official, were insisting Abdirizak Tahlil was innocent, blaming Puntland forces and the US for his arrest. Tensions had increased between the two regions following a US strike in September 2016 which killed up to 22 members of local friendly Galmudug forces. The region’s officials claimed that Puntland had given incorrect information to the US, causing the strike.
Somalia Newsroom noted that Abdirizak was however sentenced to death by a Puntland military court in 2013 for possession of explosive material, but was allegedly released after a new regional president agreed to a prisoner swap.
The local time of the incident is unknown.
Sources (3) [ collapse]
Reports of the incident mention the town of Galcayo/Galkayo, for which the coordinates are: 6.771437, 47.42839.