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Thank you Sheikh Dawud for giving us this opportunity to have an exclusive interview with you. Could you please briefly tell us something about ASWJ?
ASWJ is an independent Islamist group who shares a common history with diverse Somali communities and stands to protect the interest of people under our control. Our main aim is restore independence to Somalia and ensure security.
Are there other ASWJ intelligence officers and where do they operate?
There are other ASWJ intelligence officers, and they operate mostly in southern Somalia.
Have you directly participated in the war against al-Shabaab?
No, it is not my duty to go to the frontlines, but I collect information from various parts of the country, my challenge is to understand the battlefield.
Where do you get the information you collect?
I collect the information from those Somali people who are always analyzing and discussing politics, and other citizens.
How long have you been intelligence officer?
I have been an intelligence officer since 2009, and I was promoted to senior officer. This promotion came after hard work, as I brought very sensitive information about the al-Shabaab militants in the Galgadud region.
Where have you taken intelligence training?
I cannot tell you where I was trained, because it is our policy to not spread such information to the media.
As senior intelligence officer, where are you based?
There is no one particular area that I am based, but where I reside and operate is sensitive information that I cannot give you.
What do you do for ASWJ?
As senior intelligence officer, I advise ASWJ commanders in the frontlines as to the most strategic areas for fighting.
Does ASWJ have women intelligence officers?
No, because women cannot go to dangerous places and collect the requested information. We are not even planning to include them.
Does ASWJ recruit children and women to join the fighting against al-Shabaab?
No, we neither train children and women, nor force them to participate in war. Our policy is different from that of the al-Shabaab militia, because they deliberately force underage children to be recruited, which is against both the Islamic Shariah law and human rights codes.
What tangible achievements have you seen?
There a number of achievements I conducted, but most recently on March 20, the al-Shabaab militia captured Dhusamreeb for a while. I gave the strategic plan which facilitated the killing of 48 al-Shabaab fighters and the recapture of Dhusamreeb. I observed that al-Shabab could not maintain control of the town.
TFG forces have captured most of the Bay and Bakool regions, including the recently captured town of Hudur. Would you like to comment?
I can say it is a great achievement for the TFG forces to have captured Hudur and Baidao, and as the ASWJ, we welcome and encourage TFG troops to continue hunting the remaining few weak al-Shabaab militants.
Anything else you would like to say?
I would like to encourage other intelligence officers to double their duties. I also encourage the people under ASWJ control to work with us, so we can restore peace and remove the poisonous militia from the region.
Thank you Sheikh Dawud for your interview.
You are welcome.