The advocacy group Reporters Without Borders said of his death:
Violence against journalists in Somalia is sustained by impunity for those responsible. It is quite clear that Abdi was deliberately targeted. We call for a serious and impartial investigation that leads to the identification of his murderers.
His colleagues said they believe the al Qaeda-linked Al Shabab militant group that rules large swaths of Somalia by force orchestrated the killing. “Absolutely, we are sure it is al-Shabab,” Abdi’s colleague told Al Jazeera. An Al Shabab website offered up the killing as a “lesson” to other journalists, further pointing to the group as the killers.
Another journalist, Abdisalan Sheikh Hassan, was killed just over a month ago. In the past three years, 13 journalists in Somalia died in targeted violence, according to the Committee To Protect Journalists, an advocacy group that meticulously documents such killings and confirms motivations behind the killings.
The deaths — and continuing threats — are having a chilling effect on reporters in Somalia, which has lacked an effective central government since 1991. Five employees of Shabelle radio alone lost their lives in attacks, and Abdi is the third news director to be killed. His colleagues are disheartened. Station editor Muhyadin Hassan said the threats continued:
We sleep at the radio station because we can’t go home. We don’t know why we are being targeted. You can’t know who is going to kill you.
Another colleague noted that they couldn’t even attend his funeral service: “We can’t even pay respects to our fallen colleague since al Shabab is threatening us.”
Somalia’s president Sharif Ahmed, who controls little territory in the country despite foreign forces attempting bolster him, condemned Abid’s killing as a “senseless murder.” AMISOM, the African Union force fighting militants in Somalia, offered its condolences for the killing and said it would help the federal government in any investigation.