A Cabinet minister and a nominated MP are among prominent Kenyans funding the activities of the Al Shabaab terror group, claims a new United Nations report.
The Cabinet minister is said to have donated Sh200,000 for the construction of a mosque in 2009, but the funds were wired to an account operated by the terrorist outfit which controls huge parts of Somalia.
The report also accuses the Nominated MP of donating Sh500,000 to an account operated by a leading Al Shabaab financier on February 17 this year.
The report however says that it has no evidence that the minister was aware that his donation would be used to finance the terror group’s activities.
The report also says the Nominated MP confirmed being a close friend of a leading Al Shabaab financier during an interview with the UN Monitoring Group.
She, however, denied knowledge that the funds were being used to help the terror group’s activities in Kenya and the war-torn Somalia, believing she was contributing to reconstruction of a mosque.
According to the report, the terror group, which has close ties with al Qaeda has established extensive funding, recruiting and training networks in Kenya and recruited between 200 and 500 Kenyan youths who are currently fighting to overthrow the UN backed Transitional Federal Government in Mogadishu.
Al Shabaab has also set up connections with other Jihadist groups across the continent, the report states.
According to the report on Somalia and Eritrea, majority of the Kenyan youths recruited to Al Shabaab are from non-Somali communities.
“In the past, al Shabaab’s presence in Kenya has been concentrated primarily within the ethnic Somali community.
But since 2009, the Group has rapidly expanded its influence and membership to non-Somali Kenyan nationals,” the report said.
The report says Al Shabaab activities are mainly conducted by the Muslim Youth Centre based at Pumwani in Nairobi.
The report says the centre is used to recruit Kenyan youths into the terror group.
“Officially, the MYC Constitution defines the group as a ‘community based-organisation’ that aims to provide youth with religious counselling ... In practice, members of the group openly engage in recruiting for al Shabaab in Kenya and facilitate travel to Somalia for individuals to train and fight for ‘jihad’ in Somalia,” the report said.
Members of the group openly engage in recruiting for al Shabaab in Kenya and facilitate travel to Somalia for individuals to train and fight.
The report accuses one Ahmed Iman of being the terror group’s pointman at the Centre, responsible for recruiting the Kenyan youths, including minors to fight in Somalia.
“Ahmed Iman’s success in recruiting fighters and mobilizing funds for the cause, appear to have earned him steady ascendancy within al Shabaab.
The Monitoring Group believes that he now intends to conduct large-scale attacks in Kenya, and possibly elsewhere in East Africa,” the report adds.
The report accuses Mr Iman of channelling donations meant to run Islamic projects to the terror outfit.
“direct all the money to al Shabaab because it is their right ... He (Ahmad Iman) instructed us to stop the construction and re-direct the money to that side (Somalia),” the report quotes a confession from one of the Al Shabaab converts.
The Centre’s main leaders in Nairobi include Amir Idriss Nyaboga, Hussein Ally, Abdi Mohamed, Abdi Mohamed Mbithuka and Mohamed Musa “Bamer”.
The report also lists major commercial banks in Kenya that are used by the terror organisations agents in Kenya to receive and transfer funds.