Senior Eyewitness provides firsthand profile of Friday’s suicide bomber

Mogadishu, SOMALIA (SOMALI AGENDA) – New details begin to emerge from Friday’s devastating attack in Mogadishu’s Central Hotel that killed more than 30 people and targeted senior government officials including the city’s deputy mayor Mohamed Adan Guled “Caano Geelle” among others.

Former deputy Defense Minister of Somalia Salaad Ali Jeele in a radio interview yesterday provided the first eyewitness account of what happened. Salaad Ali Jeele, a resident of the hotel who was present at the scene of Friday’s gruesome attack has described in great detail both the identity of the female suicide bomber and how Friday’s events transpired.

The former deputy defense minister has stated that he has known the suicide bomber for more than 9 months as she was a senior receptionist at the hotel and someone he interacted on daily basis. Identifying the suicide bomber as Luul Ahmed, a young Dutch national who has worked in the hotel since its opening last year, Salaad Ali Jeele has confirmed previous rumors that she was the mother of 6 children.

Recalling a conversation he had with the suicide bomber, the former deputy defense minister stated that Luul Ahmed told him she had moved from the West so as to prevent her children from being exposed to what she described as the corrupt and immoral cultures of the West. He described her as very religious person with a suspicious behavior. In particular, Jeele said that she had previously told him that her husband died of natural causes. He later found out that her husband died fighting for Al Shabab.

He also described her as a very industrious individual who was focused on learning how to drive a car. On Thursday, the day before the attack, she parked the explosive laden car inside the hotel and uncharacteristically slept inside the hotel claiming to have been ill. Salaad Ali Jeele believes that she was responsible for both explosions, first detonating the car bomb then herself soon after Friday prayers were being concluded.

As authorities begin to piece together the events leading up to Friday’s gruesome attacks, focus now shifts to the mastermind Ismail Muse a fugitive from the United a kingdom who has engineered string of complex attacks in both Somalia and neighboring countries. The failure of security forces to apprehend Ismail Muse despite being captured in CCTV cameras in another hotel attack he orchestrated in Mogadishu in 2013 raises questions both on the government’s ability to investigate properly and it’s resolve in capturing dangerous terrorists.

Friday’s attack against the Somali government was the biggest one since the tragic attacks on Hotel Shaamo in 2009 and the first major attack since the killing of Al Shabab’s reclusive and influential leaders Ahmed Abdi Godane in September 2014.

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