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Mombasa terror plot mastermind arrested, more weapons found

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The suspect was arrested by anti-terror police officers acting on highly placed intelligence information among security agencies/FILE

The suspect was arrested by anti-terror police officers acting on highly placed intelligence information among security agencies/FILE

MOMBASA, Kenya, Mar 18 – Police in Mombasa on Tuesday arrested a third terror suspect and recovered more weapons from the explosives-laden vehicle that was seized on Monday evening in Changamwe.

The suspect was arrested by anti-terror police officers acting on highly placed intelligence information among security agencies.

He is believed to be the mastermind of the foiled attack and had escaped the dragnet when his two accomplices were arrested.

The suspects arrested on Monday were planning to detonate explosives targeting unspecific buildings in Mombasa County. READ Mombasa police foil terror attack

They were arraigned in court on Tuesday to answer various charges but were not allowed to take plea.

According to Coast County Commissioner Nelson Marwa, bomb experts on Tuesday recovered additional items that include six powerful explosive cylinders weighing 60kg that were mounted in the vehicle.

Marwa said a team of bomb experts also recovered six grenades, an AK-47 rifle, 270 rounds of ammunition and five detonators that included a cell phone.

Addressing the media at the Mombasa Police Headquarters, Marwa said the team had managed to disable the explosives.

“Our intelligence officer sharing information with both local and international agencies intercepted their communication and managed to track down the suspects near Changamwe,” said Marwa.

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He said Kenyan authorities sought help from America’s Federal Bureau of Investigations. Two senior FBI agents attached to the US Embassy in Nairobi are already in Mombasa.

“They are assisting our agencies with the technology in analysing the explosive and possibly arrest more suspects after police successfully foiled the attack,” said Marwa.

A KDF special unit from the Kenya Navy was on Tuesday involved in disabling the bombs.

The units used a mobile bomb detecting robot, bomb disposal suits and other specialised detection and disposal tools in the operation.

According to intelligence sources, the failed attack was orchestrated by key Al Shabaab members in Somalia in collaboration with operatives in Kenya.

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