Al Jazeera ‘exposes’ Kenya's police death squads

Tuesday December 9 2014

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A damning programme exposing police death squads in Kenya was aired by an international television network Monday.

The exposé by Al Jazeera uploaded on the Internet shows hidden images of security officers confessing to executing terrorism suspects.

The officers, whose identities are protected for security reasons, say they were trained by foreign security agencies, among them the British MI5 and Mossad of Israel.

An officer says they were responsible for many executions, including that of Sheikh Abubakar Shariff Makaburi in April.


The Daily Mail and Mirror of the UK also published articles based on the exposé, saying the secret death squads comprised of officers drawn from elite squads, like the General Service Unit and the National Intelligence Service.

“They (foreign agencies) give us the information. Mr Jack is involved in such and such kind of activity, tomorrow he is no longer there. We have worked,” the officer says in the clip on YouTube.

“The report that you gave us has been worked on,” he adds.

Another interviewee reveals the kind of training they get.

“Normally it takes three months. Once they have trained us, they take us to the field, where we do practical work the kind of movement that you make when you are in a war,” he says.

The officer says they undergo advanced training.

“The British are training the intelligence persons. We are getting very good training on how to conduct surveillance. So we have very advanced ways of getting information,” he says.


Besides terrorism suspects, Al Jazeera says those suspected of other crimes are executed instead of being taken to court.

This is not the first time security agencies have been accused of extrajudicial killings. The parliamentary Committee on Administration and National Security is conducting an inquiry into the recent killings by police.

In one of its sittings in October, the top police command was blamed for the rampant misuse of guns by juniors.

In 2007, UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial killings Philip Alston blamed police for executing Mungiki suspects.

The officer in Al Jazeera’s exposé says the foreign agencies are aware of their actions. “When these people come here for the training, I believe all this information is passed to them.”

He says the execution of Makaburi was planned in Nairobi by top police officers and government officials. The killers, he says, were from an elite squad.

“The government did it, yeah. This is the person who’s bringing trouble here. Let us eliminate him and have peace,” an officer in the clip says.


The online edition of the Daily Mail says the interviewee is attached to the Anti-Terrorism Police Unit.

“Officers in the programme said they believe assassination of terrorism suspects is necessary because of the threat the country faces from insurgents,” the Mail Online says.

“Since I was employed, I’ve killed over 50,” an officer from the GSU says.

“I become proud because I’ve eliminated some problems. What do you do with such a person? Do you spare him because you are observing human rights? The first person to get rid of is the leader,” another officer says.