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Family in agony as keen suspected of terror activities goes missing

Monday July 20 2020
juma

Relatives of Alfan Ali Juma, 25, in a pensive mood at their home in Majaoni, Mombasa County on July 18, 2020. They claimed police officers arrested Juma during a night raid and his whereabouts remain unknown. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By MOHAMED AHMED

At around midnight on Saturday, Alfan Ali Juma heard a knock on the door of their house in Utange, Mombasa.

He opened the door, only for a swarm of ‘police officers’ to storm in.

Three days later, Mr Juma’s whereabouts remain unknown with the family alleging that the police were involved in the disappearance of their kin.

Mr Juma, 25, and a terror suspect, was picked from his house in the presence of his relatives who have been left shocked by the turn of events.

“We were sleeping when we heard the loud knock, only for us to see at least 15 armed people who identified themselves as police accusing us of living with a terrorist,” said Ms Aziza Mwangi who was in the house during the raid.

She said the officers woke up everyone who was in the house they pointed guns at them. Ms Mwangi said children who were in the house were left traumatised.

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INHUMANE OPERATION

Ms Mwangi said the officers psychologically tortured them by the “inhumane” operation.

The Nation has established that Mr Juma is a suspected terrorist who was earlier arrested in Elwak, Mandera County in 2018.

According to police records, he was arrested together with another suspect identified as Abdul Satar.

The two were allegedly arrested as they asked for directions to Somalia.

Police reports indicated then that the suspects had travelled from Mombasa using a private car.

They were later taken to Muthaiga Police Station in Nairobi and presented at a Milimani court.

Mr Juma’s family on Monday confirmed his arrest two years ago, further revealing that he was later held at Kamiti Prison.

FOUND IN MANDERA

But the family was at pain to explain why Mr Juma was found in Mandera two years ago.

“He was, however, later transferred to Shimo La Tewa Prison before he was released six months ago on a free bond,” said Ms Mwangi, a relative.

Among the conditions of his release was that he be reporting to the Anti-Terror Police Unit (ATPU) offices at the Coast regional police headquarters.

“We are surprised why they have come to pick him despite him adhering to the conditions. He has been reporting to the police every Monday. If they wanted him why not arrest him at their offices?” she posed.

Mr Juma’s brother, Ituka Idriss, said since his arrest and release, the suspect has been concentrating on football, a game he has been pursuing.

PRAYERFUL PERSON

Mr Idris further described the suspect as a calm and a prayerful person who has not been influenced in any way by “bad friends”.

“He does not miss a prayer session. He is very calm. He is not a person whom you will say is among those youths who have unfortunately gotten into drug abuse or any other bad influence,” he said.

Mr Idris was, however in pain to explain why his brother was arrested in Mandera two years ago.

He instead said that his young brother had allegedly attended a friend’s burial to the terror prone county.

FORCED DISAPPEARANCE

The family has since filed a forced disappearance report at the Bamburi Police Station under OB number 02/18/07/2020.

Mombasa police in the county have denied involvement in the matter with the county bosses saying they are not aware of it.

There have been several other such disappearances of terror suspects which police have always denied knowledge of.

Mombasa-based human rights group Haki Africa said in a report released in January that at least 11 cases of forced disappearances were reported in the region in 2019.

Police were fingered in all these cases.

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