by Ibrahim Hussein
Sunday March 26, 2023
bomb-sniffing dog - A police officer with an explosives-sniffing dog provide security before the Buffalo Bills NFL game against the Houston Texans at Ralph Wilson Stadium in December 2015. Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images
Prevention and solving crimes requires a
variety of resources, including trained personnel, equipment and importantly,
constant discipline. This is also a top priority for current president Hassan
Sheik’s government. Though government have employed a variety of strategies of
war against crime. However, it seems that the resources to combat organised
crime are excluded the role of one unique, friendly and important animal.
Before going into the subject in the
discussion, as an author, I would like to make clear that this article is not
intended to promote un-cultural issues to Somali community, and it is also not
meant to write something out of nothing or for fun. But my aim is to draw the attention of the
authority to the importance of trained sniffing Explosive Detection Dogs (EDD) used
in crime prevention as a resource and methods to contribute enhancement to
ongoing efforts of public safety.
From twenty century to date, the majority
of modern law enforcement in the world use trained dogs, although naturally,
opinions differ as to the most suitable type of dog for the job is debated.
Nevertheless, the K-9 dogs are known to assist police and other law enforcement
officers in their duties, including searching drugs, explosives, locating
missing people, and crime scene evidence. Unfortunately, the Somalia Police
Force had not understood the value of trained dogs in preventing and solving
crimes. The question that needs to be answered is...what part and role a
trained dog will play in the present situation of Somalia crime prevention
efforts? Having trained dogs and qualified handlers at all main check points,
barricades and on government premises will reduce or rather prevent any possible
penetration of explosives.
Through sniffing, dogs are more accurate
than humans at locating substances. This is a proven evidence-based science and
its effective way of preventing crimes related to ordnance and chemical
substances. Since every country in the
world uses sniffing K-9 dogs, I don’t see any single reason why Somalia Police
Force are not using them. Considering the current situation in Somalia,
specifically the capital city, which requires strict and tough security
screening all the time for checking ordinance materials for which only K-9 dogs
can achieve accurate performance. Therefore, since its use has added value to
safety, the Somalia Police Force should come up with ways and initiatives to
use trained sniffing dogs.
In this article, the author is not
discussing everything about all types of dogs. Because some dogs are known for
being uncooperative, disobedient, and naturally lazy, others are rambunctious,
playful, and energetic. However, there are some special dogs who play
hard-working roles in finding explosive devices and human remains, like the German
shepherd, Boerboel, Basenji and Sloughi breeds,
are observed to be on top of their jobs as they always contribute to the many
police and military operations that require their assistance.
We have to know that dogs have a more
sensitive nose than humans do, so with their sense of smell a lot stronger than
human, they are able to sniff out and discover hidden a human remains and explosives that even a
trained special forces can't detect.
Working with a trained police dog, the
discipline is the most important, but when it’s compassionate enforcement of
fair rules and a clear, consistent structure that gives expectations and
consequences. The same rule and technique works for humans. Surprisingly, dogs
follow instructions sometimes faster than humans. Again, when it comes to
loyalty, humans can betray many times over and they might not even noticed.
Because humans have the capacity to lie, deceive, and manipulate to get
something their own way or any other personal interest. In contrast to humans,
dogs are constitutionally incapable of doing all this. With the advancement of today’s
science and research, these days, many studies are suggesting that dogs never
betray their friends, handlers, or owners. With that reputation, the dogs have
earned the title of “Man’s best Friend”.
The use of explosives detection dogs at
airports in the Muslim world is widespread, including in countries such as
Saudi Arabia, Iran, Bahrain, Pakistan and Indonesia. These days, Somalia also
comes on board for the use of sniffing dogs in Aden Abdulle International Airport,
and many other facilities. According to AMISOM, an article published in their
Web domain, Somalia Police Force has only few qualified dog handlers. A part from security use, some Arabian Muslim
countries have taken the use of dogs to different levels to a culture of dog
sports racing competition. Because of their speed, the Saluki dogs are used for
sports racing that continues today, and it’s held during heritage festivals and
other sports club events in Abu Dhabi.
Dogs have been part of the Somali ancient
culture for the use of hunting and guarding farms and livestock, in particular
goats and cows. However, the culture has declined, and lately, few rich or
civilised people used to have dogs as a watchdog in their compounds from the
80’s to the present day. Moreover, these days, the majority of Somalis
associate dogs with every negative thing and potential that dogs are considered
harmful and something to be fearful of, which is why they avoid them
completely, but in reality, that is not more than fear of the unknown and
taboo. It’s very unfortunate that we forget that dogs are part of Allah’s
creation, and we should treat them well and not be afraid of them and benefit
The Islamic religious opinions on how to
keep, handle and use dogs and their impurity are very clear in the religious
script. However, it seems that Somali people have taken into extreme aversion.
To what can be considered more Somali cultural identity than religion. Having a
dog seems like a Western thing and it’s associated with a culture that was
brought to Somalis by white colonialists when they arrived in Somalia.
The among the uses of keeping dogs in
today’s world include the challenging jobs for security personnel such as
tracking criminals, drugs, and explosives such as bombs and to locate victims
of natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunami and building collapse in the
situation of sudden structural failure. Therefore, it justifies their need to
use during lifesaving operations.
In regards to Islamic Sharia for the use
of dogs, it is permissible to keep a dog for three purposes; (1) hunting, (2)
protecting one’s livestock and (3) guarding farmland.
Therefore, considering their use is related to propose work which is similar to
what is permitting religion and the current necessity of crime prevention in
Somalia, the Islamic jurist would agree it is used and handled for a clearly
defined purpose. What is more, given the chance use of K-9 dogs in Somalia
police operations. Without doubt it will contribute to police operations to
achieve the highest performance in crime prevention activities, which can be
translated to lifesaving.
About the Author.
Email: [email protected]
Ibrahim is a Humanitarian worker working in Horn and East
Africa, Human Right Activist and autodidact forensic investigations and passionate