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Somalia Table of Contents


National Security Service

Shortly after Siad Barre seized power, the Soviet Committee of State Security (Komitet Gosudarstvennoi Bezopasnosti--KGB) helped Somalia form the National Security Service (NSS). This organization, which operated outside normal bureaucratic channels, developed into an instrument of domestic surveillance, with powers of arrest and investigation. The NSS monitored the professional and private activities of civil servants and military personnel, and played a role in the promotion and demotion of government officials. As the number of insurgent movements proliferated in the late 1980s, the NSS increased its activities against dissidents, rebel sympathizers, and other government opponents (see Human Rights , this ch.). Until the downfall of Siad Barre's regime, the NSS remained an elite organization staffed by men from the SNA and the police force who had been chosen for their loyalty to the president.