Senate staff arrested over plot to bomb Kenyan Parliament

Police are holding a Parliamentary staff after he was named in an intelligence report that he planned to facilitate attacks on the National Assembly.

The suspect, Ali Abdulmajid, is the vice-chairperson of the management committee of the Pumwani Riyadh mosque that has in the past been accused of financing terror activities.

Abdulmajid who has been the vice- chairman of the mosque since 2009 was arrested at midnight on Sunday and booked at Kilimani Police Station.

His family said the officers from CID and Anti-Terror Unit wanted to clarify with him a number of issues.

He was picked up by officers from Central police station and was being grilled on Monday.

“The officers want to confirm a number of issues. We don’t want to take chances,” said a senior officer at the Central police station, who asked not to be named.

Abdulmajid who has worked with Parliament for nearly ten years was previously named in the 2011 UN Monitoring Group on Eritrea and Somalia as being linked to terror activities.

He subsequently wrote to the police chief asking him to investigate the UN Monitoring Report so that his name could be cleared as he denied the allegations.

“We have opened our doors to the police to come and investigate the mosque or any of our members. We have nothing to hide and we don’t support terrorists or terror activities,” an official of the mosque who requested not to be named said.

His arrest came after police revealed Al-Shabaab terrorists’ plan to plant bombs in Parliament Buildings as part of high scale attacks.

“The terror group plans to use an operative (Abdulmajid) who is affiliated to the popular Pumwani Riyadh Mosque who is also a staff member at the Senate to actualise the attack.”

The revelations were made in a letter by Central OCPD Paul Wanjama addressed to Parliament police station OCS Mr Samson Chelugo.

Enhance vigilance

Wanjama mentioned other targeted areas as Muthurwa Market, Nairobi Pentecostal Church (NPC), Holy Family Basilica, St Andrews PCEA church and University of Nairobi.

“There is need to enhance security vigilance in the areas targeted by Al-Shabaab for attacks to neutralise the threat,” said Mr Wanjama in the letter dated April 23.

He told the commander to enhance on pre-emptive measures by collecting intelligence on the Al-Shabaab operatives. He also ordered for enhanced security and thorough checks on the targeted areas and schools.

Chelugo also asked the CID to make an arrest of the said official and interrogate him.

When contacted on Monday for comment, Wanjama said the letter is true but wondered how it leaked.

“We are investigating how the letter leaked to the social media. The contents there are meant to ensure there is safety in the areas in this era of terror threats and you never know,” said Wanjama.

The publication of the letter on the social media caused concern among many who wanted to know its authenticity.

It is not clear who the staff referred to in the letter is and what action had been taken on him but Wanjama insisted the letter was authored out of collected intelligence.

Intelligence reports have in the past shown terrorists plan to attack Parliament Buildings. This has prompted enhanced security in the area with more personnel being deployed.

Wanjama said they took the action in the wake of the Garissa University terror attack in which 148 people, most of them students, were killed by terrorists on April 2.

Four terrorists laid a siege at the college, days after police had been warned of the plan to attack it. Nine police security chiefs have since been suspended following the incident.