Major Al-Shabaab Network Dismantled in Baidoa, Somalia

Published: May 9, 2024

Baidoa, Somalia – In a significant blow to the Al-Shabaab militant group, the National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) of Somalia has announced the capture of 12 members of the group’s network operating in the city of Baidoa and surrounding areas.

According to a statement from the federal government’s media, the arrested individuals were part of an interconnected network involved in “planned killings, direct attacks, collecting extortion from the public, and throwing bombs at night.”

The NISA operations, which took place in Baidoa city and its environs, targeted a group that worked in a coordinated manner, the statement said. “The arrested members used to work in groups, and the army was able to arrest them all, after a series of operations that have been going on in Baidoa city and the surrounding areas.”

This mass arrest represents the largest number of Al-Shabaab militants apprehended in a single operation conducted by NISA. The Somali government has reported the arrest of 12 suspected militants in the Southwest state in recent days.

The regional national intelligence agency stated that the individuals were arrested following a security operation in Baidoa and its environs. Among those detained are suspected assassins, bomb throwers, and extortion collectors working for Al-Shabaab.

Authorities believe the suspects were part of the same network plotting attacks in the region, underscoring the interconnected nature of Al-Shabaab’s operations.

In a related development, the government has reported that an Al-Shabaab militant by the name of Sidow Ali Ibrahim, also known as “Anas,” has surrendered to government forces in Harardhere.

The successful operation in Baidoa is seen as a significant victory in the ongoing efforts to combat the Al-Shabaab insurgency and restore stability in Somalia.