NAIROBI: Kenya Defence Forces top commanders led by General Samsom Mwathethe are investigating the increasing role of foreign terrorist fighters used to target Kenya.
The military and Ministry of Interior are examining links with ISIS after some 10-15 fighters, who are not of Somali origin, were found to be part of the group of suicide bombers who attacked the KDF camp in El Adde Somalia on Friday.
Documents seen by The Standard and authored by the Ministry of Defence point to an influx of foreign fighters and particularly Jihadists being used on the front line against specific targets.
“Al Shabaab are now receiving both technical and financial support from Syria, ISIS and other likeminded entities,” the report said.
The foreign fighters have been reported in recent attacks in Lamu and also at the Westgate Mall terror attack which left 67 people dead and over 175 others injured in September 2013. The report points at how several unsuccessful attempts on KDF camps in Hoosingo in 2012 and Baure in 2015 are instructive.
“In these attacks, Al Shabaab have been repulsed by KDF and suffered massive injuries and fatalities.”
Preliminary findings show there were foreign fighters involved in the planning and execution of the El-Adde Kenya Defence Forces attack.
This confirms fears that there are pockets of foreign fighters who have now joined the militant group Al Shabaab. Officials citing intelligence sources said the foreigners are now in charge of many issues and are protected by the militants.
This would be the latest involvement of foreigners in macabre killings. There were foreigners involved in the attack on Kenyans in Mpeketoni, Lamu during which more than 50 were killed.
In the 2013 Westgate attack, in which 67 people were killed, foreigners were used in the planning and execution. There were reports a British national popularly known as Samantha Lewthwaite was involved in the attack on September 21, 2013.
Another foreigner was last year killed in Lamu when he and other terrorists tried to raid a military camp.
In the recent months, a large number of foreign fighters have joined militants in Somalia’s Gedo region, including Kenyan converts to radical Islam.
This comes in the wake of revelations Al Shabaab has split into two with one group pledging allegiance to Al Qaeda and the other one to ISIS.