Nine suspects arrested last week on suspicion of being members of Somali terror group Al-Shabaab were arraigned before Mombasa court this afternoon.
The suspects were charged with being in Kenya illegally and being in possession of illegal weapons. Reports say the arrests point at the serious and direct threat posed on Kenya by the Al-Shabaab group that operates freely in the neighbouring lawless Somalia.
The suspected Al-Shabaab operatives were arrested last Wednesday in Kipini in Lamu. None of the men could speak English or Swahili. Authorities later recovered an arms cache of assorted weapons hidden in the Indian Ocean. Among the weapons recovered were rocket launchers, rocket-propelled grenades and several AK47 assault rifles.
Interrogations of the suspects bore no fruit due to the language barrier. Sources tell NTV the suspects were moved to Mombasa on Thursday night under heavy security.
This is believed to have led to a major operation in Nairobi where several people were arrested over the weekend. The Kenya government has now increased its surveillance of Kenya’s border with Somalia following the attack and capture of a Somali town close to the border by the Al-Shaabab.
“We have beefed up security within our borders stretching from Malindi, Lamu up to Kiunga” a police officer who asked not to be named told NTV.
NTV says that Al-Shabaab has also claimed responsibility for an attack last week that killed three cabinet ministers and 17 medical students and their lecturers at a graduation ceremony in Mogadishu. Al-Shabaab is on Washington’s list of groups involved in terror activities”