A former Al-Shabaab intelligence leader in Banaadir region whom authorities in Kenya now want for questioning is a free man after completing a 2-year jail term, Somali government has said even as former intelligence boss claimed Abdiwaahid Khalif Abdi aka Tarabuun was released from custody on August 2017 even before he was charged.
The Ministry of Information said in a statement Saturday Tarabuun completed his jail term and was now a free man.
“Having completed a two-year jail term, which was handed by the military court, Abdiwahid (Tarabun) was released in accordance with the Constitution. After his release, his movement and situation have been under the radar,” deputy information minister Adan Isack Ali.
The response came hours after authorities in Kenyan raised the red flag over Tarabuun’s entry into the country and ordered him to report to any police station ‘with immediate effect’.
“The National Police Service wishes to inform Mr. Abdiwaahid Khalif Abdi alias Ise Tarabuun whose photograph appears below, a Somali national believed to have arrived in Kenya on September 24th 2019 to report to the nearest police station with immediate effect,” a tweet from the police in Kenyan read.
TARABUUN WAS NOT CHARGED
The Somali government’s position on the matter, however, seems to be in question amid conflicting reports by people privy to Tarabuun’s arrest. Former chief campaigner of president Mohamed Farmaajo Ali Abdi Wardhere went on social media yesterday claiming Tarabuun was released on orders from former National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) deputy Abdalla Abdalla.
According to Wardhere, this incident happened during the first arrest of Tarabuun before he was re-arrested on June 2017. It is not clear from his Facebook post when Tarabuun was first arrested. Wardhere currently works at Villa Somalia.
But Abdullahi Sanbaloolshe who resigned October 2017 as NISA director-general said it was indeed Wardhere who came with a document ordering the release of Tarabuun, August 19, 2017 barely two months after his arrest. Taraabuun was subsequently released August 27, 2017 on Wardehere’s warranty, Sanbaloolshe said adding he was preparing to present Taraabun to the court to face charges.
According to Sanbalooshe’s account, Tarabuun may not after all have been charged and neither did he serve a jail term but the Federal Government said Sunday Taraabun completed a two-year jail term.
Security Minister Abukar Islow announced the arrest of Tarabuun in June 2017 adding he was in charge of Al-Shabaab intelligence and military wing (Amniyat). Somalis on social media Sunday questioned how such an offence could attract only two years sentence.