Kenyan police allowed to hold Al shabaab suspects in Mandera
A Mandera court has allowed the Anti-Terrorism Police Unit to hold three terror suspects for seven days to allow police to complete their investigations into their case.
Two Ugandans, Makoba Asman and Amos Ntege, and Kenyan Abdi Issack Aden will be held at the Mandera Police Station.
In a sworn affidavit, Police Constable Elias Korir says the two Ugandan citizens were arrested on October 28 at Border Point Three attempting to cross into Somalia.
The affidavit states that initial investigations point to offences bordering on travelling to a terrorist-designated country for the purpose of joining Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Shabaab.
“As an investigator in this matter, I find it difficult for the first and second suspects purporting to be on holiday in Kenya would want to cross into Somalia through an authorised point,” Constable Korir said in the affidavit.
“I have reasons to believe that the first and second respondents were fleeing from Kenya owing to the heightened security swoops following the imposed curfew,” said Korir.
The affidavit said Mr Aden was arrested in Corner B, Mandera Town.
He is suspected of being an Al-Shabaab Amiyat (informer) dealing with Somalia-based terror cells operating from Mandera.
In response, the three agreed to be held and investigated by the police, arguing that they are innocent.
Mr Asman said he was looking for a well-paying job when the police arrested him, while Mr Ntege said he was in Mandera on the invitation of Mr Asman.
“I came to do a [feasibility] study for a construction company I work for in Uganda only to be arrested by police,” he said.
He said the police came to his room and told him to travel back to Uganda on Saturday and not on Tuesday as he had planned.
He denied he was arrested at Border Point Three trying to cross into Somalia.
The third respondent, Mr Aden, said he worked for Mandera Governor Ali Roba and that he is from Garissa.
“I came in Mandera in 2013 to campaign for governor and after that I worked at his residence for four years before I was transferred to his farm,” he said, denying that he collected information for Al-Shabaab.
The case will be mentioned on November 7 in the Mandera resident magistrate’s court.