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Mandera court allows police to detain terror suspect

Monday March 25, 2019

Mr Mahad Ahmed Adan in a Mandera court on March 25, 2019. ATPU officers were allowed tol hold him for five days as they investigate if he is a spy for Al-Shabaab terror group. PHOTO | MANASE OTSIALO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Police in Mandera will continue holding a suspected Al-Shabaab spy for a period not exceeding five days, a Mandera court has ruled.

Mandera Senior Resident Magistrate Dancun Mtai directed the police to produce the suspect in court on April 1 for mention.

Police branded Mr Mahad Ahmed Adan, 34, an amniyaat (Al-Shabaab spy) after arresting him on Friday night in the outskirts of Mandera town.

In a sworn affidavit, Mr Wilson Nyaga, a police officer from the Anti-Terror Unit (ATPU), said the suspect was arrested by police reservists who were on patrol.

“The respondent was arrested on March 23, 2019 at about 10pm at Barwaqo Primary School by National Police Reservists who were on patrol,” Mr Nyaga said in his affidavit.


The officer has requested to continue holding the suspect for ten days to conclude investigation but the court only allowed five days on grounds that the respondent showed willingness to cooperate.

According to the police, Mr Adan is a Somali national and a holder of Somali national identity card issued on December 3, 2018.

In response, the suspect told the court that he had only come to Kenya to visit his family that stays in Mandera town.

“I came by air to Dholo town before arriving at Bulahawa by road then crossing into Mandera together with my brothers who were in Bulahawa to receive me,” he told Nation.


People from both Mandera and Bulahawa crisscross the closed border freely at undesignated points despite it being manned by Kenyan police officers.

“I arrived in Mandera at about 2pm and while I planned to report my arrival to police the following day, I was arrested at night. I am ready to be held and investigated,” Mr Adan told the court.

Mr Kennedy Amwayi, a state counsel, told the court that several documents found on the suspect were meant to deceive the police as he carried out his mission of collecting intelligence for Al-Shabaab.


He had in his possession several Somalia documents including a renewal of short term contract, a Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation letter dated February 16, 2019 and a performance appraisal score card of the African Union dated January 20, 2019.

“All these documents, police believe, are perceived to be of deceptive plan into acquiring information [from] Kenya for possible targets,” said Mr Amwayi.


Police said that intelligence leading to the arrest of Mr Adan came from Nairobi and that they needed ten days to collaborate it.

Police will also be seeking to know if the suspect worked for Amisom as a translator for a period of ten years as he claimed.

“The suspect claims he worked with Amisom (African Union Mission in Somalia) as a translator but this is yet to be proved by the Department of Military Intelligence officers in Kenya,” said Mr Amwayi.

The suspect will be held at Mandera Police Station.


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