NAIROBI, Kenya May 25 – Police announced Wednesday they had arrested two terror suspects linked to the ISIS network who were planning major attacks in Nairobi and Mombasa.
Kiguzo Mwangolo Mgutu and Abubakar Jillo Mohamed are said to have been radicalized at Kangemi Mosque and were recruited by their leader Mohamed Abdi Ali, a medical student, who was arrested earlier this month along with two others for allegedly planning an anthrax attack. They have not yet been charged.
Police Spokesman George Kinoti said it is Ali who led to them to the two, following his arrest.
“Following Mohamed Abdi Ali’s arrest, members of his network have been planning retaliatory attacks using home-made explosives. The arrest of the two has foiled terror attacks with explosives and other weapons that were planned for Nairobi and Mombasa,” Kinoti said in a statement.
Police said they recovered various materials that were to be used to manufacture an IED at Mgutu’s residence in Kangemi.
Materials seized during their arrest include nails, ball bearings, batteries, electrical wire, fertilizer, cell phones and other suspected explosive substances which have been taken for forensic analysis.
Intelligence reports have shown that the two suspects were authors of an online document that declared their allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
“From our initial investigations, it has been established that Kiguzo Mwangolo Mgutu and Abubakar Jillo Mohamed are amongst authors of the document that have been circulating online purporting the establishment of Jahba East Africa in which they declared their allegiance to the ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi,” the police spokesman said.
He said the suspects had planned to escape from the country to Syria and Libya after carrying out the attacks in which they intended to target innocent Kenyans using public transportation.
Although not giving their age, the police spokesman said the youths were “making these plans without their parent’s knowledge.”
The public has been urged to be extra vigilant, particularly while using public transport which is the main target for the terrorists.
Kinoti said police surveillance had been heightened following attempts by Al Shabaab to infiltrate Kenya through Lacta belt in Somalia.
“We have over the last two months arrested eight Tanzanians who confessed to have been on their way to join the Al Shabaab terror network.”