Police issues alert on terror attacks

By Cyrus Ombati

Images of terror suspects
Police have issued a terror alert over credible intelligence that indicate two Egyptians, two Morocans and  French national who left Kismayo in Somalia last week headed for a terrorism mission in the country.

Commissioner of police Mathew Iteere says they are yet to know if the suspects are already in the country but wants the public to help in tacking and informing them in case they are sighted.

Public appeal

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“We are appealing to any person who might have or come across information on their whereabouts to make an immediate report to the nearest police officer or other person in authority for further action. Any information offered will be treated in stick confidence,” said Iteere in a statement.

He said one of the Egyptians is a trained bomb assembler and is out to ensure many of the explosives are supplied and used.

Iteere made the remarks as Kenya sent more security personnel to major entry points to the main Somalia borders ahead of the imminent entry of troops into Kismayo.

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The bomb expert is identified as Mahmoud Abdel Aziz Hassan born in 1985 and is among tens of foreigners who have been fighting with the Somalia militants Al shabaab.

The second suspect is Moroccan Salim Si Mohamed born in 1984 while the third terror suspect is Nadane Si Mohamed born in 1980.

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The fourth suspect is an Egyptian identified as Mohamed Ali Mahmoud Khalifa born in 1986 and Frenchman Rachid Benomar born in 1973.

Police spokesman Eric Kiraithe said intelligence reports have shown the men are dangerous with a bad mission in the country.

 The development came as police seized a car that was to be used to ferry explosives and weapons that were seized last week.

The car was seized from a garage in Eastleigh as it emerged the eight missing terror suspects may have slipped to Garissa or Dadaab where they are hiding.

Investigations show the plan to attack churches and a presidential event was well planned several weeks ago. 

SEE ALSO :Car bomb kills 61 people in Mogadishu

This according to police forced president Kibaki’s security details to postpone his trip to Mombasa by a day when he opened the local ASK show.

The team has since learnt that the terrorists planned to travel to Nyeri on Thursday night ahead of Kibaki’s visit to the area to open the local show.

Plans upset

Their plans were however thwarted after the red Peugeot car that has been seized broke down.

The suspects in custody have told police they planned to among others blow up four churches and shoot at the congregations in the city other than targeting the presidential event.

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The suicide bombers had been dispatched by Somalia’s Al-Shabaab terrorists and were to blow themselves up in the targeted sites and target two senior politicians.

All the improvised explosives were designed to be detonated by remote control, using mobile telephone handsets.

Detectives handling the case were shocked to find out that the phones’ SIM cards had been registered under the names of prominent politicians.

Officers said they could have been used as code names, but would not rule out that the politicians could have been targeted for assassination.

The politicians’ security has since been enhanced.

Further investigations are being done to recover the identification documents the terrorists presented when seeking registration.

This was after it emerged the gang had arrived in Kenya last month posing as refugees and later drove to Nairobi through Garissa.

The latest group which formed part of the gang was arrested on September 6 along Thika Road as they drove from Garissa aboard a bus for Nairobi.

The two including a secondary school girl Halima Hassan Charfi of Moi Girls Secondary School in Marsabit and Ashraf Yassin Abdulrahman were later charged with being members of Al-Shabaab.

Yassin pleaded guilty of being in the country illegally. Halima had escaped school in 2010 in Marsabit and joined the terror group after being recruited by recruits based at Majengo.

Police have since established she was in Kismayu with Yassin where she received training on suicide bombing.

In the seizure of the suicide vests, each of the suicide bombers was to carry at least three hand grenades, besides wearing a specially made vest laden with explosives.

Investigations show they were to be escorted by men with AK-47 assault rifles who would also be carrying two extra magazines. Each magazine carries at least 30 rounds of ammunition.

The plan was thwarted after officers from the Special Crimes Prevention Unit and Flying Sqaud raided a house in Eastleigh at around 1am on Friday and arrested Mr Abdimajid Yassin Mohammed alias Ali Hussein and Mr Omar Abdi alias Adan Salman Abdi.

Mr Mohammed pleaded guilty when he was charged with nine terrorism counts, while Mr Abdi denied having committed the offences.

The gunmen were also to open fire at police officers in order to force their way past security checks so as to reach politicians.

The Scotland Yard detectives and those from Israel have been holding meetings at the ATPU headquarters since the terror plan was unearthed.

The weapons recovered included four suicide bombers’ vests, 12 hand grenades, four AK-47 assault rifles, 481 rounds of ammunition and two home-made bombs.

Police said the explosives would be analysed for DNA evidence left by those who assembled them.

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