, NAIROBI, Kenya Jan 10 – Police are concerned about the increasing number of foreign nationals travelling to Kenya en-route to Somalia to join the Al Shabaab militia in their battle.
Police Spokesman Eric Kiraithe said at least seven foreign nationals, including a former US military intelligence officer and a Briton had travelled into Kenya with intent to enter Somalia through the port of Kismayu.
“We are concerned… at least seven foreigners have tried to cross over to Somalia after entering Kenya. But some of them have been arrested and their mission thwarted while others are still at large,” Kiraithe said at a press briefing convened at police headquarters.
“Our intelligence is fully activated and our officers are doing all they can to ensure the mission of these people is suppressed completely.”
He said one of the foreigners Craig Benedict Baxam who formerly worked as a US military intelligence officer who entered Kenya on December 22, 2011 had been arrested and deported. Reports indicate that the suspect has since been charged in the US.
“The subject was arrested at about 2030hrs at Marereni in Malindi on suspicion of his conduct. The subject was briefly interrogated in Malindi and later brought to Nairobi,” Kiraithe said adding; “He was deported on his own volition, having confessed to a number of issues.”
Officers who interrogated the suspect however, believe he had a serious memory lapse due to contradictions in his statements as indicated in an investigative report compiled by the Anti-Terrorism Police Unit (ATPU) which was seen by Capital News.
A brief profile of the suspect indicates that he was born in 1987 at Takoma Park, Montgomery County, Maryland in the US and he had previously worked as a food supplier. He is a Muslim.
He told investigators that while in America, he resided in Laurel, MD 20708. Police said they had verified his address.
Here is his brief history:
2008 – He travelled to Iraq on military assignment
2010 – He travelled to Jamaica to visit his mother’s relatives.
2010 – He travelled to South Korea on Military assignment.
1993- Attended St Joseph School for six years.
1999-2001 – Attended Briggs Chancy middle school for two years.
2001-2002 – Attended Point Branch High School.
2002-2005 – Attended Laurel High School.
2007 up to July 2011- He worked in the military Intelligence in the US.
July 2011 – He was dismissed for being in possession of narcotic drugs (marijuana).
Officers who interrogated him described him as a “very dangerous suspect” who has passion for Al Shabaab and their activities.
“The subject converted to Islam six months ago while in South Korea after going through teaching,” Kiraithe said, citing an investigative report by ATPU officers.
His passport indicated that he left the US on December 20, 2011 via London and entered Kenya through the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) on December 22.
“He left for the city centre aboard a taxi and was dropped at Jamia Mosque where he was assisted to book a bus to Mombasa,” the police report states.
“He alleged that he was fed up with life in the United States after dismissal and that he wanted to travel to Somalia, a country that follows Sharia laws,” the report adds.
He also told investigators that he has “intentions of settling in Somalia permanently so that he could know Islam well and marry there. He also alleged that he sympathizes with Al Shabaab militia group and that he wanted to join it.”
He could not reveal his associates to the investigators since his movement without a guide in a new country was questionable.
The report concludes that the subject “confesses having intended to join Al Shabaab.”
On Tuesday, the police spokesman reiterated his appeal to the public to help them arrest other suspects including foreigners whose photographs and details he has previously circulated on wanted suspects accused of involvement in Al Shabaab activities.”