Mohamed Ibrahim Gabow, a journalist with Somalia’s Kalsan TV, was killed on December 11, 2017, after an explosive device fitted to his car exploded, according to Ahmed Abdullahi, director of Kalsan’s Mogadishu studio, and media reports.
Mohamed Ibrahim was driving with a colleague’s young children in Mogadishu when the car bomb, which was fitted under the driver’s seat, detonated. The two children were uninjured but Mohamed Ibrahim died on the spot, according to Reuters and Ismail Sheikh Khalifa, secretary general of the Somali Media Association (SOMA).
Ismail, Ahmed, and Ahmedweli Husssein, a Mogadishu-based journalist, told CPJ that Mohamed Ibrahim had borrowed the car from a friend who works with the government and had travelled abroad. Ahmed said that Mohamed Ibrahim had been in possession of the car for three days prior to the attack.
However, Mohamed Moalimuu, secretary general of the government-recognized National Union of Somali Journalists, said that Mohamed Ibrahim had recently bought the car. CPJ was not immediately able to reconcile the conflicting information.
Mohamed Ibrahim worked as a news anchor and program producer at Kalsan TV, a U.K.-based satellite television that has studios in Somalia. Ahmed said he believed that Mohamed Ibrahim was targeted because he was a journalist, but said he could not point to a specific piece of reporting that may have precipitated the attack.
No one has claimed responsibility for the explosion. According to a translation of a December 11, 2017, statement from Somalia’s information ministry, Mohamed Ibrahim’s death had all the markings of a terror attack by the militant group Al-Shabaab. The ministry condemned the attack and said that Somalia’s government was committed to combating terrorism, and that authorities would investigate in order to bring the criminals to justice.
Mohamed Ibrahim was a graduate of Makerere University in Uganda and had recently resumed his work as a journalist in Somalia, Ismail Sheikh Khalifa told CPJ.