Kenyan Anti-terror police reported the detention 29 Ugandans who were said to be heading to join the terror group Al Shabaab.
In a related news, the trial of a British terror suspect commenced on Thursday. The British terror suspect Jermaine Grant was detained in the Kenyan port town Mombasa last December.
It should be noted that the Kenyan police is still hunting another female British terror suspect (See here (link)).
Police foil 29 Ugandans’ bid to join Al Shabaab
Anti-terror police officers are questioning 29 Ugandans who were allegedly headed for Somalia to join the terror group Al Shabaab in fighting "Jihad war".
The 27 men and two women were arrested from a house in Maji Mazuri, Kasarani area.
Police had been tipped the suspects had been brought there by an Al Shabaab agent who wanted to facilitate their movement to Somalia.
And when the officers staged a raid on the house, they found them in rooms. They told police they had been informed, "they will be taken to Somalia where they will get better jobs".
Anti-terror police were on Thursday looking for the agent for questioning amid fears of increased number of foreigners seeking to go to Somalia to join the terror group.
The officers were also talking to the detainees as they sought help from Uganda to know their status.
Nairobi Area head of CID Peter Muinde said they were contemplating to release the Ugandans because there was no evidence to show they were headed for Somalia or they have terror links.
"We want to know their motive and if there are others here or on the way. But for now we have not obtained any evidence that can show they are terror suspects or sympathisers," he said.
Muinde added they suspect the Ugandans are victims of human trafficking.
He added they could not take chances in this era of terrorism and that is why they are questioning the suspects.
Source: Police foil 29 Ugandans’ bid to join Al Shabaab (The Standard – Kenya)
Kenya trial of British bomb plot suspect opens
January 12, 2012 – The trial of a British man who was reportedly radicalised in the same prison as “shoe bomber” Richard Reid opened in Kenya on Thursday on charges of possessing explosive materials.
Prosecutors last month said Jermaine and two others were found with various chemicals, batteries and switches which they planned to use to make explosives.
“We are not ready to proceed on the grounds that some exhibits were submitted to the government chemist and we have not received a report,” Prosecutor Jacob Ondari said.
Judge Lillian Mutende granted the adjournment, saying the trial would resume on February 20.
Jermaine Grant, a 29-year-old Muslim convert, had denied the charges during a previous court appearance on December 27 following his arrest in the Kenyan coastal resort of Mombasa.
He however pled guilty to charges of being in the country illegally and lying about his nationality, for which he was sentenced to two jail terms of two years, to run concurrently.
Grant’s lawyer, Chacha Mwita, said that police had not provided him with an evidence report that his client and two others were found with bomb-making materials.
“We don’t have the analysis or report of the substance or the material that was recovered. So it is unfortunate that the defence is still in darkness on the evidence that the police have,” Mwita told AFP.
Mwita also said that prosecutors had not proven Grant’s nationality.
Kenya is believed to be interested in questioning Grant over possible links to Somalia’s Al Qaeda-affiliated Shabaab insurgents.
According to Britain’s Sunday Times, Grant became radicalised as a teenager in the same British prison, Feltham young offenders’ institution in London, where Reid first turned to Islam.
Reid, who confessed to being an Al-Qaeda recruit, is serving a life sentence in the United States for trying to blow up a flight from Paris to Miami in December 2001 using bombs hidden in his shoes.