Two terror suspects arrested in Isiolo County earlier this month had been to Somalia where they were radicalised. Police say Remmy Victor Odera alias Musa Busia and Abdi Muhamud Hillow alias Twalib were in Somalia in 2012.
They were arrested on August 1, 2016 as they travelled to a contact in Isiolo township. They had been trailed from western Kenya where an Al Shabaab terror group radicalisation and recruitment cell has been discovered. A police report seen by Standard says Musa Busia first travelled to Somalia in 2012 from where he underwent military training and discretely returned to the country.
“Since his return, he has been radicalising and recruiting youth mostly in Busia, Isiolo and Marsabit using the cover that he is a herbalist,” says the report.
At the time of their arrest in Isiolo, police recovered from their hideout an assortment radicalisation materials which included CDs and VCDs that preach Islamic extremism, books, several items for assembling IEDs. The materials included electrical wires, nails, ball bearings, soldering wires, petrol in a five-litre jerican, several Safaricom, YU and Orange SIM cards, several flash disks and handsets without phone line.
The suspects are still being held in police after a court allowed the request by police for a 20-day custody order to enable them carry out further investigations which would possibly lead to the arrest of more members belonging to this network.
Isiolo County Criminal Investigations Officer David Cheruiyot and County Commissioner George Natembeya said the suspects, who are below 35 years old, are believed to have recruited two others to join Al-Shabaab and that the recruits were already in Somalia. Isiolo has been hit by rising radicalisation, with dozens of young people believed to have crossed to Somalia to join Al-Shabaab.
Directorate of Criminal Investigations boss Ndegwa Muhoro opened an Anti-Terrorism Police Unit (ATPU) office in Isiolo, aimed at intensifying the war on terrorism in the upper eastern region. He said the government would open another branch in Moyale and Marsabit towns to counter terrorists and illegal immigration from neighbouring countries. Muhoro said the offices are part of a government to rising cases of radicalisation and violent extremism in the region.