The Kenyan government now claims that a suspected Al-Shabaab member Salim Mohamed Rashid, who was arrested on May 14, 2019, was on his way to join the Islamic States of Iraq and Syria (Isis) when he was intercepted by Anti-Terror Police Unit (ATPU) officers at the Moi International Airport in Mombasa.
Through an affidavit seeking to deny Mr Mohamed bond, the State says that investigations have established that the suspect was in the process of travelling to Syria using an Ethiopian Airlines flight via Sudan to join Isis.
“Through intelligence reports, the suspect is believed to be in contact with people allied to Al-Shabaab and Isis terror groups. Releasing him on bail might lead him to abscond court and proceed with his earlier plan,” Police Constable Onesmus Kiema, who is investigating the matter, told the court.
In addition to the gravity of the offence, which the State argues is serious and attracts grave penalties, it (State) also asked the court to take judicial notice of the numerous terror attacks at the Coast and around the country.
Mr Kiema, who is attached to the ATPU, asked Mombasa Resident Magistrate Rita Amwayi to find that the reasons advanced seeking to deny the suspect bond are compelling and order that he be held in custody until the conclusion of his case.
The investigator said intelligence reports further reveal that the suspect’s accomplices are believed to be in possession of other illegal weapons which they were planning to use in attacking unspecified places within Coast the region.
“We are also pursuing investigations into terror-related activities outside the country and there is a likelihood that if released on bond, the accused person will interfere with the possible links and witnesses with a view of defeating or obstructing the investigations,” Mr Kiema.
He told the court that investigations to establish the suspect’s associates and their whereabouts are still underway and releasing the suspect will interfere with the same.
The officer said samples of exhibits recovered including clothing, toothbrushes, hair combs and shaving blades have been forwarded to the Government Chemist for DNA sampling and the report is still pending.
Mr Rashid, who has been in custody since May 14, has denied being a member of the Shabaab terror group.
When he first appeared in court in May, the suspect denied that he is a member of the group and asked the court to release him on bond.
According to the charge sheet, the prosecution alleges that the suspect, together with others still at large, were found to be members of the militant group, which is an outlawed terrorist organisation.
The prosecution alleges that the suspect committed this offence on May 12, 2019 at Moi International Airport.
Mr Rashid is further accused of being in possession of materials used in making explosives.
The state claims that the suspect was found with the materials on March 8 in Ngomeni Location, Kwale County
The suspect has at the same time refuted the prosecution’s claim that was apprehended at the Mombasa airport.
Through his lawyer Chacha Mwita, he said he was arrested in Shanzu as soon as he walked out of the court room having secured the Sh200,000 bond he was granted.
The suspect will Tuesday respond to the State’s allegations and objection to his bond application.