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’.
A family is appealing for help to return son back home after he called to say he had joined the Al Shabaab.
Sarah Khalamwa from Mwambuli village in Lugari sub-county claims her 19-year-old son called last weekend to inform her that he had crossed over to Somalia and joined the militia group.
“I could not believe my ears when he told me that he had already signed a contract with the Al Shabaab, and that he would not be coming home anytime soon,” the mother of five told journalists at her home.
According to the woman, her son left home for Nairobi last February in search of a job. He later informed the family that he had landed a farmhand’s job in Westlands, Nairobi. “He would send me some cash for upkeep until he broke the news that he had joined the group,” she said.
The family has been making frantic efforts to reach their son in the last one week. Then he was not reachable again. “Now our calls are going unanswered,” said the mother. They now fear their son, who they describe as responsible and disciplined, may have been radicalised before recruitment.
Before calls to his phone went unanswered, his elder brothers had tried to talk him out of the idea of joining the terrorist group. The family now wants security agencies to help track down and return him back home. “We are worried about his safety. It is possible Al Shabaab might have taken advantage of his young age to lure him into joining the group,” she said.
The family is optimistic the Kenya Defence Forces currently deployed to fight the militants in Somalia can trace and return the youth home. “I have struggled to raise him, I hope the Government will hear me and come to my aid,” said his mother.
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.
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
Shady was a fourteen year old male from Kahawa west a bright, quiet and reserved boy who loved playing video games. He often found consolation when playing online games, but an experience with online gaming changed him within a year.
Every day after school, Shady used to go to the cyber cafe that was near his home in the heart of Kahawa west. Shady was also learning French and Arabic in school so he used to ask his parents for money to go and do research on the internet.
He was really good in the two languages and that reflected in the grades he got in school, so his parents never suspected that he would spend hours in the cyber playing games.
With time he became good in the games so he started playing games that were rated PG 18 because they involved the use of guns and most had graphic content that appealed to boys his age, the unique feature of these games was they had chat rooms where players got to communicate with each other.
One time as Shady was playing a game called Salil al-Sawarem (The Clanging of the Swords) he got a chance to play with an opponent who was Arabian and created a friendship, which was enhanced especially when they used Arabic to communicate. Shady was excited that he could get a chance to practice the language with his new friend. His friend’s name was Mahmud Abbasand he was from Syria. Shady’s curiosity increased and his interest in Abbas’ culture grew, he wanted to learn more about his culture and country so they exchanged contacts.
Abbas asked Shady only to text him on Telegram since it was the only social media platform allowed in their country. The friendship grew for a year, then Shady’s behaviour started changing, he started becoming violent in school. One day got into a confrontation with one of the students and stabbed him with a fork.
This started raising concerns to both his parents and teachers and they even took him to a counsellor but they still did not understand why his behaviour had changed drastically.
One evening his parents received a call from the police who told them that their son had been caught with three other teenage boys trying to cross the border to Somalia to join Al shabaab.
During interrogation, Shady confessed of how he was given directions of how to get to Somalia where he would fight using real guns and would even be known as a hero, instead of playing video games using fake guns.
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
United Nations agencies operating in Somalia have teamed up to curb what they have called “unsustainable trade, production and use of charcoal in Somalia.” Charcoal trade is one of the main cash-streams for the Al-shabaab militants.
The agencies have opened a two-day conference in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, in the wake of a recent resurgence in charcoal trade, which had dropped in 2015 and 2016.
The Al-Shabaab have been blamed for facilitating illegal charcoal trade and they export it to some gulf countries via the Jubbaland state.
The Conference which is supported by the UN Development Programme, the UN Environment agency and the UN Food and Agricultural Organization also brings together environmentalists, diplomats and academics as well as officials from the Federal Government of Somalia.
They are meeting to discuss ways of curbing the charcoal trade and its impact on Somalia’s fragile environment. Somalia’s Deputy Prime Minister, Mahdi Mohamed Guled, has thanked the international community for helping the country against the vice.
Mr Guled noted that the Somali government had lobbied the United Nations to impose a ban on the charcoal trade in 2012 to preserve the environment and also eliminate a vital source of funding for armed groups.
“The Federal Government of Somalia is committed to reducing the charcoal consumption by identifying sustainable sources of energy to reverse the impending threat against Somalia’s fragile eco-systems,” Mr. Guled said.
Illegal charcoal trade continues to fund insecurity and conflict. It is estimated that Al-Shabaab obtains $10 million every year through levies it imposes on the charcoal trade in areas under its control.
The officials argue that besides fueling the militants’ capacity, the illegal trade contributes to frequent drought cycles, flooding, the loss of livelihoods and an increase in food insecurity.
The Deputy Prime Minister said that there is a need to develop alternative energy systems to strengthen the ban on the charcoal trade in Somalia. “We have natural, God-given solar energy, we also have lots of wind which can generate energy for cooking and other uses, and also gas which is cheaper to utilize,” Mr Guled added.
According to the UN, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman are major markets for Somali charcoal exports. The world body says that implementation of the 2012 ban has been poorly enforced.
Source: Daily Monitor