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Free our kin, family of terror suspect asks Obama

By Philip Mwakio | July 13th 2015
Terror suspect Abdulmalik Mohamed who is held at the US-run prison.

The family of the only known Kenyan jailed at Guantamano Bay has asked President Barack Obama to secure his release.

Mohamed Abdulmalik’s family made their appeal ahead of President Obama’s expected visit to the country later this month and his publicised planned visit to some of America’s jails where he is expected to release dozens of inmates.

According to the online version of Yahoo Politics, President Obama is expected to, this week, “use his clemency power to release dozens of inmates from federal custody.

He will be doubling the commutations he’s granted so far and reassuring advocates that he is serious about using his executive authority to free people serving long decades for nonviolent crimes”.

Speaking to The Standard yesterday, Abdulmalik’s eldest sister Mwajuma Rajab defended her younger sibling, saying he is not a terrorist and asked the US President to consider her brother’s fate.

“Our brother has been incarcerated for the last seven years yet there appears to be no definite charge against him.

"We are seeking out President Obama to intervene and pardon him so that he can join us and contribute to nation building,” she said.

Abdulmalik, who was born in Kaloleni, Kisumu, was arrested on February 18, 2007 in Mombasa and was briefly held at the Port Police Station before being transferred to Nairobi.

He was then held at Karen and Ongata Rongai police stations where monitors of the Muslim Human Rights Forum (MHRF) found him before he was reportedly flown to Bagram Airbase in Afghanistan and then to Guantanamo Bay under a cloak of secrecy.

Abdulmalik’s presence at Guantanamo Bay was only discovered after a US news agency obtained a court order compelling the US authorities to name all detainees at the detention centre in Cuba.

His crimes have never been publicly acknowledged by the US or Kenya but intelligence and foreign media reports linked him to the 2002 attack on an Israel owned hotel in Kikambala, Kilifi and a foiled terrorist plot on the 2006 World Cross Country Championships.

All suspects charged from the 2002 Kikambala hotel attack were acquitted but recent reports have emerged that Issa Osman Issa, a Kenyan Al-Qaeda operative implicated in the hotel attack and an attempt to shoot down an Israel aeroplane at Moi International Airport, was never arrested and is holed up in Khartoum.

US authorities are said to have renewed interest in Issa’s case and how the Kenyan authorities handled it.

Issa’s bother, Luqman Osman Issa, was also a terrorist affiliated to the Al Shabaab and is among those killed by the military in Lamu last month.

Another of his sibling’s was killed fighting for the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Ms Rajab said they have been able to speak to Abdulmalik through the International Red Cross via a linked telephone call and Skype.

“He (Abdulmalik) sometimes asks us to send him honey, pricoles (mango), cloves and ginger which we have tried to send through the International Red Cross,” she said.


According to MHRF Chairman Al Amin Kimanthi, Abdulmalik is among prisoners whose status is classified as suspended meaning that he is neither due for trial in a US civilian court nor is he due for release.

“This is largely because his country Kenya has never officially claimed or vouched for his post-release condition,” he said.

Al Amin said it is their hope that Government and civil society groups, who get to meet Obama in Nairobi, will raise the issue of his release to end travesty of justice.

“Kenya must formally petition the United States to end its continued dereliction of responsibility to its citizens,” he said.

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