Suspected terrorist facilitator arrested in Malindi

Wednesday February 10 2016

Ibrahim Mahfoudhi, who has been arrested over

Ibrahim Mahfoudhi, who has been arrested over links to four wanted terrorists killed in a police raid on January 20, 2016. PHOTO | COURTESY 

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Police have arrested a man who rented a house in Malindi where wanted terrorists were living.

Investigations show Ibrahim Mahfoudhi, who is being held by anti-terror police in Malindi, rented the house where four terrorists were killed in the gun battle with General Service Unit officers on January 20.

Five grenades, a pistol and ammunition were seized in the raid.

Those killed were on a list of most wanted terror suspects, including Suleiman Mohammed Awadh, who had a Sh2 million bounty on his head.

“Mahfoudhi’s involvement with terrorist groups is not new because in May 2014, he was involved in facilitating Al-Qaida operatives behind the Mpeketoni attack,” reads a profile shared among security agencies.

Other members of his family have also been linked to crime.

There is a case pending in a Mombasa court in which his family is accused of hosting Haroun Fazul, the slain leader of Al-Qaeda in East Africa during his heyday.

“Ibrahim Mahfoudhi is suspected to be a kingpin in coordinating facilitation of the activities of Al-Qaida at the Coast,” the security document states further.

Aisha Abu Turaab, alias Heidar, one of his sisters, is serving a sentence in Sudan for terror-related offences.

His brother Ashur, who left Kenya last year, is also wanted by authorities.

Mahfoudhi is also linked to other arms seized in Majengo, Mombasa, where Abdifata Twahir, believed to be his accomplice, was arrested in January 6.

The arms were an M4 rifle, which was stolen during an attack on the Nyali army barracks in 2014, and a G3 rifle snatched from a police officer at the Gulf African Bank in Bondeni.

“Mahfoudhi’s accomplice in the Majengo arms cache haul, in collaboration with Abdifata are believed to be the ones who had rented the house in Majengo- Mombasa that was discovered by police to be a hideout of terror suspects,” the report states.

Security agencies had learnt that the group was planning a terror attack because a map of Malindi was also found in the house and several areas had been marked as if to indicate potential targets for attack.