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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Son In Search Of Job Makes Last Call From Al Shabaab Camp

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.

 

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.

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.

 

Al Shabaab Recruit In Custody After Foiled efforts to join the militia in Somalia

Samuel Kairo Njenga is currently being held at the Mandera Police station after he was found at Koromey area trekking to Arabia along the Kenya-Somalia boarder.

According to state counsel Allen Mulama, the suspect arrived in Mandera from Mombasa where he had stayed after his return from Tanzania on an unknown mission.

Preliminary reports in police possession indicate the suspect was in Tanzania through Kwale County and that he has been operating between Kwale and Kilifi counties.

According to security agencies, there are indications that the suspect was in contact with someone from Mombasa and that he was to be picked up in the Arabia area to enter Somalia.

The suspect had all the valid documents to allow him cross into Somalia, but he failed to report at the immigration offices to secure permission to exit. During his arrest, Njenga was found with fake documents among them hard copy maps, foreign currency and Kenyan identification.

He told the police reservists upon arrest that he was headed to Somalia to secure employment and he did not disclose much. The police suspect he was recruited by Al-Shabaab and was on his way to join the terror group. The court has ordered investigation in under 14 days.

UN Moves To Curb Al-shabaab Cash Points

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