A trusted group of security officials have been appointed by President Adama Barrow with recommendations from the army chief and homeland security secretary.
The State Intelligence Agency has shown a keen interest in probing the report of some 300 Gambian army deserters plotting to attack the country.
The SIS felt the need to look into the claims but the president did not ask them to do so, according to a senior official.
“I think it’s something that obviously the agency thinks they have to track down,” he said.
“We’re not going to ask the president to allow the SIS to take the lead in this investigation. This is too sensitive for the SIS.”
The SIS is littered with ex-President Yahya Jammeh’s loyalists, most of them members of a militia group implicated in gross human rights abuses.
Their agents could be carrying out espionage and passing on intelligence briefings to Jammeh and his exiled generals in Equatorial Guinea.
A separate leaked report to Barrow indicated that a SIS senior official, who was his bodyguard during his campaign for the presidency was, in fact, a spy for Jammeh that infiltrated his camp.
West African troops currently provide security for Barrow, his family, and senior state officials.
Jammeh’s government had a long track record of using arbitrary arrests, threats, enforced disappearance, and torture to silence opposition voices.
His regime used the NIA, now named SIS to carry out most its atrocities against the state and the people.
Jammeh was defeated by Barrow in the December presidential polls and was sent packing to Equatorial Guinea.
Barrow’s government faces enormous challenges to rebuild the country’s broken economy and long-neglected institutions.
Key issues include providing justice to victims of Jammeh-era abuses, reforming the security services, and rebuilding the judiciary.