In August, Somali gunmen seized two Western journalists and their Somali colleagues while the group was traveling from Mogadishu to the nearby town of Afgooye to report on refugees. The Somalis were released last week, but Canadian Amanda Lindhout and Aussie Nigel Brennan, pictured, remain missing.
In the weeks following their abduction, I received tips that the crime had been an inside job — that the security men working for the Shamo Hotel, where Lindhout and Brennan were staying (and where I had stayed back in late 2007), had set up the journalists.
Now I can confirm that that suspicion is true. I have reached an important source, whose name I cannot divulge. “For sure, before the abduction happen[ed], Al-Shabab men was (sic) waiting the car in middle of the road,” the source tells me. “They were well informed, they received some information from the hotel security guys.”
If my source is right — and I believe they are — Islamic group Al Shabab had a hand in the crime, with a big boost from hotel security.
Somali journo released
Inside job rumors persist
Hope for kidnapped journos
Who are Al Shabab?
Abducted journos’ vulnerability
Problems retrieving journos
Kidnapping: inside job?
Developments in kidnapping case