Kenyan police in TZ to pursue terror suspect

June 13, 2012 2:00 pm
His extradition will facilitate a further probe to ascertain his role/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 13 – Kenya sent its officers to neighbouring Tanzania on Wednesday to commence extradition proceedings against a wanted terror suspect who was arrested there, weeks after Nairobi circulated his photograph.

Emrah Erdogan who is thought to be a German or Turkish national has been on the run since last month after he slipped out of Kenya, days after a bomb went off at a building on Nairobi’s Moi Avenue leaving one person dead and 37 others wounded.

Police strongly believe Erdogan has links with the blast but admit they do not have tangible evidence to link him to it.

His extradition will facilitate a further probe to ascertain his role.

“Yes, we have arrested him. He is now in Dar es Salaam where we are interrogating him,” a senior Tanzanian police officer told AFP, asking not to be identified.

Erdogan is wanted by Kenya for suspected links to Somalia’s Islamist rebel group Al Shabaab which has been blamed for a series of blasts, including the Moi Avenue explosion.

Kenya’s deputy police spokesman Charles Owino confirmed on Wednesday that officers had left the country for Tanzania.

“Erdogan is someone we have been looking for and we have sent our officers to Tanzania to be part of the ongoing investigation,” he added, but he did not make mention of the officers’ exact mandate once in Tanzania.

A source at police headquarters told Capital FM News the officers were working closely with the Attorney General’s office on the extradition process. The AG was not immediately available to comment.

The arrested man is also thought to have close links with Swiss national Magd Najjar who was earlier in the month charged by a Kenyan court with being an Al Shabaab member, Owino said.

The German embassy in the Tanzanian commercial capital declined to comment about Erdogan’s arrest.

At the end of last month, Kenyan police issued a picture of Erdogan, saying he was thought to have entered Kenya from Somalia through the northern town of Garissa on May 3 and that he was believed to still be in the country.

“We have every reason to link him to the Shabaab,” Kenyan police spokesman Eric Kiraithe said at the time.

Several foreigners are wanted by Kenyan police on suspicion of planning bomb attacks or ties to the Shabaab, including another German national Andreas Martin Mueller and a British woman Samantha Lewthwaite, the widow of Germaine Lindsay, one of the suicide bombers in the London July 2005 underground attacks.


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