National Intelligence and Security Agency

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National Intelligence and Security Agency
Governmental overview
Formed January 2013 (2013-01)
Preceding Governmental National Security Service
Type Intelligence
Jurisdiction Federal Government of Somalia
Headquarters Mogadishu, Somalia
Governmental executive Abdurahman Mohamud Turyare, Commander

The National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) (Somali: Hay'ada Sirdoonka iyo Nabadsugida) is the national intelligence agency of the Federal Republic of Somalia.


NISA was officially established in January 2013 by the new Somali Federal Government in place of the defunct National Security Service (NSS).[1][2] It is part of a broader effort by the federal authorities to re-establish state institutions.[2]

Headquartered in Mogadishu, NISA is tasked with firming up security.[1] It is assisted in this capacity by AMISOM.[2] According to the former Minister of State for the Presidency Abdulkadir Moallin Noor, the CIA also provided training to NISA officials during the latter agency's formative stages.[3]

Among other deployments, NISA agents have conducted security operations against Al-Shabaab elements in the capital.[4]

Counterterrorism force[edit]

As of July 2014, the Gaashaan ("Shield") counterterrorism force constitutes a fundamental part of the National Intelligence and Security Agency.[5] According to Somali government officials, it is a commando force trained by the United States. NISA associates indicate that Gaashaan consists of two units totaling 120 men.[6]

Alpha Group is Gaashan's first component, and includes around 40 soldiers and 3 officers who were chosen from amongst 190 special Somali National Army troops. According to Somali defense officials, this unit received training in the United States between late 2009 and early 2010. U.S. anti-terrorism expert Derek Gannon indicates that the Alpha Group's training regimen includes counter-insurgency, counter-terror operation and executive-protecting, with an emphasis on quick reaction in an urban environment. The soldiers are also equipped with guns with night-vision scopes, among other modern military hardware.[6]

Gaashaan's second counter-terrorism unit is the Bravo Group. It received training at the Aden Adde International Airport (Mogadishu Airport) in 2011.[6]

A third commando unit, Danab ("Lightning"), is being trained within Somalia by U.S. security personnel separately from the Gaashaan counterterrorism force. It is modeled after the U.S. Rangers.[6]


  1. ^ a b "Somalia Re-Opens its National Intelligence & Security Agency". Walta Info. 10 January 2013. Retrieved 1 September 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c "PRESS RELEASE: AU Special Representative reaffirms AMISOM's continued support to the Somali National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA)". African Union. Retrieved 2 September 2013. 
  3. ^ "CIA using secret Somalia facility, prison: report". AFP. 12 July 2011. Retrieved 2 September 2013. 
  4. ^ "Somalia: Mogadishu security operation nets 27 Al Shabaab members". Garowe Online. 30 August 2013. Retrieved 2 September 2013. 
  5. ^ Pugliese, David (20 July 2014). "Somali-Canadian leads new counter-terrorism force". Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved 22 July 2014. 
  6. ^ a b c d Dan Joseph, Harun Maruf (31 July 2014). "US-Trained Somali Commandos Fight Al-Shabab". VOA. Retrieved 1 August 2014. 


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