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Kenya’s police arrest six radical youths
Friday Janaury 17, 2014
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MOMBASA (Xinhua) -- Kenyan police on Friday arrested six radical Muslim youths who attempted to cross into Somalia to join Al-Shabaab terror group through in Kiunga, 15 km from the Kenyan border with Somalia.
Lamu East police commander Samson Obara said detectives working on intelligence reports intercepted a passenger bus they had boarded from the coastal city of Mombasa city to Lamu.
He said they planned to sneak into the Horn of Africa nation through Kiunga border to join the militant group which is allied to Al-Qaida network.
“Our officers working on information waylaid a bus at Mararani area near Kenya-Somalia border in Kiunga. We are still interrogating them before preferring charges,” Obara told Xinhua on Friday.
The local police commander said the youths aged between 16 and 18 years claim they were going fishing in Somalia. The six Faraj Fahim Swaleh, Twafiq Swaleh, Nabil Mohammed Lali, Fara Abdi Kassim and Mohammed Abdalla are being held at Lamu police station.
Police said the six are among foreigners who have joined the Al- Shabaab to undergo military training to carry out offensives inside Somalia and in Kenya.
Intelligence agents said they are trained how to assemble and detonate bombs, use weapons, and carry out terrorist strikes.
Obara said the youths are latest batch of extremist youths joining the rag tag Al-Shabaab terror group blamed plotting attacks in country since the incursion of Kenya troops in Somalia in 2011.
The youth were on Friday handed over to a team of anti terrorism police officers for further grilling. The detectives confiscated their mobile phones to assist in apprehending key Al- Shabaab recruiters in the country.
“We will contact mobile phone companies to establish their communication to establish the wide network of Al-Shabaab recruitment,” Obara said.
The police commander said the militants have developed several operational cells in several areas in Mombasa for the purpose of recruiting and launching attacks from within the country.
Parents have in the past blamed radical Muslim cleric of indoctrinating youths through jihad sermons in various mosques. The youths are brainwashed to join Jihad war in Somalia.
A Kenyan Fuad Abubakar Manswad, an accomplice of German terror suspect John Jermaine Grant is among key militant leaders suspected to be funding and recruiting youths.
A senior Anti-Terrorism Police Unit (ATPU) said Manswad is suspected to be coordinating the terror activities in the country by funding and training youth to fight in Somalia and launch attacks in Kenya.
Manswad was arrested with grant being in possession of explosives as they planned to carry out attacks in Mombasa in December 2010 in Kisauni district. He jumped bail in November 2011 after he was released on 233,000 U.S. dollars bond.
The Kenyan government has set up a special unit to investigate leaders suspected to be funding youths implicated in several terror attacks in Kenya.
Head of ATPU Boniface Mwaniki told Xinhua that security agencies are working together to deal with youth believed to be behind crime in Mombasa.
Radical Muslim youths, believed to be from Musa Mosque associated with slain Sheikh Aboud Rogo, had late last year been accused of being behind forceful takeovers of mosques.
The youths took over Sakina and Liwatoni mosques in Majenga and Ganjoni areas in Mombasa where they conduct Jihad sermons.
The increased security along the borders come amid reports that some of the Kenyan youths who had crossed to the Horn of Africa nation to join the militants are now back in the coastal region after being discouraged by the constant military attacks on the militants’ strongholds and fallouts.
The police said more border patrol will be intensified along the Kenya-Somalia border in Kiunga and Dadaad refugee camps to prevent the Al-Qaida-linked insurgents who are fleeing Kismayo to from entering into the country.
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