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On Monday, the U.S. pledged $5 million to assist Somalis battered by a severe drought that has, in the words of U.N. refugee agency chief Antonio Guterres , precipitated the " worst humanitarian disaster " in the world right now. But over the last couple weeks we've learned that the U.S. is increasingly getting involved in Somalia for another reason: counterterrorism. In an article for The Nation yesterday, Jeremy Scahill reported that the CIA has set up two secret facilities in Mogadishu as part of America's fight against the Al Qaeda-affiliated Islamic militant group Al Shabab: a fortified compound near the capital's airport for training Somali intelligence agents in counterterrorism and a prison in the basement of Somalia's National Security Agency headquarters for detaining suspected Shabab members.
By Barbara Starr , CNN Pentagon Correspondent July 12, 2011 9:37 p.m. EDT A senior U.S. official says the CIA has gone to Somalia to help interrogate terrorism suspects.
Nestled in a back corner of Mogadishu’s Aden Adde International Airport is a sprawling walled compound run by the Central Intelligence Agency. Set on the coast of the Indian Ocean, the facility looks like a small gated community, with more than a dozen buildings behind large protective walls and secured by guard towers at each of its four corners. Adjacent to the compound are eight large metal hangars, and the CIA has its own aircraft at the airport. The site, which airport officials and Somali intelligence sources say was completed four months ago, is guarded by Somali soldiers, but the Americans control access.