Two men have been arrested with one AK47 rifle, 128 rounds of ammunition and two hand grenades in Merti, Isiolo County of Kenya.
The suspects, Abdi Fatah Ibrahim and Yusuf Mohamed, were arrested after police patrolling the area spotted two suspicious vehicles – Toyota and a Probox.
A statement said that a joint team of officers from DCI Merti and Yamicha Police Post signaled the occupants to stop, but instead the two vehicles sped off.
“A hot pursuit ensued, before two occupants in one of the cars, Reg. No. KCY 576H opened fire at the officers, a move that triggered an exchange of rapid shots in self defense.
Cornered, the suspects surrendered and were arrested.
“A search in their car saw the recovery of the said exhibits, including five magazines and nine magazine pouches, a military jungle belt, two mobile phones and several pen knives.
“DCI George Kinoti said the other vehicle managed to get away, but detectives are on sharp lookout for it.
“The arrested suspects are undergoing interrogations, with the Bomb Disposal Unit and Anti-Terrorism Police Unit pursuing the case.
“The area is seen as a hotbed of radicalism and terrorism at large and has since prompted heavy police deployments there.
“Officers drawn from various special units are deployed in the entire northern region including Isiolo and Marsabit to tame the rising trend of radicalism.
“The region increasingly becoming under microscope of terror groups for recruitment.
“Many young men leave there to join al-Shabaab in Somalia after being cheated they will be given jobs there.”
The statement also said that “Government officials say they have been focusing on the region in effort to deescalate the situation.”
More funding is being channeled to the counties to mitigate the situation.
Apart from Isiolo, Kwale, Mombasa, Lamu, Wajir, Mandera, Marsabit and Nairobi have also been affected by radicalism and violent extremism.
Cholo Abdi Abdullahi from Isiolo was arrested in July 2019 in Philippines for plotting to attack USA.
“He was among the few remaining in the cell that planned and attacked the DusitD2 complex in Nairobi in 2019.
“According to police, he schooled St Kizito Primary in Isiolo and later joined St Paul’s Kiwanjani Secondary where he did his Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education exam in 2010 before he studied journalism in a private university in Nairobi.
He is believed to have later vanished to Somalia then to Philippines.
“He vanished from his home in 2016.
His parents reported to police he had vanished from home.
He went to the Philippines in 2016 and enrolled at the All-Asia Aviation Academy, where he trained as a commercial pilot between 2017 and 2018. It was not clear who was financing his studies.”
Source: The Star, Kenya