German terror suspect now arrested

October 5, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 5 – Police in Kenya have now arrested a German terror suspect, moments after they issued a countrywide alert warning of his presence in the country.

Police spokesman Erick Kiraithe sent a statement to newsrooms within hours first stating that the German was in the country, and later informing the media that the suspect had been arrested in Mtwapa and his deportation was underway.

Mr Kiraithe had initially said that they were informed that the suspect left a note for his mother saying that he would not return home alive.

"Based on the information we have received, the Kenya Police would like to alert the public that there is a wanted terror suspect in the country," the statement had said.

It added: "The German speaking suspect named Sascha Alessadro Bottcher is a Muslim convert who arrived in Kenya through Moi International Airport-Mombasa on September 22, 2010 on Passport No. C6W9JVGLG6D having left Frankfurt for Somalia on September 21, 2010 aboard Condor Air."

He said that preliminary investigations revealed that the suspect left a note for his mother in Germany suggesting that he would not return there alive.

"The blue-eyed suspect is slim, stands at 175cms tall and weighs 68kgs. He has brown hair colour and wears shoe size 43," the statement went on to say.

The police sent an urgent appeal to the public to immediately divulge any information that may lead to his apprehension.

"We urge any person with information that may lead to the arrest of the suspect is urged to volunteer the same to the nearest police officer or station," Mr Kiraithe had said.

On Monday, Germany\’s interior minister warned against "alarmism" about the threat of terrorist attacks, after the United States, Britain and Japan issued a travel alert for Europe.

"At the moment there are no indications of imminent attacks in Germany," Thomas de Maiziere told reporters in Berlin.

"There is however a high abstract threat, and German interests at home and abroad have been in the sights of international terrorism for some time," he said.

"We take all leads seriously and investigate them with high intensity. I ask for understanding when I say that I cannot and will not describe the individual measures of our authorities.

"But you can be sure that all leads are taken into account when assessing the situation and that these leads lead to appropriate measures now and in the future.

"But there is no need to be alarmist."

Japan on Monday became the latest country after Britain and the United States to issue a travel alert for its citizens amid growing fears of a major Al-Qaeda attack on landmark sites in Europe.

Tokyo joined Washington and London in issuing an alert warning of "possible terrorist attack" by Al-Qaeda and affiliated groups against their citizens travelling in Europe.

The US State Department said in its alert on Sunday that attackers may use "a variety of means and weapons and target both official and private interests" in Europe.

Britain immediately backed the US alert and warned its own citizens of a "high threat of terrorism" in France and Germany.

The Japanese alert urges its citizens living or travelling in Europe to exercise full caution at possible attack targets, such as government and police facilities, public transport systems and tourist spots.

(Additional reporting by AFP)


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