NAIROBI, Kenya – Kenya’s security and intelligence teams have released a list of 35 individuals suspected of being Al-Shabaab militants. They are seeking assistance from the public in identifying and apprehending these individuals, and have offered cash rewards to locals who cooperate in their arrest and handover to the police.
The Director of Criminal Investigation [DCI] stated that these 35 suspects are responsible for orchestrating terrorist attacks in Lamu County and the Boni Enclave. Lamu County has recently become a hotspot for terrorism, with successful attacks on security forces.
While many plots by Al-Shabaab have been foiled, the Ministry of Interior acknowledged that several attacks have been carried out, resulting in the brutal killings of innocent civilians and security personnel within Lamu County and the Boni Enclave.
Kithure Kindiki, the Minister for Interior and National Administration, revealed that these militants are closely linked to the violence in Boni Forest, where government operations have been ongoing for nearly three years. The dense forest extends into neighboring Somalia.
“The 35 terrorists are wanted for their involvement in placing Improvised Explosive Devices [IEDs] on various roads in the area, killing civilians on the Lamu-Witu-Garsen Highway, and carrying out cold-blooded murders in Lango la Simba, Witu, Mpeketoni, Juhudi, Salama, Hindi, and other areas,” he stated.
These militants are also believed to have planned and executed the attack on the American Military Base at Manda Bay on January 5, 2020. Recently, the US Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin III, visited Manda Bay Airfield, where he interacted with American troops and their Kenyan counterparts from the Kenya Defense Forces [KDF].
“A significant cash reward is being offered to individuals who provide credible information leading to the arrest of any of these suspects,” Kindiki added, urging Kenyans to come forward and provide information that could lead to the capture of these 35 individuals.
The list includes both foreigners and locals, and Kenya is currently conducting operations in Boni Forest as part of Operation Amani Boni, led by the KDF and other multi-agency security teams from the National Police Service.