Mombasa County security chiefs are grappling with a new wave of crime that has hit the region.
The killers dress in buibuis and cover their faces using hijabs to conceal their identities and firearms, according to the security chiefs, who addressed journalists yesterday.
Their latest victim is a National Intelligence Service officer, who was shot dead on Thursday last week.
The gang’s modus operandi has made it difficult for the police to arrest its members and the government has promised a reward for anyone with information that would lead to their arrest.
Coast Regional Police Commandant Robert Kitur confirmed the existence of the killer gang in the county, which has been eliminating security officers, their associates and friends.
“We have not arrested anyone so far. We are begging people in Mombasa, especially those residing in Old Town, to help us in arresting Ismael Mohammed Soshi.
“He is the main suspect. He lives in Old Town. He wears (a) buibui. He is known to everyone yet no one wants to show us where he is or give us any information regarding him,” said Mr Kitur.
He said the suspect was a threat to national security and to the people of Mombasa.
The suspect was trained in Somalia by Al-Shabaab and came back as a robber, according to police reports.
“He has done evil things in this county. He is very dangerous. If you know him, contact us so that we may arrest and take him to court. If you hear anyone or a police officer has been shot, then he is behind it,” he said.
According to him, witnesses of the shooting of the NIS officer were unwilling to give information to the police. The officer was shot five times as he was leaving the Anisa Mosque in Bondeni.
“About 15 metres from the mosque, two men (wearing masks) approached the officer and shot him five times. He later succumbed while undergoing treatment at Pandya Hospital,” Mr Kitur said.
According to him, Soshi lives in Old Town with his mother and is well known in the area.
“It is difficult to arrest him because of the disguise. That is why we are appealing to members of the public to help us.”
He showed journalists a photograph of the suspect.
Another suspect, who also wears buibui, was identified as Mohammed Ramadhan, alias Rambo.
Police are still pursuing him after intelligence reports linked him to the recruitment of youth into Al-Shabaab.
He is believed to operate from Majengo but lives in Likoni.
“Not everyone is giving information but sooner or later we will arrest Rambo. We have information that he is within Mombasa,” he said.
In mid April, two billboards with photographs of wanted suspected terrorism suspects were erected in Mombasa. The pictures of five suspects were released by police on April 4 after Al-Shabaab killed 148 people at Garissa University College on April 2.