The Curious Case Of Ikran Tahlil Farah

Ikran Tahlil Farah, a 24-year-old Cyber Security Specialist employed by Somalia’s National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA), went missing two months ago. Ikran was picked up from her house, which is located close to the NISA headquarters in Mogadishu, on the evening of June 26th by a vehicle that was presumably known to her.

On July 12th, Ikran’s mother Qali Mahmoud Guhaad spoke to Somali media about her daughter’s disappearance, urging the Somali public and the relevant authorities to assist her in her search. This was the first time that the general Somali public was informed of Ikran’s case.

When the news of Ikran’s case became public, former Deputy Director of NISA Brigadier General Abdalla Abdalla made a post on Facebook directly linking the now former Director of NISA, Fahad Yasin, to Ikran’s disappearance. In the post, Abdalla states that he conducted a preliminary investigation where he concluded that Ikran was murdered at the hands of those in the top leadership at NISA.

“In the evening, a NISA ambulance entered Godka Jilicow (maximum security prison in Mogadishu). Then, the ambulance left the jail with a security convoy yet the ambulance did not go to the hospital but rather to the outskirts of the city, meaning that something was being disposed of”.

On September 2nd, 68 days after Ikran went missing, NISA released a statement denying its involvement in the case claiming instead that the terror group Al-Shabaab was to blame for Ikran’s disappearance and murder. The agency did not specify how they concluded that Ikran was murdered or when and where it believed Ikran was killed. Several hours later, Al-Shabaab released its own statement in which the terror group distanced itself from any involvement in this case.

After mounting pressure from the public, on September 4th Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble ordered Fahad Yasin to submit a full report on Ikran’s case, calling NISA’s explanation on her disappearance “unsatisfactory”.

In response to this, Fahad Yasin wrote a letter on September 5th calling for an emergency national security council meeting in which he claimed he would present the report regarding Ikran’s case.

On September 6th, Prime Minister Roble released Fahad Yasin of his duties as Director General of NISA. Roble also urged Attorney General Suleyman Mohamed to open a formal investigation into Ikran’s case.

At the time of writing, the circumstances surrounding Ikran Tahlil Farah’s disappearance and death are still unclear. There has been no official statement from the Somali government regarding a crime scene or the discovery of her remains.

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