CIA archives offer a look into the history of terrorism in Somalia

CIA archives offer a look into the history of terrorism in Somalia

CREST shows Agency concerns in Eastern Africa over the last 70 years

Written by
Edited by JPat Brown

One of the deadliest terrorist attacks the world has seen in recent years ripped through the Somali capital of Mogadishu on Saturday, at last count killing over 300 people and injuring hundreds more. It was the just the most recent event in a timeline of conflict that has burdened the region for centuries, and that, as recorded in materials from CIA’s CREST database, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has been keeping tabs on throughout its existence.

The earliest document in the collection mentioning Somalia at all is from 1946 and appears in Italian; many more materials feature the Italian spelling of the country’s capital Mogadiscio than the term “Mogadishu.”

A report from November 1947 recounts the state of relations between the Sinclair Oil Company and the countries of Somalia and Ethiopia.

In July 1948, the Agency produced a confidential “Note on the Boundary Between Italian Somaliland and Ethiopia,” a reflection on just the beginning of what would become decades of disgruntlement and regular appearances in CIA’s Central Intelligence Bulletin …

CIA’s Weekly Situation Report on International Terrorism, and “The Political Instability Quarterly.”

You can find these materials spanning the duration of the presidency of Mohamed Siad Barre (1969-1991), the 90s, and more on CIA’s CREST database. The 1948 report is embedded below.

Image via Wikimedia Commons