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Terrorists planned to attack court to rescue colleague, targeted government buildings

By Cyrus Ombati | Published Thu, March 15th 2018 at 00:00, Updated March 15th 2018 at 00:12 GMT +3
Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet displays weapons captured from terrorists who had planned to rescue their colleague from police custody. [Photo: Courtesy]

Terrorists who were last month intercepted in Merti, Isiolo planned to attack government buildings and free a terror suspect currently facing various charges.

Inspector General of police Joseph Boinnet revealed Wednesday the five suspects had planned to strike a court in Nairobi to free a suspect who is in custody.

They also planned to attack a government building to cause maximum damage and deaths.

“The terrorists targeted a government building and a judicial building when proceedings against a terror suspect were to be on to rescue him,” he revealed.

The high value suspect they planned to free is Muslim cleric Sheikh Guyo Gorsa who is currently in custody over various terror related charges.

The police boss did not disclose the other targeted government structure though other sources said it is a highly populated one.

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He said they have enhanced security operations in the country disrupting several terror cells and plans.

Boinnet spoke of the incident for the first time since police seized an arsenal of explosives on the way from Marsabit to Nairobi.

He displayed the recovered items which he said would have caused maximu damage in a radius of 250 meters.

Some 1,199 bullets, 36 unprimed hand grenades, 18 Improvised Explosive Devices and five AK 47 rifles were recovered from an SUV and four other suspects are in custody from the sting operation on February 15, 2018.

There were also three military knives in the vehicle that the terrorists planned to use in their attacks.

Police also recovered several SIM cards and mobile phones, a black flag and other paraphernalia associated with Al-Shabaab militia groups, motorcycle registration number KMEE 180R and ignition keys from the suspects.

The recovery took place in a remote area, almost 200 kilometers from Isiolo Town.  The VBIED had been built into the car and were ready for detonation.

Boinnet was accompanied by Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti and other senior officers when they displayed the recoveries at DCI headquarters.

He said the terrorists had bought the Mitsubishi SUV from a Nairobi yard and drove it to Somalia where it was fitted with the explosives ready for explosion.

One suspect was killed at the site in Merti area while two others were arrested. Two more suspects were arrested in Nairobi. They are all Kenyans.

Police raided Delta Hotel on University Way opposite Central police station where the suspects had booked and spent almost a week while planning their attack.

They had also booked another house in Ongata Rongai estate for their plans, said Boinnet.

“The vehicle was bought in Nairobi and taken to Somalia to be fitted with the explosives ready for their mission. They would have caused much destruction and deaths,” he said.

The recovery was described as a milestone in anti-terror operations in the country.


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