MANDERA, Kenya- Kenya’s police on Saturday arrested three Al-Shabaab suspects and recovered three rifles and 259 rounds of ammunition in the northern town of Mandera.
The trio, who were arrested at Koromei area, 10 km from Mandera town, had sneaked in the country from Somalia.
Mandera County Police Commander Noah Mwivanda said the three upon interrogation said that they had come to pick their “boss.”
“When our officers interrogated these Al-Shabaab suspects, they said that they had come to pick their boss. We have since established that this is not true. We believe that these militiamen were on a mission to carry out an attack in Mandera town,” Mwivanda said.
The three Al-Shabaab suspects who were driving in a Toyota Land Cruiser vehicle with no registration number were intercepted by the police who were on a routine night patrol.
The police commander said that a video camera caught in their possession was to be used to take pictures of security installations and other strategic places with a view of attacking them later.
“We have every reason to believe that these militia men were up to no good. They were fully armed to commit a major attack in our town. But thank God our hawked eyed officers arrested them before they could carry out their evil acts,” said Mwivanda.
The three were briefly detained at the Mandera police station before being flown to Nairobi for further interrogation.
Mandera town that has enjoyed relative calm in the last few months is always under threat from the Al-Qaida linked group due to its proximity to Somalia.
The local police chief said security had been stepped up and he appealed to residents to be extra vigilant and take security measures seriously, regardless of their status in society.
Since Kenya sent troops across the border into Somalia in October 2011, northern, eastern and parts of Nairobi and Mombasa have been hit by a series of blasts, many targeting local security forces and humanitarian workers.
The Kenyan soldiers in the UN-backed AU force have also intensified their offensive against the Al-Qaida allied terrorist group, pacifying some of the areas surrounding the capital, including the strategic city of Kismayo.