Nairobi, Oct 15: Kenyan authorities said Monday they have arrested the master mind of Al-Shabaab recruitment and financier in the east African nation as part of war against terrorism.
Security officers drawn from the Anti Terrorism Police Unit (ATPU) working on intelligence reports arrested the suspect Monday in Garrisa town in northern Kenya, according to Xinhua.
Garissa county police commander Benjamin Ongo’ombe said the suspect had planned to sneak two newly recruits to join the Al-Shabaab terror group in Somalia through the Kenya-Somalia border in the northeastern region.
The two Juma Kitsau, 16, Osman, 19, were arrested at a road block as they approached Garrisa town from the coastal city Mombasa two weeks ago.
“After their arrest they led anti-terrorism police officers to the suspect hideouts within Garrisa town where he was arrested,” Ongo’mbe told Xinhua on Monday.
“He had booked a hotel for them and facilitated their transportation to Somalia,” said Ongo’mbe. He said the suspect is part of wide network operating terror cells in various parts of the country.
The network targets youths, especially school going and newly converts, who are easily indoctrinated to fight for Jihad.
Kenyan authorities have introduced tough security measures including tighten telecommunications in the wake of terrorism attacks targeting key cities and towns, particularly in the northern region, where Al-Shabaab have carried out grenade attacks and kidnapped foreigners.
Authorities say they are questioning over 40 people in connection with the deadly attack on Nairobi’s Westgate shopping mall in September that left over 70 people dead and about 175 wounded. Police are holding two high school students in connection with the attack.