By BONIFACE ONGERI
Al Shabaab is offering a bounty reward of up to Sh890,000 ($8,000) for any Kenyan security officer killed, Garissa County Commissioner Maalim Mohammed has said.
Mr Mohammed said the Government got the information after intercepting the Al Shabaab militants’ communication.
“The payment depends on the rank of the officer killed,” Maalim added during Jamhuri Day celebrations at Garissa Primary School grounds.
He said the information was intercepted during the militants’ communication from Dobley in Somalia to the Kenyan Ifo refugee camp at the Dadaab refugee complex.
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He said the bounty was a desperate attempt by the militants to create violence and generate mindless dash to kill for the money.
He said the Government had acquired state-of-the-art communication equipment to intercept the militants’ interaction and activities.
Al Shabaab is said to be using very high frequency radio communications to plan attacks in Kenya, but Mohammed said the Government would shut down some of the radio communications in North Eastern Province to frustrate the attackers.
“We have people who have installed the radio communications in their businesses but we have to review the system because the militants are using the same to plan attacks in Kenya,” Mr Mohammed said, adding some of the radio communication owners were under probe over links with the militants.
During the celebrations to mark 49 years of independence, security was tight following reports that members of the militia were planning attacks.
Last month, security officers in Garissa arrested six people suspected of planning to cause mayhem during December festivities starting with yesterday’s celebrations.
“The six were arrested in Ruqa near the Kenya/Somalia border. Four suspects escaped and on searching their vehicle, police recovered two pistols, two grenades and 85 bullets,” said the commissioner.
He asked the public to be on high alert as the militants could be planning to disrupt the December and new year festivities.
Meanwhile, an Administration Police officer in Ndhiwa District was ejected while marching during Jamhuri Day celebrations for allegedly colluding with criminals in the area.
Ndhiwa DC Geoffrey Omoding said the officer was singled out by a suspect on grounds that he was close to a woman from whom they had been obtaining police uniforms to use in robberies. He said the suspected officer later recorded a statement.