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Kenya police: top al-Shabaab suspect seized
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
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Kenyan police said on Tuesday they have arrested a top German terrorist, whom they have pursued since the 28 May bombing in Nairobi.
Last month, Kenyan police released a photo of a man they identified as Emrah Erdogan, a German national of Turkish origin who is also known as Salahuddin al-Kurdi. The Kenyan police said he had entered the east African country from Somalia in May.
According to political scientist Dirk Baehr and German media, Erdogan travelled to Waziristan in north-west Pakistan in early 2010 and joined a militant Islamist group.
He then went to Somalia in 2011 and was suspected of joining up with the al Qaeda-linked militant group al-Shabaab. "The German suspect is in police custody in Dar es Salaam in relation with terrorism investigations. He is being questioned by the police as we speak to get a written statement from him," a Tanzanian police source, who declined to be identified because he was not authorized to speak to the media, told Reuters.
Two more Tanzanian police sources, who also declined to be identified, confirmed the arrest. The Tanzania Police Force declined to give any official comment.
The ranks of al-Shabaab include foreign fighters from Kenya, Europe, the Gulf, Afghanistan and Pakistan and the Horn of Africa country has become an increasingly prominent arena in the US-led war fight against militant Islam.
Kenyan police issued the photograph of Erdogan after a bomb tore through a trading centre in the heart of Nairobi on 28 May, killing one person and wounding more than 30.
Kenya sent soldiers into Somalia in October to fight al-Shabaab. Since then, there have been a string of grenade and bomb attacks in the capital Nairobi and the north of the country near the border with Somalia.
Earlier this month, the Ugandan police said they, too, were hunting for Erdogan and another German terrorism suspect as they believed they had sneaked across the border from Kenya.
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