Al Shabaab Sympathizer And Facilitator Presents Himself To Authorities

Al Shabaab Facilitator Francis Macharia Karishu has presented himself to the police. The former owner of a printing shop at Nairobi’s Luthuli Avenue was arrested Sunday evening in Kayole Estate.

The Culprit on whom police placed Ksh 1 million bounty was operating a business by the name Paste Printers in Nairobi, within RIDGES building along Luthuli Avenue, where he engages in the printing of fake identity cards, bank cheques, title deed forms, birth certificates and Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education certificates among other documents.

Police have revealed that it was Karishu who processed the four (4) fake Kenyan Identity cards that the two terror suspects Abdimajit Hassan Adan and Mohamed Nane, who were planning to carry a VBIED attack in Nairobi, were using.

Karishu closed shop after wind the authorities were looking for him and escaped to Kayole where he is said to have put up in a ‘safe haven’.

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AMISOM Extends Mandate In Somalia as Al Shabaab Diminishes

A UN-backed peacekeeping mission in Somalia, which faces attacks by an Al-Qaeda affiliate, received unanimous Security Council backing Tuesday until July 31.

The African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom), with about 21,600 troops, operates with the approval of the UN and relies on international funding.

By extending Amisom’s mandate to the end of July, the United Nations Security Council allowed for a review of recommendations expected in a “joint assessment” report on Somalia to be presented by June 15.

In its resolution, the Security Council recalled that it authorized the African Union to reduce Amisom to roughly 20,600 personnel by October 30, after 1,000 troops were pulled out last year.

There are plans for a full withdrawal of foreign troops by December 2020, but heads of state and ministers from the main troop contributors — including Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda — in March warned the timeframe for the drawdown was “not realistic and would lead to a reversal of the gains made by Amisom.”

The mission was deployed in 2007 to defend the internationally-backed government against attacks by the Shabaab, a Somali-led Al-Qaeda affiliate.

Somalia is slowly gaining its foothold as the forces liberate most regions and citizens.

What Al-Shabaab Looks Like on its death bed

Al-Shabaab militia group is at its weakest point. It has been weakened financially, militarily and politically in recent days. Somali’s harsh climatically conditions and the country’s devastating drought has forced Al Shabaab militants to live on strained finances as funders continue to disown the militia group. This is because many local communities now lack the resources to meet the militant group’s tax demands.

They have been put on the back foot following the stepped-up tempo by AMISOM and international communities on ground operations conducted in conjunction with Somali government troops.

Somali people no longer have faith in Al-Shabaab. They no longer enjoy political support from these people especially because of the bombing in Somalia that killed hundreds of civilians. This does more damage to their reputation than anything else. They don’t even want to be protected by them. They claim that the so called protection comes with a hefty cost.

Al-Shabaab is also facing another challenge of drawing new recruits. Youths in Somalia have become aware of the misuse and ill-treatment one goes through in the hands of the militia once he joins. They are no longer falling into the enticing tactics the Al-Shabaab used to entice youths with. Youths have become aware that there is no “money-factor” as Al-Shabaab claims. Their number has drastically reduced to an extent that they are actually abducting children from communities that are unable to make protection payments.

They coaxed the locals by telling them that if they can’t give them resources, then they should give them their kids.

The defections from the terror group are also posing a threat to its diminishing. Of late, there have been mass defections from the group. The Somali government is helping those who are voluntarily leaving the group to integrate with the society. The Kenyan government is also playing a key role into this.

Al Shabaab Forces Female Genital Mutilation On Young Girl

Over the past few months many young girls have come out to share their experiences of kidnap and rape under the hands on the Al Shabaab. Recently a young girl from Hoosingo who attended the free medical camp offered by Kenyan troops, revealed that she was held captive for one week and raped by the terrorists.

The 10 year old girl who was accompanied by her mother told medical personnel at the camp that the day before she was released her genitals were forcefully mutilated.  After examination, doctors discovered that this procedure involved total removal of her labia and clitoris and the girl had experienced severe bleeding and had contracted an infection.

Islamic scholars have come out strongly to oppose the notion that Islam supports Female Genital Mutilation. Led by the deputy Chief Kadhi Rashid Ali Omar, the scholars said that people mostly mistake the cultural practices of the pastoralist communities who are mostly Muslim and assume the practice of FGM is in Islamic law. “From the Islamic Law there is nothing called FGM and it prohibits the mutilation of any organ of a person and even of an animal,” Omar said

Police Officers In Foiled Terror Attack Awarded For Exemplary Work

29 officers who participated in interception of a powerful Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED) in Merti, Isiolo have been rewarded for exemplary work. The VBIED and other explosives were to be used in attacking a court, Parliament and a church in simultaneous incidents.

The suspects behind the incident had driven with the bombs from Somalia and planned to attack government buildings and release a terror suspect currently facing various charges.

The suspect they planned to free is a Muslim cleric Sheikh Guyo Gorsa who is currently in custody over various terror related charges. Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet flew to Merti on Saturday and announced the team would receive the Distinguished Service Award that is given to officers who excel within the National Police Service. “I came here to commend all the officers who participated in the operation that led to the interception of the vehicle that could have caused huge destruction and deaths,” said Boinnet.

Some 1,199 bullets, 36 unprimed hand grenades, 18 Improvised Explosive Devices and five AK 47 rifles were recovered from an SUV and four other suspects are in custody from the sting operation on February 15, 2018. There were also three military knives in the vehicle that the terrorists planned to use in their attacks.

Police also recovered several SIM cards and mobile phones, a black flag and other paraphernalia associated with Al-Shabaab militia groups, motorcycle and ignition keys from the suspects. The recovery took place in a remote area, almost 200 kilometers from Isiolo Town.

The VBIED had been built into the car and were ready for detonation. Five suspects accused of planning to bomb a court to rescue the radical cleric have been charged with terrorism-related offences. Abdimajit Adan, Mohammed Nane, John Maina, Antony Kitila alias Rasta, and Lydia Nyawira denied nine counts of terrorism charges.

According to the investigators, the accused were arrested on February 15, 2018, while on a mission to attack the Milimani Law Courts on February 16, the day Muslim cleric Guyo Gorsa was scheduled to be arraigned to take a plea — also on terrorism-related charges. The five were charged that on February 15, within and outside the Republic of Kenya and jointly with others not before court, conspired to carry out a terrorist attack.

SOURCE: STAR

Student Says Universities Prime Target for Radicalization

For Kenyan college students, the university experience involves more than just term papers, final exams and all-night study sessions. It is a period where students meet new people and experience so many new things.

Joy Alunga a participant in the Lenga Ugaidi na talanta competition revealed that she participated in the short film counter terrorism competition because she wanted to inform her peers that radicalization happens in universities.

“It’s not mad people who become radicalized; it’s people like us. People, who dress neatly every day like I have dressed, are the people who get radicalized. It is not those people who you think, for example, have not gone to school. It is people like us who get radicalized,” said Joy.

Alunga who spoke to the organizers of the competition said the youth should take the front seat in the fight against terrorism. Radicalization and violent youth extremism were key themes of the competition.

“Radicalization is a result of the disappointment that young people are going through,” said Alunga, “That’s why they are vulnerable to these extremist groups such as Al Shabaab.

The recruiters, go to institutions, formal institutions like universities and target the brightest students,” In January 2018 it was established that 54 university students abandoned their studies to join terrorist groups in Somalia and Libya over the last three years. A number of those who fled have since been killed either in combat or executed after falling out with their commanders.

Ms Alunga has called on fellow university students to pay more attention to attractive job offers and money deals. The third year student has called for increased vigil in learning institutions.

 

Five Most Wanted ISIS Commanders Captured In Complex Sting

Five ‘Most wanted’ ISIS commanders have been captured, including a top aide to Abu Bakr al-baghdadi the group’s leader. The militants were hunted down in a complex cross-border sting carried out by Iraqi and American intelligence.

The five include four Iraqis and one Syrian whose responsibilities included governing ISIS’ territory around Deir el-Zour, Syria, directing internal security and running the administrative body that oversees religious rulings.

The three-month operation, which tracked a group of senior ISIS leaders who had been hiding in Syria and Turkey, represents a significant intelligence victory for the US-led coalition fighting the extremist.

An Iraqi intelligence unit responsible for undercover missions had tracked Ismail Alwaan al-Ithawi, an Iraqi known by the ‘nom de guerre’ Abu Zeid al-Iraqi, from Syria to the Turkish city of Sakarya, about 160km east of Istanbul.

Ithawi, described by the Iraqis as a top aide to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, had been living in Turkey according to officials