Who is Sudan's new intelligence chief, Salah Gosh?

Awad Mustafa
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The new appointment of Sudan’s intelligence chief Salah Abdallah Gosh may bring a paradigm shift in Khartoum’s foreign policy.

Gosh, 62, has been involved in Sudan’s intelligence services since the 1980’s and is a well know Muslim Brotherhood member during his university's years.

Born in the ancient city of Nuri, 450 km north of Khartoum, Gosh was brought up in the coastal city of Port Sudan. He is a member of the powerful and influential Shaygiyah tribe.

Graduating in 1981 from Khartoum University Gosh was involved in intelligence collection for the Brotherhood movement in Sudan until the 1989 Islamist coup before being appointed as an intelligence officer in the National Intelligence and Security Services in Sudan.

He was in charge of the information apparatus of the Muslim Brotherhood, which was the strongest student movement at Khartoum university in the seventies and eighties, and controlled most of the student unions.

During the 1990’s Gosh was appointed as the NISS deputy director of operations and was one of the main intelligence coordinators with the Arab Afghans who moved to Sudan in the post-Soviet conflict period, including Osama bin Laden.

Gosh has maintained excellent relationships with the Gulf, Egypt and the United States according to close colleagues.

In 2012 Gosh was arrested and accused of being involved in a plot to overthrow the Government in Sudan. After he was cleared of the charges and released he maintained a business between Sudan and the Gulf importing petroleum and chemical products.

He is also described as one the students of former Egyptian spy chief Omar Suleiman and has had close ties with the Egyptian services.

صلاح قوش إلى يمين الصورة وعمر سليمان مدير المخابرات المصرية حينها في 2009
صلاح قوش إلى يمين الصورة وعمر سليمان مدير المخابرات المصرية حينها في 2009

Despite his good relations with Egypt and the Arab Gulf, as a Member of the Sudanese Parliament, Gosh expressed support to the Muslim Brotherhood movement and Hamas.

Gosh’s relationship built with the Republican George Bush administration was instrumental to changing the dynamic of the Sudanese-American relations in the post September 11 American war on terror.

According to an exclusive published by The Los Angeles Times in April 2005, the Bush administration forged a close intelligence partnership with the regime that once welcomed Osama bin Laden.

The Sudanese government has provided access to terrorism suspects and sharing intelligence data with the United States since Gosh’s first appointment as the intelligence chief of the NISS.

In April 2005 the CIA sent an executive jet here to ferry Gosh to Washington for secret meetings sealing Khartoum's partnership with the Bush administration.

According to the LA times under Gosh the NISS detained Al-Qaeda suspects for interrogation by US agents. It further seized and turned over to the FBI evidence recovered in raids on suspected terrorists' homes, including fake passports.

Sudan has also expelled extremists, putting them into the hands of Arab intelligence agencies working closely with the CIA.

Gosh’s NISS has also be credited with foiling attacks against American targets by, among other things, detaining foreign militants moving through Sudan on their way to join forces with Iraqi insurgents.

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