By Abdikadir Sugow               

Garissa, Kenya:  Six Chiefs have been interdicted to pave way for investigation into illegal criminal activities linked to the recent killings of innocent people in Garissa town.

Commissioner Mohammed Maalim on Friday said that the chiefs and their assistants along the border locations of Liboi, Kulan, Dertu and Hagadera were allegedly aiding movement of contraband goods which led to rampant insecurity in the county.

Maalim also disclosed that two other chiefs within the township and a number of police officers have been asked to show cause why disciplinary action cannot be taken against them for abetting crime.

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He said illegal importation of contraband items including foodstuff from across the border point to Somalia and Ethiopia has fueled business rivalry amongst the locals, adding any state officer involved into such activity will face the full force of the law.

“Nobody will be spared. We will pursue all crime abettors irrespective of one status,” said Maalim who also hinted that more security officials are on the radar.   

Although the commissioner said he will brief the media on tangible arrests, sources indicate that key sympathizers of the clandestine terrorist group, the Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Shabaab of Somalia have been apprehended.

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According to police sources, at least three financiers of the terror movement were arrested during a major daylight police operation.

The arrests follow last Thursday’s attack at a popular Garissa restaurant in which at least 10 people were killed when unidentified gunmen opened fire on patrons who were dining at 8pm.

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Police also placed on the radar a leading private financial transfer agency, Dahabshiil, arresting an unknown number of its workers. The agency sends money to an expanding network of more than 24,000 agents and branches in 144 countries worldwide.

The operation, most of it conducted within the town centre, was purposely planned in order to capture criminals who avoid spending the night at their residential homes for fear of arrest.

Polices sources said the key suspects, who cannot be named but are known to the locals, are said to have been involved in aiding the terror group by way of financing their cruel operations to kill innocent Kenyans including the forces.

Sources told The Standard that the locals tipped the police officers about the suspects, leading to the immediate arrest of the criminals who provide not only finances, but also crucial information on specific targets including government installations and places of worship, particularly churches.

Garissa County Governor Nathif Jama Adam concurred with the forces that the remnants of Al-Shabaab were causing mayhem after the movement was unceremoniously evicted from Kismayu in Somalia by the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF).

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Nathif said if the security forces were able to contain the Mungiki menace, then he sees no reason why they cannot contain (Al-Shabaab) ruthless criminals and their sympathisers in Garissa.

Transitional Federal Government

Last Thursday night’s attack at “Kwa Chege Holiday Inn” was the second on the eatery since a spate of terror attacks in Garissa began. Last year, six people were killed and dozens injured after a grenade attack by masked gunmen.

The attacks have been blamed on youth who were recruited into the forces of the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia. The attacks started after the Kenya Defence Forces began pursuing the terror group Al-Shabaab in Somalia in October 2011.

Lagdera MP Mohammed Shidiye said Garissa town was now more insecure than Mogadishu.

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“We have sent our troops to Somalia but our own people get killed each day in Garissa. The county is so insecure that we (MPs) fear for our lives when we go there,” Shidiye.

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Garissa police criminal activities