NAIROBI, Kenya, May 9 – Three Kenyans and a Somali refugee have been arrested in South Sudan en-route to join Islamic State (ISIS) fighters in Libya.
Said Ahmed Dabow, Adan Sheikh, Mohamed Abdi Mohamed and Somali national Abdiqani Abdishakur Shobaywere were arrested by South Sudanese security officers while seeking facilitation to travel to Libya.
According to detectives, the four were arrested following an intensive operation between security agents across the East African region.
Police are now pursuing two Kenyan suspects Ali Hussein Ali and Ibrahim Abasheikh believed to be recruiting Kenyans youths to join the terror network in Libya and other destinations.
The four have implicated a radical cartel in their recruitment and movement facilitation.
The cartel is led by Mohamed Dahir, “a notorious criminal who has since escaped the police dragnet. Dahir works in cahoots with others in the infamous Magafe network based in Libya in facilitating both terrorist suspects en-route to Libya and economic immigrants,” according to police.
Police say the four men were arrested together with another group of young men who are believed to have been waiting for facilitation to travel to Libya through South Sudan.
These arrests come against the backdrop of intensified counter terrorism and anti-human trafficking efforts in the country and across the region.
Kenyan security agencies have issued a stern warning to members of the public, “to be wary of phony human traffickers who dangle the lure of the so-called ‘good life’ in Europe to brainwash young people into embarking on the treacherous journey through the Sahara Desert.”
Police have vowed to sustain a crackdown on human trafficking rackets to save Kenyan youths from the stranglehold of ruthless human traffickers and terrorist recruiters.
Meanwhile, police are closely following the trails of Nicholas Karanja Mwangialias Said Mwangi, “an ISIS recruiter and radicaliser who is currently on the run.”
“With the growing number of youths getting lured into none existent opportunities in Libya and Syria, it’s only prudent for parents and guardians to be extra vigilant and to continuously monitor movements of youth under their care,” police have advised.
“In the case of those missing or not communicating for long periods of time, it’s important for such cases to be availed to the authorities so as they may be traced by the relevant security agencies.”
Tens of Kenyan youths are believed to have already joined the ISIS terror group among them university students.
According to security agencies, tens of families are currently being extorted to raise money to pay ransom.
Some of the recruits are said to have perished in the Mediterranean Sea on their way to Europe.