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Former SNA captain sentenced to death for aiding Al Shabaab

Thursday January 12, 2023

Mogadishu (HOL) - A military court in Mogadishu has sentenced a former army officer to death on Thursday for his role in facilitating terror attacks on behalf of Al Shabaab.

Sharif Mohamed Barkhadle Ayanle, a 53-year-old former captain in the SNA, was convicted of aiding the Al Qaeda-linked militants to plant car bombs throughout Mogadishu, which killed a total of 27 people.

The court found that in several instances, Ayanle allowed Al Shabaab to travel through checkpoints and park their explosive-laden vehicles in busy commercial areas throughout the capital, including Village Hotel and Restaurant, Bar Italia, Agaweyne - Bilsan Restaurant and Lido beach.

All of the car bomb attacks occured in 2019.

He was also found guilty of selling two mortar rounds and 40 rounds of ammunition to Al Shabaab, which was later used to shell Mogadishu.

Ayanle's lawyer informed the court that he admitted to the allegations but afterwards recanted his confession.

Lieutenant Colonel Hassan Ali Noor Shute, the lead judge in the military court, sentenced Ayanle to death by firing squad.

Shute added that Ayanle has 30 days to appeal his death sentence.

The former army captain's conviction and death sentence come days after government soldiers were arrested for their involvement in the Villa Rays hotel attack on November 28 in Mogadishu that killed eight civilians. 

President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud vowed in late December to investigate security officials and soldiers who helped facilitate terror attacks on behalf of Al Shabaab.


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