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Police hold refugees recruited into Al-Shabaab

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Police are holding 21 refugees after they were found travelling to Somalia to allegedly join Al Shabaab militants.

The men were intercepted at the weekend on board a van at the Abdisugo roadblock while carrying lots of foodstuff and water.

Police said the men had left Hagadera refugee camp and were headed for Kolbio area of Somalia when they were intercepted.

Garissa County head of CID Musa Yego said they had information the youth were going to join Al-Shabaab militants in Somalia.

“They are in custody and they have so far appeared in court. We have information the youth were headed to Somalia to join the terror group and we are talking to them for now,” said Yego.

The arrest is an indication the refugee camp remains a major source of recruits for the terrorists, some of whom have come to haunt Kenya.

Part of the plans to attack Westgate Shopping Mall were hatched at the larger Dadaab Refugee Camp, security officials have said.

Security agencies’ reports show continued presence of refugee camps provides safe cover for terrorists to enter, recruit, indoctrinate, train, harbor and move the operatives to and from Somalia without detection by security agencies.

“Most of the ‘Amniyats’ pass through the refugee camps, where they obtain Alien Cards, before fraudulently obtaining Kenyan identification papers.”

The report says there is steady influx of Al Shabaab secret agents into the country with instructions to execute attacks on key installations, assassinate key political and business personalities, attack security personnel and engage in kidnappings.

“An average of 100 Al Shabaab enter the country through our porous North Eastern borders and Kenya has over 300 Kenyans trained by Al Shabaab currently in the country,” reads part of a confidential report.

The report presented to a security meeting last week revealed the agencies are monitoring activities at major learning institutions in Nairobi believed to be behind radicalisation of youths.

Six schools and a technical college are named in the report. It adds some mosques in Busia, Kisii, Oyugis, Mumias, Kiambu and Migori are being used by clerics as places to radicalise youths.

An IT student from a local university identified as Ahmed Iman Ali has reportedly been appointed as Emir of Al-Shabaab in the country.

“In schools they offer Sh50,000 to those who have accepted to join Islam, then  Sh300000 to those who join Mujahidin. They also build houses for people as part of incentives,” adds the report.

The report says the challenge of policing the porous borders, coupled with corruption, enables terrorists to penetrate, recruit and indoctrinate jobless Kenyans into their ranks.

There has been notable movement of operatives of Kenyan and foreign origin into the country with bomb-making materials, mostly from Somalia.

“Specifically, rampant corruption among security personnel, the KRA and Immigration officers at the border points and road blocks; and some chiefs, continue to be exploited by terrorists to infiltrate the country and acquire vital documents such as IDs and passports.”

The presence of many Al Shabaab sympathisers in Kenya who have been encouraging, protecting and concealing the group’s activities and operatives has also been cited as a problem.


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