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Senator Hassan Omar wants Kenyan terror suspect held in Guantanamo freed

Friday July 24 2015

Mombasa Senator Hassan Omar at a past event. He blames MPs for the persistent differences between the two Houses. FILE PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Mombasa Senator Hassan Omar at a past event. He blames MPs for the persistent differences between the two Houses. FILE PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

GITONGA MARETE
By GITONGA MARETE
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Mombasa Senator Hassan Omar has asked US President Barack Obama to order the release of a Kenyan terror suspect held at the Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp.

Mr Hassan said there was no reason to continue holding Mohammed Abdul Malik Bajabu since he had been cleared over suspicion that he was involved in terror activities.

“We are asking President Obama to release Abdul Malik because he is innocent,” Mr Omar said at Longo Primary School in Likoni.

Mr Bajabu was born in Busia in 1973 and holds Kenyan citizenship. He was arrested in February 2007 on suspicion of plotting a bomb attack in Mombasa. He was transferred to the Guantanamo Bay detention camp in March 2007.

He is alleged to be a member of the East Africa Al-Qaeda network and was suspected to have participated in providing weapons and planning terrorist acts against US interests, according to the Joint Task Force at Guantanamo Bay.

“This man is innocent and I appeal to President Uhuru Kenyatta to ask the US president to release him since all the other suspects from Britain and Australia who were arrested at the time … have been cleared,” he said.

President Obama is expected to arrive in the country on Friday evening for a two-day visit.

At the same time, Mr Omar asked President Obama to refrain from addressing issues having to do with human rights for homosexuals, saying there were more pressing issues to talk about during his visit.

“We have our cultures and they should be respected,” he said.