A Somali court on Thursday sentenced a top operative of Al-Shabaab to death, dealing another blow to the terror gang that has recently been chased out of most towns.
Mohamed Abdi Jirow, known as ‘Dr Fanah’, was sentenced to death in a case heard in the military court in Mogadishu that ended on January 14.
Pronouncing the death penalty on Thursday, the court said it had found him guilty of various plots against government officials and civilians over many years.
Jirow admitted to have used various identities as a disguise, including falsely portraying himself as a neurosurgeon. He also acquired military uniforms, decorated with the rank of ‘major’.
“As a disguise, I used different professions and identities including ‘Dr Fanah’ as a specialised medical doctor, an army major, two identity cards from a clinic and Somalia’s ministry of health and human care,” ‘said Dr Fanah’ as quoted in court documents.
Five false IDs
The Shabaab operative said he possessed a total of five IDs including one from the UNDP. He profited from Somalia’s lack of a nationally accepted identity card system, which enables civilians to adopt various aliases.
“I had arranged all those cards to mislead the government’s security apparatus,” he claimed.
The court revealed that Jirow was involved in operations that caused deaths of many people. In a televised session on the Somali National Television (SNTV), a state-run media, he claimed to have arranged a suicide attack against delegates representing the north western regions during the election of the members of parliament last year.
The high-profile attack in Eel-Gaab area in downtown Mogadishu was executed by an individual wearing an explosive device.
“I had arranged the attack and delivered the bomber to Eel-Gaab area (in Mogadishu),” Jirow admitted.
The court announced that the convict had been apprehended in Beledweyne town, 335 kilometres north of Mogadishu, after he was suspiciously found uniformed as an army major.
The court had learnt that the 27-year-old man joined Al-Shabaab in 2007.
Jirow told journalists that he chose to disguise as a because other specialisations seemed more complex.