Man in court over plan to bomb government buildings

Wednesday May 23 2018

Francis Macharia Karishu

Francis Macharia Karishu in a Nairobi court on May 22, 2018. PHOTO | PAUL WAWERU | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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A suspected member of the Al-Shabaab terror group has been charged in Nairobi with planning to attack the Milimani Law Courts among other government buildings.

Francis Macharia Karishu was on Tuesday arraigned before senior resident magistrate Hellen Onkwani.

He denied three counts of conspiracy to commit a terrorist act and supporting a terrorist group by allegedly forging a national identity card bearing the name of Jirma Huka Galgalo, a member of the terror group who had been killed earlier.

Mr Karishu was accused of plotting to carry out a terrorist act in Kenya on February 15, 2018,

He was accused of assembling a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED).

During an ambush by police at Merti in Isiolo County, one suspect aboard the vehicle was shot dead while two others escaped into Somalia.

Assorted weapons, including five AK 47 rifles, 36 hand grenades, and seven projecticle bombs were found in the vehicle.

Mr Karishu was arrested after the police placed his photograph in the media.

Objecting to his release, Laura Spira, a state prosecutor, said: “Mr Karishu is a flight risk and will interfere with the arrest of other suspects on the run.”

Ms Spira said police had promised a cash award to whoever would volunteer information that would lead to the arrest of the suspect.

The suspect was arrested at Kayole, in Nairobi, on May 20.

He denied three counts against him, of conspiracy to commit a terrorism act, giving support to Al Shabaab and forging a Kenyan ID card bearing the name of a slain terrorist. Ms Onkwani directed defence lawyers to appear before chief magistrate Francis Andayi to present their arguments.