A member of the Al-Shabaab terrorist group who claimed he participated in the deadly El-Adde attack where more than 150 Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) troops died has surrendered to Kenyan authorities.
Officials said they are holding Khalif Abdinoor Mohamed who joined the militia group which has links with the Al-Qaeda terror group and has been working with Somalia based Al-Shabaab group since 2013.
The El-Adde attack took place in January 2016 when Al-Shabaab terrorists attacked a KDF camp at night killing dozens of troops.
Police in Mandera, were Tuesday interrogating the suspect because they are yet to establish his motive amid plans to transport him to Nairobi, where he will be further grilled on his role in the militant group’s activities.
Police said that Mohamed communicated with the Burahale Station police boss, who facilitated his travel to Mandera County, where he surrendered to the authorities.
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He ran away from Al-Shabaab on August 30, 2020 at around 6pm. At 9pm when he reached Borehole 11, he was able to communicate with the OCPD Burahale who then facilitated his movement, police said.
The suspect surrendered an AK47 rifle and three magazines with 92 rounds of ammunition.
Preliminary findings show he was born in Bura at the Kenyan-Somalia border in a family of eight. Mohamed told the police that he trained with the militant group at Saakow at the Saretha Kulmiye training school in Somalia.
He also said that he went through a nine-month extensive training in Buale where he received GPS training, how to use Motorola and how to carry out recce on camps and conduct assassinations.
The fighter is also believed to have been part of several bloody operations conducted in the past in Mogadishu and Baydhabo within Somalia.
He told police he was also among the Al-Shabaab fighters who were deployed along the Kenya- Somalia border in Elram and Khorof Harar where a mast was recently brought down.
It is believed that Mohamed is among the jihadists who have been carrying out a series of attacks along the Kenya-Somalia border where several Safaricom masts have been brought down with the aim of interfering with communication.
They operate in small groups of twelve that were part of a larger group of between 30-36 operatives. They always spend three nights only in one location before moving to another area, police said.
The fighters also use motorbikes to access difficult terrain and according to Mohammed, they only use hand-held Motorolas for communicating while combat radios are only available in the militant group’s headquarters at Kukumo, Somalia.
He also revealed that the group has two technicians who are tasked with ensuring that the machines are well maintained.
During the interrogation, Mohamed told detectives that militants were planning a major attack on Elram Camp in Mandera County.
The El-Adde raid remains one of the worst attacks on Kenyan forces. It happened when a gang of about 300 staged an attack on a Kenyan military camp in Somalia in January 2016.
The attack was preceded by a suicide bomber who detonated his explosive laded in an armored personnel carrier to the front gate of the Kenyan military base which hosted Kenyan troops from the 9th and 5th Kenya Rifles.
The Kenyans were and are part of the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) with the sole purpose of annihilating the Al-Shabaab and restoring peace in the war-torn country.
The blast from the truck was so huge that it destroyed everything within a radius of about 50 metres. It ignited fuel trucks and caused explosives to go off in the camp before the attackers followed with guns.