Five Tanzanians and a Ugandan detained while en route to Somalia, intending to join al Shabaab
On Friday, August 4, 2023, a group of six foreigners were apprehended in Garissa, Kenya while seeking directions to the Kenya-Somalia border. The police have stated that these individuals intended to join the extremist group al Shabaab in Somalia. The arrested individuals have been identified as Muhamed Jahad Farah, Saad Suleiman Saleh, Nadrik Mbwana Salum, Abdul Kadir Salum Seif, Ali Issa Ali, all of them Tanzanian nationals, and Hassan Tourabih Kintosa, a Ugandan national.
During their interrogation, the six confessed that they were recruited and supported by individuals from Tanzania and Uganda to join al Shabaab. The security officers in Garissa arrested them after receiving a tip-off about their presence. The suspects are currently being processed for potential prosecution.
Note that this incident occurred shortly after the arrest of three Tanzanian nationals (Abdul Saif Salimu, Zuberi Ngare Mtondoo, and Seif Abdalla Juma) in Korakora, Garissa, as reported by the public. Another two Tanzanians, Abdirahman Shaffi Mkwatili and Sadam Jafari Kitia, were apprehended on July 12 with a notebook containing Swahili notes guiding their travel from Tanzania to Jilib.
The collaboration between local residents and security agencies in the North has improved significantly, resulting in increased sharing of vital information with authorities. Regional commissioner John Otieno urged the public to continue cooperating with security agencies and promptly report any suspicious activities or individuals, as well as unattended luggage.
The police have observed a pattern among recruits traveling to join al Shabaab or Daesh. These individuals receive travel arrangements that avoid any communication during their journey or inquiries about routes in order to evade suspicion. Public Service Vehicle operators have been cautioned to remain vigilant and report any suspicious foreigners.
As part of the ongoing counterterrorism efforts, security agencies have intensified surveillance and investigations. This has led to swift arrests of young individuals attempting to join terrorist groups or cells in Somalia. Official reports indicate that some foreign recruits are utilized as suicide bombers. Kenya has previously experienced devastating attacks as a result.