Police arrest five en route to Somalia to join Al-Shabaab

Five youths from Isiolo County who were en route to Somalia allegedly to join Al-Shabaab have been intercepted by the Anti Terror Police Unit (ATPU).

The suspects, all aged below 20 years, are from Tulloroba and Chechelesi, ares where several youth were reported missing last year.

Isiolo County Commissioner George Natembeya said the suspects were in two groups at the time of their arrest.

Three were arrested Tuesday shortly after they cancelled their mission at Sericho, on the Garba Tulla-Isiolo road, a short distance from Garissa, and returned home while two others were intercepted last week in Bute, Wajir County.

FIGHTERS

He said those arrested in Bute have confirmed that they were on a mission to cross over to Somalia to join Al-Shabaab but the three who returned voluntarily had been under close surveillance.

“The three young people admitted that they were in transit to Somalia but changed their minds along the way,” added the commissioner.

The suspects in custody have been questioned by a multi-agency team.

Detectives are investigating suspects believed to be recruiting young people in Isiolo and smuggling them to Somalia as Al-Shabaab fighters.

“We were celebrating that cases of violent extremism and radicalization had declined, but we suspect that recruiters are taking advantage of Ramadhan to lure and mislead young people into joining the terror group,” he added.

DISAPPEARANCES

The ATPU is looking for a suspected recruiter aged below 25 years who is said to have radicalised the five youth.

The five suspects are from well-off families in the two areas where six other youth disappeared last year but were also intercepted at the Dagahaley refugee camp while on their way to Somalia.

Parents have been urged to report children or relatives who have disappeared so police can begin to track them right away.

Their arrest follows rising terrorist incidents in parts of northern Kenya.

On Tuesday, four people were killed in the border town of Kulan, Garissa County, when their vehicle ran over a roadside bomb.

Source: Daily Nation

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