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Somali Journalist Hanad Ali Guled Manages to Escape From his kidnappers after the vehicle being used broke down

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In this photo taken Saturday, March. 22, 2014, Somali journalist Abdiaziz Mohamed Ali Haji, ,left, stands in radio Shabelle compound in Mogadishu, Somalia. Unidentified gunmen shot dead a journalist in Somalia's capital on Tuesday, his colleague said. Abdiaziz Mohamed Ali Haji, a reporter for Shabelle radio, was shot on his way to home in the north of the city, said Abdirizak Turyare, a producer at the radio. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh,) VOA
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Mogadishu, April 3, 2017: A Somali journalist who as abducted Saturday at gunpoint says he escaped from his kidnappers after the vehicle being used broke down.

Hanad Ali Guled was found early Sunday on a farm near Afgoye town, 30 kilometers west of Mogadishu. He said the vehicle used by his abductors broke down as they tried to move him from one location to another.

Initial reports indicated he was dumped there by the abductors, but Guled told VOA Somali that he escaped. His left hand and leg were chained tighter, he said during his captivity. He said five gunmen were involved in his abduction.

“At around 1 a.m., the vehicle we were traveling in broke down, three of the men got out and walked away as if they were trying to get help, two stayed with me,” he said.

He said the two guards then tried to fix the car, which gave him an opportunity to escape.

“I threw myself into a canal nearby and hid there for 30 minutes,” he said.
He related how the men went looking for him on the wrong side of the canal, and he then fled in the opposite direction.

He was found with his left hand and leg chained together. He contacted his wife who alerted his media station, Goobjoog. The station contacted police in Afgoye, who located him and escorted him to Mogadishu.

Police got a statement from Guled before he was taken to a hospital in the city for medical evaluation.

Guled works as a news producer at Goobjoog radio and television. He says he was abducted at about 8 a.m. on Saturday by five gunmen wearing Somali government soldiers’ uniforms after he left his home for work. He said two masked gunmen held pistols to his head and took him to a car with three other gunmen already inside.

He said he was initially taken to a location where he was interrogated by the gunmen.
“They asked me what I do, places I visit, if I am a member of NISA [National Intelligence and Security Agency] how long I was in the media?” he said.

During the interrogation, the abductors stomped on him several times, he said.
“They stomped on me, they walk away briefly, speak on the phone, then come back to continue interrogation,” he said.

Guled recently co-founded Media for Aid, a program aimed at encouraging journalists to play a role in helping drought victims. He said the abductors asked him about the Media for Aid campaign.

“I believe they were against what I have been doing recently, the Media for Aid campaign,” he said.

Asked if he suspected al-Shabab, he said he could not tell and could not recognize their faces.

Guled’s family said he received threatening phone calls the night before the abduction from anonymous callers. One of the co-founders of the Media for Aid campaign also said he received a phone call asking him about the appeal.

Mohamed Ibrahim Moallimu, secretary-general of National Union of Somali Journalists, says the identities of the abductors are still unknown, and no one has claimed responsibility. Moallimu said the search for the perpetrators will continue.

“The abduction has happened, but the question is who abducted him? That is the job of the security branches,” he said. “We don’t want the case to end there, we want security forces to go after it and find whoever is responsible.”

Somalia is one of the most dangerous places to be based as a journalist. Dozens of journalists have been killed, harassed or detained in the country over the past 10 years. (VOA)

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A security clearance allows a person access to classified national security information or restricted areas.

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Former CIA Director John O. Brennan speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, March 11, 2014. President Donald Trump revoked Brennan's security clearance Wednesday. VOA
Former CIA Director John O. Brennan speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, March 11, 2014. President Donald Trump revoked Brennan's security clearance Wednesday. VOA

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday revoked the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan. We take a look at what that means.

What is a security clearance?

A security clearance allows a person access to classified national security information or restricted areas after completion of a background check. The clearance by itself does not guarantee unlimited access. The agency seeking the clearance must determine what specific area of information the person needs to access.

What are the different levels of security clearance?

There are three levels: Confidential, secret and top secret. Security clearances don’t expire. But, top secret clearances are reinvestigated every five years, secret clearances every 10 years and confidential clearances every 15 years.

All federal agencies follow a list of 13 potential justifications for revoking or denying a clearance. VOA
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Why does one need a security clearance in retirement?

Retired senior intelligence officials and military officers need their security clearances in case they are called to consult on sensitive issues.

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Can the president revoke a security clearance?

Apparently. But there is no precedent for a president revoking someone’s security clearance. A security clearance is usually revoked by the agency that sought it for an employee or contractor. All federal agencies follow a list of 13 potential justifications for revoking or denying a clearance, which can include criminal acts, lack of allegiance to the United States, behavior or situation that could compromise an individual and security violations. (VOA)