A top German terrorism suspect, who was being hunted by Kenyan police following a blast in the capital Nairobi last month, has been arrested in neighbouring Tanzania, said police.
Kenyan police last month released a photo of a man they identified as Emrah Erdogan, a German national of Turkish origin who is also known as Salahuddin al-Kurdi. The Kenyan police said he had entered the east African country from Somalia in May.
According to political scientist Dirk Baehr and German media, Erdogan travelled to Waziristan in northwest Pakistan in early 2010 and joined a militant Islamist group, Reuters reports.
He then went to Somalia in 2011 and was suspected of joining up with the al Qaeda-linked militant group al Shabaab.
“The German suspect is in police custody in Dar es Salaam in relation with terrorism investigations. He is being questioned by the police as we speak to get a written statement from him,” a Tanzanian police source, who declined to be identified because he was not authorised to speak to the media, told Reuters.
Two more Tanzanian police sources, who also declined to be identified, confirmed the arrest. The Tanzania Police Force declined to give any official comment.
The ranks of al Shabaab include foreign fighters from Kenya, Europe, the Gulf, Afghanistan and Pakistan and the Horn of Africa country has become an increasingly prominent arena in the U.S.-led war fight against militant Islam.
Kenyan police issued the photograph of Erdogan after a bomb tore through a trading centre in the heart of Nairobi on May 28, killing one person and wounding more than 30.
Kenya sent soldiers into Somalia in October to fight al Shabaab. Since then, there have been a string of grenade and bomb attacks in the capital Nairobi and the north of the country near the border with Somalia.
Earlier this month, the Ugandan police said they too were hunting for Erdogan and another German terrorism suspect as they believed they had sneaked across the border from Kenya.