NAIROBI, Jun 6 – A Kenyan court on Wednesday charged a Swiss man with being a member of Somalia’s Al-Qaeda allied Shabaab, the latest in a string of foreign nationals accused of links to the Islamist insurgents.
Magd Najjar, who was initially reported to be Swedish when he was arrested last month, was charged in a court in the Kenyan capital Nairobi of “engaging in organised criminal activities by being a member of Al Shabaab.”
Najjar was also charged with being in Kenya illegally. Najjar, who is believed to be in his late 20s, did not speak when he appeared in a crowded court room for the brief hearing. He did not issue a plea.
Bail was refused and the trial will begin on July 2, said Najjar’s lawyer Edna Khaemba.
Several foreign nationals are wanted by Kenyan police accused of planning bomb attacks or of being connected to the Shabaab, including citizens from Britain, Germany and Turkey.
Briton Jermaine Grant is on trial in Kenya after he was found with various chemicals, batteries and switches which prosecutors say they planned to use to make explosives.
Prosecutors say that he was working with fellow Briton Samantha Lewthwaite, whose is on the run over terror plot allegations, and is the widow of Jermaine Lindsay, who attacked the London Underground in 2005.
Since Kenya sent forces into southern Somalia in October to fight the Shabaab it has been hit by retaliatory attacks.
The warnings of possible attacks on Kenyan targets have increased in recent weeks, according to Western security analysts and monitoring groups.