Man who surrendered not wanted terror suspect

October 22, 2012 4:12 pm

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 22 – Police now say a man who surrendered on Monday resembles wanted terror suspect Hassan Owiti and even carries a similar name, but he is not the one sought over terror links.

Police spokesman Eric Kiraithe said detectives were set to release the man after interrogating him because he is innocent.

“He is not the one. He has been interrogated and will be released,” Kiraithe said.

The man turned up at the Coast Provincial Police headquarters on Monday morning, after police circulated names and photographs of four men accused of plotting terror attacks.

Kiraithe said all the four men were still at large and urged the public to volunteer information that can lead to their arrest.

Owiti who spoke to journalists before he was taken in for questioning maintained his innocence.

“I am innocent; I think it is a case of mistaken identity and that is why I came here to see why they want me,” he said before he was quizzed and subsequently ferried to Nairobi for further interrogation.

The photo that resembles him was circulated on Sunday alongside those of three other wanted men described by the police as dangerous terrorists plotting attacks in Nairobi and Mombasa.

They include Hassan Owiti, Shaban Namusenda Makotse, Yassin Olunga Ndungu and Ali Masadiq.

“Shaban is a Luhya from Mumias but has adopted a strong Kiswahili accent to camouflage himself and he is of medium build. Ali Masadiq is small bodied and can easily pass as a primary school pupil. He is mainly used to carry out surveillance on potential terrorism targets and convey firearms and grenades,” Kiraithe said when he released the photographs.

The photos released by police were not very clear because they were taken by surveillance cameras.

Kiraithe told journalists that there was sufficient evidence showing that the four had been trained in Somalia and have links with the Al Shabaab militia group.

“Evidence in the possession of the police indicates that they have also been involved in various acts of terrorism in Nairobi and Mombasa. The four are currently believed to be on the run inside Kenya and planning attacks in Nairobi and Mombasa again,” Kiraithe said.

He said they are also looking for Faud Abubakar who was charged alongside another terror suspect Briton Jermaine Grant earlier this year.

The police spokesman called on any person who may know the whereabouts of Abubakar to report to any police station, warning that he may have criminal plans.

“Abubakar was charged in Mombasa law courts earlier this year together with Jermaine Grant for criminal offences of being in possession of explosives, being a member of an organised group and preparation to commit a felony,” he said.

The announcement comes at a time when cases of terror attacks have increased, especially after the Kenya Defence Forces entered Somalia in pursuit of the Shabaab who are behind most of the attacks.


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