Eleven people have been handed to anti-terrorism police on suspicion that they have links to Al Shabaab.
The 11, among them an imam, were yesterday taken to the Anti-Terrorism Police Unit (ATPU) offices in Isiolo after being held at Nanyuki Police Station since last Friday.
Laikipia East OCPD Kizito Mutoro (pictured) said officers had received intelligence that 40 suspicious people were being taken through madrassa classes in Kabiru near a military base in Nanyuki.
“The suspects were being taken through sessions to convert to Islam. After an intelligence operation, we singled out 11 adults and released 29 children after collecting their parents' details,” said Mr Mutoro.
The police boss noted that among the suspects were three Somalis, six Kikuyus and 12 Kambas. Others are from the Kisii, Luo, Rendille, Luhya, Burji, Borana, Nduruma, Rabai, Meru, Konsa and Numbi communities.
The imam, he said, did not have any certification to teach madrassa, had not been registered with the Council of Kenya Muslims, which registers madrassa, teachers and that the institution was not registered.
The arrests came barely a week after two Kenya Defence Forces soldiers were arrested in Nanyuki while transporting 750 rounds of ammunition to Isiolo and a Muslim was arrested in Nanyuki after residents raised the alarm over suspected Al Shabaab links.
The three were also handed over to ATPU, with the OCPD explaining that the unit would take action after investigations.
Mutoro called for calm after some Muslims demonstrated in Nanyuki town yesterday, claiming the police were harassing children.
He added that Meru, Isiolo and Nanyuki towns were being targeted by terror groups and urged local residents to report suspicious strangers.
“These areas are expansive and there are easy exit routes. We are not taking any intelligence information for granted because there are important security installations and we need to be on the lookout,” said Mutoro.