Mahad Salad appointed as National Security and Intelligence Agency (NISA) Chief
The Cabinet of Ministers of the Federal Government of Somalia has nominated Mahad Mohamed Salad for the post of Director of NISA. He is one of President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud’s closest allies.
Mahad Salad has been one of the most vocal critics of the organization and its work over the past three years.
Fahad Yassin Dahir, who was ousted in September 2021, has made significant changes to the agency. In a lengthy statement recently posted on the Internet, Fahad Yassin said that every country is as advanced as its intelligence agency.
Fahad Yassin and NISA have been accused of carrying out activities beyond their legal powers such as assassinations, repression, attacks on regional administrations and more.
Yassin Farey, Fahad’s deputy and interim director of NISA, is now a member of the Somali Federal Parliament.
Mahad Salad’s appointment is expected to be approved by President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.
The appointment comes as no new Prime Minister or Cabinet has yet been named.
According to the country's constitution, the prominent MP, a close friend of the new president, will automatically vacate his parliamentary seat.
The National Intelligence and Security Agency is one of the country's largest and most important security agencies.
How will NISA operate under mahad salad?
President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud appointed Mahad Salad, an MP, to become the Director of National Intelligence and Security Agency. He will take over from the acting director Yasin Farey, appointed by the former President.
Between 2012 and 2017 President Mohamud appointed two NISA directors. Abdullahi Mohamed Ali Sanbaloolshe unsuccessfully tried to disarm dormant warlords such as Ahmed Da’i, who moonlighted as the Wadajir district commissioner. His successor, Abdurahman Mohamud Turyare, coined UGUS, in reference to Al-shabaab, without degrading the capabilities of the proscribed group. In 2014, a Mogadishu-based clan accused NISA of profiling “Murursade travellers to Ethiopia.” Similar accusations have not been levelled against NISA under Fahad Yasin or Yasin Farey. Only Sanbaloolshe had been found complicit in the extradition of Abdikarim Qalbidhagah to Ethiopia in 2017.
The new NISA director, Mahad Salad, campaigned against “repressive policies” of an administration that reformed NISA. His appointment unsurprisingly marks a low point for the new administration for two reasons.
Mahad, like the new national security adviser, belong to the same social group as President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud’s.
The appointment rests on the flawed reasoning that Al-shabaab and its affiliates are a problem for clans that claim Mogadishu as their stronghold.
Mahad Salad supported a parallel army in Mogadishu when the previous parliament passed a controversial term extension for the former Somalia President.
He is also a member of Union for Peace and Development Party, the incumbent President’s political party. NISA under the directorship of Mahad Salad is a compromised security institution from the get-go