The Somali “transitional” government today dismissed reports from British human rights group Reprieve that the CIA was using its territory as a base for unlawful rendition of terror suspects. Reprieve claims evidence that the CIA’s base is underneath the Presidential Palace in Mogadishu.
Prime Minister Abdilweli Mohammed Ali rejected the notion that there was a base under the palace, insisting that “I do not have that information and that information does not exist.” He did, however, insist the US was helping “improve the security situation” in their territory.
Reprieve reported its claims through the BBC, insisting that they had evidence from multiple sources, including a man kidnapped from Nairobi, Kenya and help in the underground prison. He added that the guards were Somali but that Americans had access to the prisoners whenever they wanted.
The CIA was already confirmed to have a secret walled compound within the Mogadishu international airport, and reported the transitional government’s NSA was allowing them to operate “full time” at their own underground prison, a testament to their “strong counter-terrorism partnership.”
The US, needless to say, has not commented on the latest allegations. Given the rendition program’s illegal implications, however, it makes a lot of sense for the CIA to conduct as many of its sordid activities as possible in lawless Somalia.