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Terror suspect arrested during Narok Madaraka Day festivities

Saturday June 1 2019

Madaraka Day 2019

Police officers man an entrance to Narok Stadium ahead of Madaraka Day celebrations on June 1, 2019. Adan Galhai alias Urisha Galhai was arrested outside the stadium by officers who said he was a terror suspect. PHOTO | JOHN NJOROGE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

NYABOGA KIAGE
By NYABOGA KIAGE
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STELLA CHERONO
By STELLA CHERONO
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Police foiled a terror attack when they arrested a suspect as he tried to sneak into the Narok Stadium on the eve of the Madaraka Day celebrations.

The man, Adan Galhai, alias Urisha Galhai, 22, was arrested on Friday morning, a day after he had escaped from lawful custody.

A confidential police report indicated that the Military Police arrested the man and upon frisking him, recovered a fake military identity card he was carrying.

“He was arrested on Thursday and questioned about the card but he escaped. This morning, he had gone back to try and enter the stadium and was arrested,” the report dated Friday revealed.

It says that during the second arrest, the suspect was in the company of another person who managed to escape.

The Military Police, it says, handed him over to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) for further investigations.

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Upon interrogation, a DCI officer who requested anonymity because he is not authorised to speak to the media, said the suspect claimed that he had travelled from Marsabit and spent the night at a hotel in Narok.

“Investigators went there and discovered that it was a lie. He also mentioned that he had held prayers at a local mosque. But we took him there and the officials said they had never seen him,” the officer said.

Background checks on the suspect by the National Intelligence Service (NIS) revealed that he had been living in Nairobi’s Eastleigh estate for more than three years and that he has been communicating with members of the Al Shabaab group.

Following the arrest, the DCI in Narok said they would hand him over to the Anti-Terrorism Police Unit (ATPU) for further interrogation.

It is not clear yet what the suspect’s motive was during yesterday’s celebrations held at the Narok Staduim. Detectives said the suspect had, however, revealed the identity of his accomplice during the Friday arrest.

Security was beefed up at the stadium and across Narok town before and during the entire duration of the celebrations. Officers drawn from the Kenya Police, Administration Police and the General Service Unit did not take any chances, frisking each and every member of the public entering the stadium.

They used Armoured Personnel Carriers, horses and dogs to control the crowd that was locked out after the gates to the stadium were closed 33 minutes after the 5am official opening time because the venue filled to capacity.

Locals had spent the night in queues that built up outside the stadium from 9pm Friday.

President Uhuru Kenyatta presided over the function, which was attended by his deputy William Ruto and former Prime Minister, Raila Odinga.