Anti terror swoop nets three in Kenya

July 16, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 16 – Three men are being interrogated on suspicion of having links with terror-related groups after they were arrested at the Kenya-Somali border, police said.

Two of them who are Kenyan Somalis were arrested on Thursday “due to their suspicious movements” at the border points while the third was arrested while traveling from Garissa to Nairobi.

“The suspects were arrested by officers manning road blocks at the check points but have since been handed to the units that specifically deal with such issues,” a senior police officer said and added that “the suspects are being interrogated by officers from the anti-terrorism unit.”

They were due to be brought to Nairobi for further interrogations on Friday.

However, police said they had not linked the men to any crime or terrorism-related activity but were interested “in interviewing them because it is procedural for anyone with suspicious character or movement.”

Police Spokesman Erick Kiraithe declined to discuss the matter in detail saying “it is not advisable to comment about it at the moment. Let’s wait for the outcome of the investigation.”

“Whenever such security operations are conducted, it is always good to avoid speculations. Let us give our officers time to do their work, but I can assure you that we are on a high alert and our detectives are interviewing persons of interest,” he said when reached on telephone on Friday morning.

On Wednesday, a Ugandan Police Spokeswoman said Kenya had handed to them a Ugandan man arrested in Nairobi and is now being questioned over the blast that killed 74 people and wounded more than 100 others as they watched World Cup finals.

Ugandan media quoted Police Spokeswoman Judith Nabakooba saying the suspect was being interrogated alongside other suspects arrested there, but she did not give further details.

The government spokesman Fred Opolot said: “The Ugandan Police is, among others, closely working with the Kenyan Police and Interpol in the ongoing investigations into the Kampala bombings. The Kenyan police made an arrest and has handed over this suspect to the Ugandan police.”

Police in Nairobi confirmed the reports but declined to reveal any further details regarding the arrest of the Ugandan national.

A team of America’s Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) is teaming up with Ugandan detectives in the investigation.

The Kampala bombings has prompted Kenyan security forces to heighten security along the border with Somalia and launch a major security operation targeting aliens living in the country illegally.

In Nairobi, for instance, 30 Ethiopian aliens were arrested on Wednesday night and a further 102 Somalis were arrested on Thursday night.

“We are not going to let people with no legal status to continue staying here, we have mounted a major security operation and any alien without proper documents will have to face the law,” Nairobi PPO Antony Kibuchi told Capital News in an interview on Friday morning.


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