TWO suspected al Shabaab operatives have been arrested on the Kenya-Somalia border on suspicion of planning to carry out suicide bombings deep inside Kenya.
Thursday, April 30, 2015
The incident comes barely 12 hours after security agents in Wajir thwarted an attempted attack on the Wajir county government offices on Tuesday.
Sources within the security forces say that the two were part of a group of five who were trying to enter Kenya through the border. However, both police and KDF could neither confirm nor deny the incident.
Police spokesperson Mboroki Gatiria said that she had no information on the arrest of the two would-be suicide bombers but could not rule it out.
Three of the suspected al Shabaab operatives are said to have retreated into Somalia after the arrest of the other two by the Kenya Defence Forces.
The two, who were arrested by a KDF Special Forces unit deployed on special operations (SF-SO-Unit), on Monday, are said to be top members of a suicide squad of the Somali terror group Harakat al Shabaab al Mujahideen, otherwise known as al Shabaab.
The Special Forces unit is said to have been acting on intelligence from a joint team composed of the National Intelligence Service and the Directorate of Military Intelligence.
Sources gave the names of the two who were intercepted and arrested as Mursal Mohamed Hassan and Abdulahi Abikar.
KDF are said to have found a complete suicide bomb vest on one of the suspected terrorists while the other had another vest concealed inside a water jerry can.
There are suspicions that the two were also part of the group that was involved in the logistical planning of the Garissa University College attack that left 148 people dead.
Security sources have also indicated that the vest may have been part of a batch being smuggled into Nairobi's Majengo area to a terror cell that was to conduct an attack in Wakulima Market near Muthurwa.
Last week, security agencies in Nairobi were placed on high alert over reports that al Shabaab is planning to use a Senate staffer to bomb Parliament Buildings and five other locations in the city.
The other major al Shabaab targets include the University of Nairobi, Muthurwa Market, Nairobi Pentecostal Church, Holy Family Basilica and St Andrew's PCEA Church.
On Monday, police arrested the suspect, Ali Abdulmajid, who had been named in a leaked intelligence report that described him as planning to facilitate attacks on the National Assembly.
Abdulmajid is the vice-chairperson of the management committee of the Pumwani Riyadha Mosque, suspected of financing the Majengo terror cell for whom the suicide bomb vests are said to have been destined.