Fazul goose chase turns wild

September 1, 2008 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, September 1 – There was drama on Nyerere Road in Nairobi on Monday, when police rushed to arrest a man they suspected to be terror suspect Fazul Abdullah Mohammed.

Officers from the Anti-Terrorism Police Unit (ATPU) were quickly mobilised and rushed to nab the suspect following a tip off that he had been spotted walking towards Kenyatta Avenue, in the Nairobi City centre.

According to police, the man had been spotted by members of the public who telephoned officers to inform them of the wanted man’s whereabouts.

“We could not ignore such crucial information and that is why we sent our officers there,” a senior policeman told Capital News.

The unsuspecting man of Somali descent was then cornered and ordered to surrender, before he was handcuffed while protesting loudly.

A witness said he saw many officers suddenly surround a man who was walking on the other side of the road.

“They were shouting and ordering him to surrender. He was first told to raise his hands up and stop,” the spectator, John Mulunda, said.

“We were shocked, we did not even know why they were arresting him because it happened so fast.”

Mulunda said he heard the witness protest as he demanded to know why the officers were arresting him.

The suspect was then driven off to the ATPU headquarters, based at the old Nairobi Area Provincial headquarters, for interrogation.

A senior police officer told Capital News that detectives had established the suspect is not Fazul as earlier thought, but he was being questioned all the same to establish if he had any links to Fazul, who has since become East Africa’s most wanted terror suspect.

Police said that they even received calls from people congratulating them for their ‘good work’ when word went round that the suspect had been nabbed.

“People were very happy, they even sent us congratulatory messages. Let it be known that the suspect is still at large,” another officer said.

The hunt on Fazul was intensified last month when he narrowly escaped arrest in Mombasa during a raid at a residential house.

A couple and their son were arrested and later charged in court for harbouring a criminal, but have since been released on bond.


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