Araweelo News Network
Somalia has become a money pit for the United States. In recent years, the U.S. government has pumped hundreds of millions of dollars annually into the country. Just one month ago, Ambassador Donald Yamamoto and Somali Minister of Finance Abdirahman Duale Beyle signed a deal to reduce Somalia’s U.S. debt. “When Somalia reaches the final stage … the United States will have forgiven more than $1 billion in debt,” the embassy reported. Generous debt relief is just the tip of the iceberg, as Yamamoto, who crafted Somalia strategy as an assistant secretary prior to his current post, appears to believe that channeling money through Mogadishu can enable the Somali government to buy friends and allies
Most of the U.S. investment has been in the person of President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, better known to Somalis as “Farmajo,” but much of the State Department’s hope appears misplaced. Thrust into Somalia’s presidency, Farmajo has modeled himself more after his uncle (the late dictator Siad Barre, whose venality and thirst for power drove Somalia into state failure) than any inspiration garnered during his years in America.
Farmajo may be president, but perhaps the most powerful man in Somalia is Fahad Yasin Haji Dahir, the head of the country’s National Intelligence and Security Agency. Farmajo might try to stitch together political coalitions, but it is Fahad who is the point man in efforts by Somalia to defeat terrorism and, in theory, the point of contact between the various intelligence services who seek to defeat the al Qaeda-affiliated al Shabab. That the United States also reportedly funds Somalia’s intelligence agency makes him directly the target of American largesse. Off-books, Fahad also reportedly receives money from Qatar and perhaps Turkey as well.
That such investment has not paid off should not surprise. A deep dive into Fahad’s biography suggests he could very well be al Qaeda’s inside man in the Somali government.
Fahad’s Somali and Kenyan documents (copies of which I have) say he was born in Mandera, Kenya, in July 1978, just across the border from Somalia, although his family members say he was born in Beled Hawo, in the Gedo region of Somalia, a year earlier.
By Michael Rubin