Man surrenders to police, claims he is Al-Shabaab returnee as Uhuru orders operations

A 23-year-old man walked to a police post in Kamukunji, Nairobi, and declared he was an Al-Shabaab recruit who had fled from the militants in Somalia.

John Muimi from Samburu told police he had joined the terror group in June 2019 and was taken to Likoni, Mombasa on November 29 the same year.

Muimi claimed he was then taken to Mandera and later to Somalia, where he was briefly trained and made to take an oath.

By then he was in the company of six other Kenyans, he said. According to him, they trained for almost a month before he escaped and returned to Kenya on January 6 using the Kitui-Thika highway route.

He arrived in Majengo, Nairobi on Monday. Majengo is regarded as a hotbed for terror recruitment and radicalisation in the city.

Police said the man had two mobile phones and his personal clothes. He was handed over to the Anti-Terror Police Unit for debriefing and further interrogation.

Police say cases of radicalisation and terror recruitment are on the increase in major slums in Nairobi, Isiolo, Mombasa and parts of Kwale.

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Those targeted are deceived that they will get money and training opportunities, only to end up in terror cells.

It is not clear how many Kenyan youths are currently in Somalia for training and fighting for the terror group. Some are usually killed in clashes by other security agencies or the terror group when suspected of being spies.

President Uhuru Kenyatta has directed security agencies to hold more barazas to increase information flow to curb terrorism. 

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John MuimiAl-Shabaab recruitPoliceReturnee