Kenyan police said Wednesday they have intensified search for three terror suspects they believe have sneaked to Somalia to join al-Shabab terror group.
Police spokesman Charles Owino said Mohamed Abdalla Asman alias Papa alias Raymond from Majengo in Nairobi, Hamisi Hemed alias Baloteli and Ali Ahmed Ali, both from the coastal town of Malindi are already in Somalia undertaking training.
“The three are said to have sneaked out of the country early this month with help of some local al-Shabab contacts whom we are pursuing,” Owino said in a statement issued in Nairobi.
He said the suspects plan to sneak back into the country to stage terror attacks on unspecified locations. “They are in contact with other suspected terrorists within the country with whom they are planning local attacks,” said Owino.
He urged members of the public to remain vigilant and called for cooperation to stop the terrorists’ mission.
“We therefore warn those who do not cooperate with the police, especially parents, that withholding information on suspected radicalization, they risk losing their children,” Owino warned.
According to the police, Asman is an ex-convict who was released from jail in July 2017 after arrested by security agencies on October 4, 2013, while on his way to Somalia.
At that time he had been facilitated by Sheikh Ibrahim Umar alias Amru who taught him religion at Answar Sunna Mosque and later made plans for his travel to Somalia but the plan never materialized.
Before their escape to Somalia both Hemed and Ali worked at Arafat hotel owned by one Mahfudh in the coastal town of Malindi, said Owino.
“It’s deeply regrettable that there are still some families and Kenyan businessmen who are knowingly abetting radicalization, recruitment and facilitation of their kins to join terror groups,” said Owino.
He urged that anyone who may see the three to report them and any suspicious individuals that could be engaged in radicalizing youths.
Kenya is currently engaged in the fight against the militia group in southern Somalia where its soldiers under the African Union peacekeeping mission (AMISOM) have intensified fight against the insurgents.