Police nab Mombasa terror suspect, recover guns

Wednesday January 6 2016

Abdifatah Twahir Abdalla, 27 year old terror suspect appears at Mombasa law courts on January 5, 2016. He was arrested at King'orani area in Mombasa during a police raid. Fire arms and chemicals used in making explosives was recovered in his house. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Abdifatah Twahir Abdalla, 27 year old terror suspect appears at Mombasa law courts on January 5, 2016. He was arrested at King'orani area in Mombasa during a police raid. Fire arms and chemicals used in making explosives was recovered in his house. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By MOHAMED AHMED
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By CHARLES LWANGA
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Two guns stolen in separate attacks were among weapons police say they recovered when they raided a house in Majengo, Mombasa, on Monday night.

The M4 rifle was stolen during an attack on Nyali army barracks in 2014 while a G3 rifle was snatched from a officer who was guarding the Gulf African Bank, Bondeni branch, last year.

Ten men said to be members of the Mombasa Republican Council attacked the army camp on November 2. On October 3, last year, three masked men attacked the police officer and shot him in the head before escaping with his gun.

On Tuesday, the county security committee said the raid targeted four terror suspects, two of whom are said to be on the list of the most-wanted criminals. They are Hussein Omar Said alias Babli and Mohamed Ismael Shosi. Others are Kassim Mohamed Abdallah and Mohamed Salim Mohamed.

County DCI boss Henry Ondiek said the men were hiding in the house where the weapons were found but managed to escape police dragnet.

“A fifth man, Abdifatah Fatah Twahir who was arrested in Malindi with a grenade was taken to court Tuesday,” Mr Ondiek said. Police have asked the court to detain him for 30 days to allow them complete their investigations.

DISPLAYED WEAPONS

At a press briefing addressed by County Commissioner Nelson Marwa, Coast Police Commander Francis Wanjohi and Mr Ondiek, the security committee displayed the weapons and documents seized during the said raid.

“Police arrested a suspect and seized two firearms, 345 rounds of ammunition, 11 phones and a passport belonging to a woman,” Mr Marwa said.

Police believe Shosi has been the lead assassin of government officials and is also involved in drug trafficking.

They say he wears a buibui to disguise himself and could be using a woman’s passport.

He is also suspected of killing a German tourist in Old Town on July 24, 2015. Shosi is also connected with the killing of the officer at Gulf African Bank. He appeared in court on October 7, 2013 and charged with assaulting a student.

At the same time, a man whom anti-terror police have linked to a chemical used in making explosives has been detained for 30 days pending investigations. The chemical was recovered in a house in Majengo alongside two rifles and 27 rounds of ammunition. Police said the chemical and weapons were to be used in terror attacks.

Mr Abdifatah Twahir Abdalla appeared before Senior Principal Magistrate Richard Odenyo Tuesday when the magistrate allowed an application by the Anti-Terrorism Unit (ATU) to detain the suspect.

The suspect was arrested in Malindi, Kilifi County, on Monday night around 1am and was taken to Mombasa for questioning, police said.

ESCAPED DURING RAID

“This was after investigations following the recovery of assorted mobile phones, SIM cards and used airtime cards that linked him to two terror suspects who escaped during the raid,” said State Counsel Eugene Wangila.

“The raid in Majengo was made after a tip off from the public that there were individuals who appeared to be a threat to security, but they managed to escape,” Mr Wangila told court Tuesday.

In a sworn affidavit by the investigating officer, the court heard that Mr Abdallah, who is a Kenyan made several trips to Somalia that have been linked to terror activities.

“The investigations will involve exploitation of mobile phones, laptops, SIM cards and scratch cards that shall be subjected to forensic analysis,” said Mr Wangila.

Police are holding another terror suspect, Mahmoud Salim, whom they said had been taken to Malindi CID by his father.