Police interrogate five suspects linked to Garissa attacks

By Cyrus Ombati

Police in Garissa are interrogating five terror suspects believed to be behind series of terror attacks in the area.

Detectives handling the case say the suspects are all Somalis from Somalia and who had arrived in the town posing as refugees.

They were arrested at a house where they were holding a meeting on Monday morning, following weeks of tracking.

A sixth suspect escaped by jumping over a wall when the anti-terror police attacked.

North Eastern deputy CID boss Iregi Ngatia told The Standard they have obtained a court order to continue holding them as they interrogate and get weapons from them.

Targeting churches

“Reports show they were behind attacks targeting churches and security agents. We are talking to them for now,” said Ngatia.

“They are jihadists and we believe they were planning more attacks,” said another officer.

The development came weeks after an Administration Police officer was killed in a church explosion that also left 13 others wounded.

In October, a CID officer was shot dead in a mosque as he read the Quran in Hagadera refugee camp in the larger Dadaab area near the Kenya-Somalia border.

Seventeen worshipers were early this year killed in an attack targeting two churches. No arrest has been made since then.

More anti-terror police officers have been dispatched to major towns in North Eastern Province to help tame sympathisers of Al Shabaab who are causing chaos in the area.

As a measure to curb the menace, the Government has ordered all refugees in the province to register with relevant authorities or risk arrest and deportation.

Officials say the presence of refugees in the province is a threat to local and national security.

The camps are hosting more than 500,000 refugees and officials say more are arriving on a daily basis.