Gouled Hassan Dourad was the head of a Mogadishu-based facilitation network of al-Ittihad al-Islami (AIAI) members that supported al-Qa'ida members in Somalia. Gouled was a member of a small, selective group of AIAI members who worked for the East African al-Qa'ida cell led by Abu Talha al-Sudani -- Gouled's responsibilities included locating safehouses, assisting in the transfer of funds, and procuring weapons, explosives, and other supplies.
Reporting suggests that Gouled carried out one operational mission for Abu Talha: during September-October 2003, he cased the US military base in Djibouti -- Camp Lemonier -- as part of Abu Talha's plot to conduct a suicide truck-bombing attack. He also was tasked by Abu Talha to purchase two rocket-propelled grenades, five AK-47 assault rifles and four 9mm pistols, which he delivered to Abu Talha in mid-2003.
Gouled was privy to several terrorist plots under consideration by his AIAI cell, including shooting down an Ethiopian jetliner landing at an airport in Somalia in 2003 and kidnapping Western workers of nongovernmental organizations in Hargeysa, Somalia, in 2002 as a means to raise money for future AIAI operations. Following Gouled's arrest, AIAI terrorists on 19 March 2004 tried unsuccessfully to kidnap a German aid worker and murdered a Kenyan contract employee in Hargeysa.
Gouled was born in Mogadishu in 1974; when the Somali civil war erupted in 1991, his parents sent him to Germany, where he lived in a refugee camp, He traveled to Sweden and gained asylum there in 1993. In 1994, he attempted travel to the United States but was turned back in Iceland because of his fraudulent passport.
While in Sweden, Gouled attended a Somali mosque, whose imam arranged for Gouled and his friend, future AIAI bombmaker Qasim Mohamed, to train in Afghanistan before joining the Somali war effort. Gouled trained at Khaldan camp in weapons and explosives from January through October 1996 and at another camp in Khowst in assassination techniques for several months. By late 1996, he returned to Somalia.
Gouled became a member of AIAI in 1997 out of a commitment to support the Somali war against Ethiopia and to win the Ogaden region of Ethiopia back for Somalia. He fought against the Ethiopians in Ogaden off and on from 1997 to 2002 and trained AIAI fighters. He allegedly became associated with al-Qa'ida because its members were in Somalia and his AIAI cell supported al-Qa'ida.
Gouled was introduced to Abu Talha al-Sudani -- who came to Mogadishu to hide following the Mombasa attacks in November 20002 -- in early 2003 by his AIAI cell leader. Gouled was recruited to work for Abu Talha, in part because he had trained in Afghanistan: spoke Arabic, English, some Swedish. and Somali; and had a high-school education. (Source)