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How did terror suspect ‘vanish’ from police cell?

By | March 22nd 2010

Three months after Kenya ended up with and was unable to deport radical Jamaican preacher Sheikh Abdullah al-Faisal we are in a spot again. Last week, an international terror suspect tried to enter Kenya by road through Busia from Uganda.

Though Immigration officials handed him to the police, the man who passed himself on as Hussein Hashi Farah ‘mysteriously’ vanished. Australia, which links him to terror acts on its soil, has written to Immigration Department demanding to know how he managed to slip away.

The Jamaican, for whom a plane had to be chartered, entered through Lunga Lunga, a remote Kenya-Tanzania border point.

Clearly, al-Faisal was, like Farah, trying to escape rigorous scrutiny at airports. In Lunga Lunga, the Immigration minister later conceded, the computer system was down and he just walked in.

If the state mishandled al-Faisal’s case, then it has done worse with Farah’s, or whatever his real name is. That he cannot be accounted for, along with the fear the police could have been compromised, sends a sickening feeling across the board.

It raises questions on credibility and integrity of our security network, and even possibility our officers may have been bought off. It also reminds us of the need to maintain eternal vigilance along our porous borders, which as revealed by investigative stories we carried last week, are open doors for the enemy. Clearly, this is an issue Government must unravel, not for Australia’s sake, but for our own safety, as well as our obligation to the international community.

Those found to have broken the law must face the brutal efficiency of justice. As a deterrent, they must also be named and shamed.

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