The dust is yet to settle down in the aftermath of the failed State House attack, which left the leader of the mutiny--the exiled former State Guard Commander Lt. Colonel Lamin Sanneh death, including some of his comrades US Army Reservist Captain Njaga Jagne and co. Now fresh information has emerged about the main man, who was linked to the clearing of the arms that were shipped from the United States of America to The Gambia. The Gambian government in a statement issued days after the failed attack claimed that Alagie Saidy Barrow, who goes with the CODE NAME X, cleared the arms from the Banjul ports.
Mr. Barrow escaped unhurt from the incident. Sources spotted Barrow in a neighboring West African nation with the "supposed President of the coup" Cherno Njie, an Austin Texas Housing developer. Mr. Barrow was not in The Gambia on the night of the State House attack. He was at a neighbouring country at the night of the attack. The scheduled date for the planned attack was suddenly changed by the leader of the group Lt. Col. Sanneh, who was convinced that his comrades at the State House were going to rally behind him to topple the regime. That was not the case. He was shot and killed minutes after they stormed the State House.
The "supposed President Cherno Njie" was trailing behind Lamin Sanneh and co at the time of the attack. He retreated as soon as the operation failed. He boarded the ferry to Barra, then proceeded to the Amdalai border post and he subsequently made it to Senegal. Njie is from Long street Banjul. Records have shown that Njie flew to Banjul before the coup. He was freely interacting with people in Banjul. He was also shuttling between Banjul and Senegal.
Alhagie Barrow, Cherno Njie, a (media guy) name withheld including some dissidents met in Senegal. This was shortly after the failed attack. A Gambian activist based in the Atlanta area was supposed to serve as the Spokesman of the mutineers supposed the coup emerges successful. But the person in question was later replaced by the media guy, who was stationed in Senegal to serve as a focal point between the mutineers and the international media.A privately owned television station in Dakar was also going to be used to air the coup statement in the event the mutineers succeeded in overthrowing Jammeh from power.
The Atlanta guy was later offered the position of Youth and Sports Minister. He was also asked to help coordinate the online radio coverage of the operation. But the decision to swap him with the media guy personality never went down well with him. He reportedly tried to throw a fit over the portfolio changes. We also learned that the dude in Atlanta processed the air tickets of some of the folks, who took part in the operation in Banjul.
Another Atlanta resident, who travelled to Dakar days before the operation bought his own air ticket. The reason being he wanted to preserve his privacy because he doesn't want the man tasked with coordinating the air ticket processing to know his affiliation with the operation. Dude was tapped as a potential Vice President if the coup had materialized.
Mr. Alagie Barrow is an active member of the US Army Reserves. First Lieutenant Alagie Barrow is based in the Washington DC area. He has been listed as Program Manager with the National Guard La, Vergne, TN. Mr. Barrow has held that position from 2011 to date.
His job include: "manage the Path to Honour Recruiting program for the Army National Guard ( average of 800 applicants a day) as a liaison with a civilian company," according to Mr. Barrow's own resume accessed by the Freedom Newspaper. Barrow also says his job at the National Guard centered on writing "operational messages providing guidance that are distributed to all 54 States and territories. Address issues and concerns from the 3200 National Guard recruiting force with the leaders in Washington DC. Train recruiting Commanders and other key leaders on the Path to Honour program and brief the leadership in DC as requested or needed."
Mr. Alagie Barrow is from Wuli Jahkunda in Basse. His mom is Fatty Sisawo. His dad is called Pa Barrow. His mum used to live in the US with the son. She was arrested shortly after the failed coup and released the same day.
Personnel of the Federal Bureau Investigation (FBI) raided Mr. Barrow's home and allegedly took his computer. His wife Fatou Sanneh was also questioned by the Federal agents. The soldier's wife told the FEDS that his husband informed her that he was travelling to The Gambia and was supposed to be back in the US in a month or so. She was given $4000 dollars to take care of the bills while the husband was away. She received couple of Viber calls from the husband while he was busy shuttling between The Gambia and Senegal.
Mr. Barrow was said to have phoned his wife Fatou Sanneh after the failed coup attempt to inform her that he was among those, who attacked the State House. He told her that he was fine and was looking forward towards coming back home.
General Saul Badjie Foiled The Coup
General Saul Badjie and Alagie Barrow are said to be close buddies. Seven months before the coup, Barrow shipped a car from the US to The Gambia. Sources have it that some arms were concealed in the car. General Badjie allegedly cleared Barrow's car from the ports. He was also seen driving the car in town.
A source claiming to be privy to the details of the failed attack said General Badjie backed down from the conspiracy as soon as he learned that Mr. Cherno Njie was going to be the new President. Badjie also was not happy, when he learned about the involvement of certain names associated with the operation. Our source said the relationship between Badjie and Jammeh was not that cordial during the time he was allegedly talking to Mr. Barrow.
The majority of the people associated with the coup were staying with their families in town prior to the operation. The late Alhagie Jaja Nyass, for example, was engaged in a small scale business venture in The Gambia. He even cleared his container of goods from the ports before the coup. Lamin Sanneh too visited some places within The Gambia and interacted with people. Musa Sarr also onetime shuttled between The Gambia and a neighbouring country. He was working on a different project. Alagie Saidy Barrow lived in The Gambia for about two months before the failed operation. He has been shuttling between Banjul and Dakar.
One of the coup plotters Mustafa Faal, a former Army Captain and weapon expert, was strongly opposed to Lt. Colonel Sanneh's decision to contact his former colleagues at the State House on the night of the operation. Sanneh insisted that the operation must carry on. The mutineers argued among themselves. Sanneh maintained that he was going ahead with the operation. He was followed by Njaga Jagne, and co. The coup financier Mr. Njie was with them in Banjul, our investigations have revealed.
Mr. Faal then placed a call to the State House while he was in Barra to sound the security waters and was told that the soldiers were on standby. He immediately knew that the operation has failed. He retreated and proceeded to a neighbouring country. Faal is a resident of Germany.
It is evident that Gambia's security is fragile. The mere fact that the most wanted people can walk in and out of the nation unnoticed speaks volume. Gambia's borders are porous. The security forces are also not motivated. Everyone is concerned about putting food on the table than protecting a guard post-not to mention guarding a so called Commander-in-chief. Jammeh should be blamed for it. He has neglected Gambia's uniform men. Any future attack is likely to succeed.
A research conducted by Journalist Muhammed Sulayman Mboup on Alagie Barrow has revealed about his military life. Below is the document we obtained about Mr. Barrow from other sources.
"First Lieutenant Alagie Barrow loved to read the preamble to the U.S. Constitution as a child growing up in Gambia, on the west coast of Africa."
“I’ve always been fascinated by the beautiful language.” By the time he was in high school, Barrow wanted to be a U.S. citizen. He graduated and, in 1994, came to the U.S. on an education visa. An uncle in Nashville, TN, encouraged him to move there. While working at a Heinz ketchup plant, he saw a co-worker wearing a National Guard uniform. Barrow was excited: You could be a Soldier and have a day job? He walked into a National Guard recruiter’s office and enlisted. He didn’t tell his parents. He knew they wouldn’t approve. Instead, he slipped off to Basic Training without a word home. When his mother saw a video of him graduating from Basic Training, she was proud. “May God help you put down the uniform in one piece,” she told him. She was even prouder when he became a citizen in 2003. Sometimes, Barrow marvels at the life that he’s built in the U.S. Now a public affairs officer for the National Guard, he lives with his wife and two American-born sons in Nashville. His mother came to the U.S. in 2006. He’s humbled by others who have suffered trying to come to the U.S. “I know that millions of people would die to be in my place,” he says. For him, being a Soldier is a way to pay back the people who took him in as one of their own. “Everything I achieve, l owe to the U.S.”