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Two Mombasa men arrested headed to Somalia to join Al-Shabaab

By Cyrus Ombati | March 19th 2018
The suspected terror group recruiters Salama Mohamed and Suleiman Mandilo [Courtesy]

Police are holding two men believed to be Al-Shabaab recruiters who were trying to sneak out of the country to join Al-Shabaab in Somalia.

The two Kenyans Suleiman Hemed Mwandilo and Salama Salim Mohamed were apprehended in Takaba, Mandera on Wednesday March 14 by security officers while seeking to travel to Somalia.

Police say the two individuals are key Al-Shabaab facilitators and recruiters who were attempting to cross over to Somalia and continue with their recruitment and facilitation of terror activities.

They include 37-year-old Salama Salim Mohamed who is a Digo fisherman from Maweni in Mombasa while Suleiman Hemedi Mwandilo, 39, is a resident of Bagani within Likoni, Mombasa.

Security officers intercepted the two at a roadblock in Takaba as they were planning to cross over to Somalia through the El-Wak - Boroache route.

The two who were presented in court and initially claimed they were heading to Elwak to market fish products and police were allowed to hold her for 30 days to complete their investigations.

The two are said to have been active members in the Al-Shabaab facilitation and recruitment network in Mombasa.

According to police, the two men were also engaged in drug peddling and other petty crimes in Likoni, Mombasa and were being monitored by security agencies for some time before their arrests.

A police report also shows that the two were part of Ramadhan Hamisi Kufungwa’s network.

Ramadhan is a Kenyan fighter and a middle level commander within Al-Shabaab ranks and file in Somalia.

He is also a key recruiter and facilitator who has recruited and facilitated youths mostly from Majengo and South Coast to join Al-Shabab in Somalia.

Ramadhan was born in Ukunda, Kibundani area and schooled in Bongwe Primary School after which he proceeded for religious studies at Ijtihaad Madrassa and Maganyakulo Madrasatul Tawheed Islaamiya.

In 2011 he is believed to have travelled to Somalia to join Al-Shabaab but later on returned to become a fanatical adherent and follower of the late Aboud Rogo and Abubakar Shariff aka Makaburi. Ramadhan is also reported to have gone back to Somalia where he leads a recruitment cell in the South Coast and Tanzania.

It is said that the network targets mostly social misfits within the community who have lost hope in life and are ready to do anything for pittance.

Such individuals targeted include HIV positive individuals and drug addicts who are then trained and sent back home as suicide bombers.

The network has reportedly spread its tentacles in the South Coast and spread to Tanzania.

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